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When the Happy Days Seem To Be Behind You

I will beg my tech-smart brother not to mock me here when I say that I finally got the hang of how to upload pictures from CD to my computer. My kids have been all like, Mom, why haven’t you put your pictures on your computer? And I’m all like, Guys. It wasn’t that long ago that I put actual film in a camera.

So this week I took on a 6” stack of picture CDs dating back to 2009, and in one way it has felt so good to accomplish this project.

In another way, it has refreshed my grief over dad going on to heaven ahead of us and grief over having my kids grow up.

So it’s gone like this: Upload CD (or download? I get those confused.) Have a good cry. CD. Cry. CD. Cry. Etc.

At this point, a person with common sense might say something like, Stop with the pictures already!

But I can’t. Look. Away.

So I’ve been aching over pictures of dad. (He is an awesomely cheerful soul, and I pray the Lord there are still crinkly laugh lines on those new bodies we’re gonna have in heaven.)

The happy days are not just in the past.  -christyfitzwater.com

And I’ve been teary over pictures of my babies.

Please tell me there's happiness ahead, too.  -christyfitzwater.com

There are happy days still to come.  -christyfitzwater.com

This left me crying in the kitchen to my poor husband the other night. I want the happy days back. I want my dad here and my mom not sad and my kids to be little.

That’s when the Spirit brought to my mind Paul’s words in Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV):

But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

I’ve been straining and pressing all right –to reclaim the happiness that was, but I see that it is a physical and spiritual possibility to strain for what is ahead and to strain for what is behind at the same time. I am not Dr. Doolittle’s Pushmi-Pullyu.

But I’m so encouraged by this verse as I type it on the page. Do you see the happiness still there? It’s just in the “heavenward” part.

That’s where my dad is. In heaven. Same place I’m going.

There’s a prize ahead, and maybe the dimpled fingers of my little kids were only a hint of what happiness can be.

I thank the Lord for all the sweet times I had in my past. I know that I am a rich and privileged person to come from a laughing family and to know the joy of holding a baby wrapped tight in flannel. Very rich.

But that was only the beginning, and all that goodness swings around to the front of me yet –like playing crack the whip. Did you ever play crack the whip? . Everybody holds hands, and the people in front run around, to catch the people at the back.

Yes, that’s heaven I think. The good of the past running around fast to be there and even better in front of us, in the shape of something new and glorious.

Well, I only have four more CDs left to upload (or download), and then enough tears, eh?

One more Kleenex, and then how about we strain toward what is ahead.


  1. Wow! Crack the Whip was one of my favorite playground games- so unpredictable and so exciting. The same adjectives describe my life lately and I have the choice to let my circumstances “whip” the joy out of me, or “crack” open my facade and let Christ and others in. Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Ellen Cole says:

    Wow! You had your pictures on a CD? I haven’t even gotten to that phase yet…my pictures (and SLIDES!) are still in their original form. I have box-loads of pictures because I got all my parents’ pictures…who got all their parents’ pictures…and so on. I realize that this post was about way more than the pictures being digitalized. I too long for my parents and simpler times, and am so thankful that I know I will be with them again.

    1. I have a whole shelf full of scrapbooks from back in the paper picture days. 🙂 I wonder if sometimes it’s not the best thing that we can take pictures -keeps us looking back instead of forward…

  3. Awww, Christy! I’m with you. You got me crying, too. I lost my both my parents a year and a half apart. And my children are getting big, too. The last two are in high school (the youngest just started). I just came across some video CD’s my Dad put together for us before he died (2008) … and I have *yet* to view them. I just know they’ll break my heart. This time of year is the hardest, too. I’ll say a little prayer for you today because I know where you’re coming from… Love you, sister-in-Jesus.

    1. It didn’t occur to me that becoming an empty nester coincides with parents getting older. Definitely a hard season on many fronts. I feel for your heart, too. Thanks for the love and the prayers!

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