For some I've been praying and weeping as they experience their own painful loss/trial. But others I love have great reason to rejoice. It's hard to tell a woman mourning a miscarriage that you are rejoicing because you're pregnant. I'm thankful that my family and friends took the risk and shared with me. It's giving me an opportunity to step away from myself and rejoice for people I love.
I want to encourage you, especially if you are in the midst of a trial, ask God who you can rejoice with. It is NOT easy, but there's something so beautiful about putting yourself aside and entering into someone else's joy. It is healing to care for others.
Warning: It may be awkward at first. I was silent when my sweet sister in law took the risk of my awkward response and shared that she is pregnant with their first child. Nothing came out of my mouth. I was genuinely happy for her, but it was a week after my loss and if I spoke, I knew I'd sob and my sadness would misrepresent how I felt. So Andy and the boys cheered and later I texted the joy I had for them. It was awkward, but God gave me SUCH genuine joy and excitement for them. Sorrow and joy co-existed and it felt right. By the time a good friend shared her first pregnancy news this month, I was ready for my classic "squee!" response and already had a gift to give her (I knew her pregnancy was coming before she did)!
This week a friend is going through a sad loss and I have wept and prayed for her daily. I ache for her and admire her love for God as she walks through an intense loss. Maybe my loss has softened my heart towards others in trial a bit. I want to walk through this with her in prayer and I'm praying she'll experience the God of all Comforts as I have.
Our own trial doesn't have to be over before we can share life with others. Weeping and rejoicing for others has been a sweet part of my trial. It's a place where I've seen God in new ways and grown closer to others. And I believe it's a key role for us in each others lives.