Is there true joy after devastation?

by | Jul 11, 2023

When we walk through devastating times, we wonder why am I walking this path?  Can life really be good again, will I ever experience joy again or feel like I am fulfilling a purpose here on this earth other than suffering?

All of these questions go through my mind daily.  Those who know me personally know that I am currently living the most devastating time I have ever experienced in my life.  I get so angry that I have been placed on this journey, I long to feel joy and peace, but I can not find it anywhere. I realized yesterday I don’t remember that last time I experienced true joy – honestly – I CAN NOT REMEMBER.  Yeah, that is my life folks, I am that lost and consumed in my current situation.  But I know I am not the only one, so many of us are there or will be, my survivors often have these same thoughts regularly. So one begins to think – WHY – will it EVER be worth it?  Can you truly find joy after devastation?

The answer is YES, I saw it for my own eyes yesterday.  I have a very dear friend who has walked a path of true devastation- this is his story.  Three years ago, his wife collapsed, she had been completely healthy until that moment.  Rushed to the hospital, scans showed there was an inoperable brain tumor and she had only days maybe weeks to live.  She passed three weeks later and left her life-long best friend and husband behind to mourn her passing.

It was three weeks later before he was able to come back to workout.  When I saw him enter the door that day, I walked up and embraced him.  He allowed himself to feel every emotion he had that day and sobbed in my arms, my tears joining his.  Such a beautiful spirit and soul we had lost and so sudden, we were not ready to say goodbye.  Every day he walked in after that, I embraced him and held him until he was ready to let go.  Over time, the intense pain I felt through his embrace begin to lighten.  In fact, he even began to smile when he saw me, and hug we did, but it became an embrace of friendship, kindness and love.

One month ago, he quietly whispered to me that he had been blessed by a lovely lady and was planning to marry her and asked if I would I attend the wedding.  I felt so honored to be invited to such a personal event.  I attended this special occasion yesterday and not only saw joy and peace but also thankfulness in his face and in his words.  He thanked God for His will being done in His life.  STOP – did he just thank God for the path he had given him.  A path that only a few years ago, was grief, pain and devastation.  HE DID – HE REALLY DID.  He praised God for all He had given him and allowing him to put this new special someone in his life. He knew that all his pain and struggles had led to this new moment of hope, love and praise.

As I witnessed his new union to an amazing lady and his true praise and glory to our Lord, tears streamed down my face.  Could the broken man I once knew really be completely transformed into the man I see before me?  The answer was clearly YES.

I WANT TO BE HIM.  I want to begin seeing the joy after devastation.  But I guess it is not quite my time, I am aware of that.  We must experience, understand and move through our pain before we can experience such joy.  But I have to believe that one day, JOY will surround me.  That happiness will fill my heart and my purpose will be fulfilled in all I do.

Until that moment, I just have to believe I will see it one day.  I must rely on the people who love and support me, who give me strength on the days I am to weak to see it for myself.  To find others walking the same path, who understand and love me right where I am at.

I will take it one day at a time until I find my joy again.  I will find it – I have to believe that – their is no other choice to keep me moving forward.