The lights were dimmed and a love song began to play over the speakers. Holding my breath, I waited for my brother and his new bride to step onto the dance floor for their first dance as husband and wife. As I sat at the table with glittering lights and full champagne glasses, I looked over at my husband and memories flooded my mind as I marveled at how far we'd come—from the lonely, tearful nights as a single woman feeling like God would never answer my prayers to the years Brian was fighting cancer and I cried with fear that my husband would be called back to God too soon.
Then I looked over at my children. I recalled the trouble we had conceiving, the secondary infertility, and the miscarriages we endured . . . all the heartache that came before we were blessed with four beautiful children. Then I glanced over to my mom who, just a year ago, was also fighting cancer. Now She was looking so beautiful about to step onto the dance floor with her newly-married son. I had a hard time holding back tears of gratitude.
That moment at my brother's wedding hit me once again as I read today's Psalm response, "Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing." It is easy to rejoice and believe in God's promises when things are going well, but when we are in the midst of trials and carrying heavy crosses, that is when the true test of faith comes.
It's during those tough times that I think about Saint Paul's words in the First Reading, "[We are] perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." (2 Corinthians 4:9-10) When the cross has been heavy, God has always been there giving me the strength to endure.
I'll admit that I'm not always the best at believing and trusting, and some prayers and longings of my heart have not been answered as I had hoped. I sometimes struggle to make peace with that, but God is good. He knows that I can be overwhelmed by my emotions. He is patient and gentle with me and knows exactly when I need an extra hug and when I am being stubborn and need a little tough love. He reminds me to have faith that the joyous times will come once again.
If you are struggling, pour your heart out to God and let Him console you. If you know someone struggling, be their consolation.
Bobbi Rol is a wife, mama and blogger living on the Monterey Bay in CA with her husband, teen daughter, and three rambunctious boys. When she is not dodging light sabers or stepping on Legos, she can be found outside with her family, catching a late night movie, or decorating her planner. You can find out more about her here.