Thank God for Februaries

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Sarah Joslyn -Februaries3

I have lost the lid I used to keep on my grief. I cannot contain it. I cannot shut up about the state of my nation. I cannot shut up about the things I am learning and the ways I am being stretched to hold more and more grief. I am undone by it.

But I have also lost the lid to my joy. It spills out in the most unlikely places. In even the most devastating spaces I can almost always find light.

We are elbows deep in the best month of the year—the month that fills me with joy.

You are welcome to have a differing opinion, but I am pretty sure I am correct when I say February cannot be topped.

Here in the Pacific Northwest a snowy weekend will fold into a sunshiny one where cars roll down the street with the windows down and heat blasting.

Here we start to notice the sun stayed up past 4:30pm and that “the mountain is out.”

February means Black History Month. It means educating and re-educating a whitewashed history to include the black founding mothers and fathers. To learn about freedom fighters and preachers and writers and educators and inventors that American history books erased. (Also, every month is good for this work.)

February means Galentine’s Day and Valentine’s Day and my birthday. These are my three favorite things and they all happen RIGHT NOW.

My grief is still un-ending, but February reminds me that so is my joy.

This is never more clear than when I am in a text thread with a small tribe of my friends. That thread is dominated by grief and requests for prayer. Some of the text replies are prayers, some are offers to hold space, some just say, “sending you sparkle vibes.” Many are riddled with swear words.

These text threads remind me there is not a border in the space between holy and human. Between sacred and secular. Between grief and joy. We are all the things. And being all the things at once makes us more complete and more compassionate people.

Yes, it seems easier to let apathy take over.

Yes, it seems easier to give in to compassion fatigue.

But I am leaving the lid off my joy. And I am learning to let my joy and my sorrow coexist. This is the only way I can continue to fight for justice and truth and respect.

This space that is marred and beaten and also basks in sunshine—this is saving my faith and I thank God for Februaries.

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Sarah Joslyn
I’m more likely to answer to Sars than Sarah. That’s because years ago my brothers started calling me Sars and, as the name implies, it was infectious. I’m a self-proclaimed writer-photographer-Jesuslover-painter-adventurer-foodie. I have a near obsession with ending injustice and I’m a sucker for a good cause. I blog about life and building a tiny house at sometimesscreaminghelps.com.
Sarah Joslyn
Sarah Joslyn

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Sarah Joslyn
  • And thank God for Sarah, with her joy like a fire hose!

    • Sarah Joslyn

      Michele, you are such an encouragement to me. Thank you.

  • Christina S

    wow. This is so beautiful written and so true. It makes me smile and teary and looses the lid on my heart. Thank you Sarah.

    • Sarah Joslyn

      Oh wow, thank your Christina. xoxo

  • Kerri L. Banister Holferty

    Sarah – I love Februaries too and for many of the same reasons – our mountain, the sunshine and its still light out when I get off work! including its my birthday month too 🙂 This – These text threads remind me there is not a border in the space between holy and human. Between sacred and secular. Between grief and joy. – so resonates with me. Thank you for sharing your words with us!

    • Sarah Joslyn

      Thank you, Kerri. And I’m so glad you also think February is the BEST.

  • I love this! February here in Colorado is fickle. Some years, it is bitterly cold, with no snow to redeem it. This year is mild. Today, I have the windows open and am watering our trees. February is the start of tax season for my husband, of long hours and solo parenting for me. But it is also short and the start of Lent, which is a time of recalibration. I love your Ode to February and the reminder of joy spilling out in the midst of despair.

    • Sarah Joslyn

      Oh Lent! That too. See? It’s the best.

      xoxo

  • fiona lynne

    Yours is the second message that’s reached me today about allowing joy, embracing celebration. I think I need to listen. Because this joy you describe is resistance too, it’s resurrection too. Love you and your voice and your passion.

    • Sarah Joslyn

      YES! THIS IS RESISTANCE TOO! I love you.

  • I lived for years in the Pacific Northwest so I know exactly what you mean. Yes, it seems so many events and times of life have both sorrow and joy intermingled. Maybe because both are needed to keep us hopeful and compassionate.

    • Sarah Joslyn

      That is true. Both are needed.