Trade sorrow for Joy

This month has been a lot to navigate for Catherine and me. Trading sorrow for joy is no easy task sometimes. She had the death of her father, which she wrote about in the post About Dad. I had my Grandma pass a few days before that. It was a bit of a shock. I count myself as very blessed by the fact that I had all four of my grandparents in my life.

I’m trying to trade my sorrow for Joy.

All four of them got to feed into my life, help mold my life, and were all great examples of good God loving people. I love them all, and I miss now all four of them together and separately. I know not everyone has such an honor. I guess it’s one of the perks of being the oldest grandchild on each side too. I didn’t always see it as excellent to be the oldest. 

I was often pulled aside and told to be a great example to the others—things like that. I was older enough to play for a while, but then there were those awkward years where they were all too much younger until we all became adults. I felt left out a bunch when it came to my cousins, not anything intentional or on purpose. It was more that we lived the farthest away, and I was anywhere from four to twenty-nine years older than them. So yes, some of my cousins are younger than some of my children. Haha, I love it though, big families are great in that crazy way. 

When it came to my grandparents, though, they always made me feel special. I didn’t realize at the time that they were helping plant seeds in me, along with my parents, that would be a part of my story. They would help me get through some of the roughest times of my life. They would kindly and sometimes bluntly tell me their opinions of my choices. 

It was great. Now at forty-three years old, they are physically gone from my life but sewn into the fabric of my heart. 

I thank God for that. I’m trading my sorrow for Joy.

Though I was/am sad by my Grandma’s passing, I am actively trading it for Joy. Having her live into her nineties and seeing the person I became is so precious I will not be ungrateful. 

I saw her just a few weeks before she passed. I made a trip up a few weeks before. Not really knowing it would be the last time, but I hadn’t seen her since before COVID, so I made my way up. It was so great. I got her to myself for a few days, and it felt like when I was younger, only better. I told her all the things she meant to me. And told her the example she was to me. 

In short, I told her the things people say about people behind their backs or after they pass but so often don’t say to their faces. I said it. Before another day passed, I needed her to know how this pastor’s wife, who shouldered so much, showed me so much. She taught me things through example and words that only she could. It was so sweet. 

I pray that I’m able to hold those moments in my heart and head forever. 

I still mourned am mourning, but I am full of Joy of that it was a life well lived and that I got to know her.

She was a great Grandma.

I am trading in my sorrow for Joy.

I want to encourage all of you to say the loving things to the people around you that you have never spoken. Or maybe don’t say enough.

To change our hearts and our perspective for the better. First, we must change our words. I’m not saying go around and treat everyone like they are dying, but maybe always keep in mind that this life is precious and fleeting. None of us are getting out of this life alive. Don’t you want to be known for speaking life into people instead of your harsh opinions or righteous anger?

Love your neighbor. Speak life and not death.

Jenny Cioto

Pursuing true North

“No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 

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