The Prodigal Child – A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to mourn and a time to dance…

(Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4b)

A time to mourn…

I’ve had a lot of “dreams” when it comes to my children.  Dreams of who they’d marry, what they’d do for a living and what our relationship would look like as they entered adulthood.  Scarcely a one of those dreams has even slightly come true.  And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  Even the unplanned events have (in some cases) brought unexpected blessings.


But still…when dreams die, we have to allow ourselves the time to mourn.  Grieving is a process of letting go what you envisioned for your child.  Some things haven’t exactly turned out right or the way you’d hoped or imagined.  Depending on the circumstances, this can be a quick or lengthy process.


One of the dreams I had was my daughter marrying her high school sweetheart.  Even though they did things the wrong way, in getting pregnant their senior year of high school, I still saw the possibility of redemption.  Yet never did I think they would end up not together.  As crazy as it sounds, I think in some ways I had a harder time letting him go than my daughter did.  She moved on to someone else.  But I still wanted my granddaughter’s parents together.  When I finally came to the understanding it would never happen, I had to grieve the death of that dream.  And that’s okay…mourn the losses!


A time to dance…

On the opposite spectrum, there is a time to dance.  Yes, sometimes with joy at what God can do in an impossible situation.  But even if nothing changes, if things remain hard…we can get lost in worship music.  We can dance in victory like King David did.  Who cares what others think?  He sure didn’t!  He got his praise on!


Worship music has been like salve to my hurting soul.  There are certain songs I really connect to, words that ring truth in my heart.  But there are also songs that stir up hope and joy.  They help me to see how God remains on His throne.


Yes, in parenting a prodigal child, there IS a time to dance!  Even in the midst of sorrow…of challenging circumstances…of mourning the death of a dream…worship to Him can rise up out of the deepest places and bring healing to all that hurts.


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