It is said that when a soul enters the world, the baby cries while the world rejoices and when a soul leaves the world, the world cries whiles the soul rejoices in heaven.
This week we experienced both rejoicing and mourning. And yet, there was mostly rejoicing.
Early Sunday morning my husband’s grandfather passed away at the age of 92. A pastor for many decades, he now raises his hands to glorify his Lord in heaven just as he raised his hands spontaneously in praise here on earth so many times.
Two days later, I gave birth to our little girl, Avra. A name derived from Abraham, a name with a history of people who have stood firm in their own faith and what they believe in.
Two souls destined to the same family, passing each other just moments in between life ending and life beginning. A blink of the eye in terms of eternity. A legacy being continued by the man now rejoicing in heaven.
Yes, we mourned. Yes, it is sad for us left here.
There is so much rejoicing. Rejoicing in knowing that my husband’s grandfather is in heaven, no longer depending on his frail body but thriving in his new body. Rejoicing in knowing how many years he served God, how many people have come to know God because of his service, knowing that he leaves behind a legacy of six children, 14 grandchildren, and now 31 great grandchildren.
While my husband’s family gathers today for final good byes and a celebration of his life, I am at home with our new daughter. But I can imagine them gathered together, singing his grandfather’s favorite hymn, “It is well with my soul,” and not a single soul in the room denying that it is truly well with their soul that he has passed and the surety of his salvation.
At the same time, I sit here, looking at my baby, thanking God she is healthy and strong and perfect. I think of her name and how I hope she will be just as sure in her faith as her great-grandfather was all these years. I rejoice that she is here, finally, and how I want to always wrap her in prayer and thanks and love every moment we spend together and that there will be many, many moments together. That she will love her siblings and that her addition to this family will be full of rejoicing, just as we rejoiced over the life of each of our children being born.
It truly has been a whirlwind of emotions this week. Yet still we have celebration for both souls, for death and life. The two unpredictable things in life just so happened to occur at nearly the same time this week. We rest assured that all is perfect in God’s timing and we can be reminded that new life is not just restricted to new babies, but to new life eternal. And that is the most wonderful reason to rejoice, even if there is mourning. Because joy always comes in the morning and it can be found in the mourning too when you have surety of their soul.
So yes, the old saying is true. But joy always outweighs the sorrow. And we are so joyful.