And I'm not very happy about it.
Let's be clear. Today is not about "happiness". Happiness relies on external stuff: your belly is full, you've got the stuff around you desire, you're comfortable, etc. Joy is a whole other state: it's about being able to rejoice DESPITE the lack of these things. Joy is about recognizing that I'm never going to be completely happy in this life - because I'm never going to have all I want here. It is only in Christ that we find joy.
All that being said, I'm not very happy today. Our van got totaled this week - right after we borrowed $600 to have it repaired. I spent the week scrambling to find a school to take Dark Haired Daughter, who got released from residential treatment about a month earlier than we had originally been told - and we got very short notice about it. As you might imagine, schooling choices for a mentally ill and cognitively-challenged teen on probation are limited - ahem. I finally found a place, but couldn't get anyone there to return my phone call. Finally, I just showed up, papers in hand and demanded (nicely, but demanded) to enroll her. All of which is great, but they have a uniform, and today I have to head out and shop for her....with money we don't have, 'cause the van just got totaled......and on it goes.
I had to get a surprise root canal (and let me tell you, the only thing worse than a root canal is a surprise root canal) and it still hurts. This whole week was just horrid.
In the midst of it, I got a note from one of our spiritual advisors, a Franciscan Sister: I kept asking myself what I could do to help the situation. Finally it dawned on me - I can offer my suffering and pain that I have been living regarding our dog, Sophia. It has been an arduous journey, but we finally came to the decision to have her put to sleep, and I just returned from the Vet's office. She will be buried on our land. I believe that my suffering through this whole process will be redemptive for you. It is what I have to offer.
If I hadn't been at work, I would have put my head down and wept at that: it was a moment of joy...pain and passion and support and knowledge that we are not alone in this very difficult time.
Today is Gaudete Sunday, and I'm not very happy. But I am resolved to be joyful.