Standing on the beach in San Diego right after finding out that the baby in my belly was a boy, God promised me joy. I felt so strongly in the moment that God was telling me that my season of sorrow would not last forever and that he does have joy in store for me. After the year of such intense grief and a heart full of worry for my unborn child, it was hard to believe that I would experience joy. But as soon as Chet’s first cries hit my ears, that promised joy rushed into my heart and onto my life. I can honestly say I have never been happier! Even with everything going on in 2020, I have never been happier.
I miss Ginny more than ever. I still often cry longing for her, but those tears are so full of love that they don’t steal my joy.
I am so incredibly proud of myself for making it through the last couple years. I’m proud of myself for surviving, for being brave enough to change my life in positive ways, for enduring pregnancy after loss, and for hoping. I’m proud of myself for listening and following the Holy Spirit even when the path wasn’t the clearest or most logical. The fruit of following the Spirit for me this year is JOY.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
Joy isn’t something you can always force (although I’ve tried RE:Joy). It is something God gives you. It runs deeper than your circumstances, but having a beautiful baby boy in your arms does help. I’m so incredibly grateful for this season. It wouldn’t be this sweet without the hardships of the last season.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!” – Psalm 126:5
I’ve been in the valley. I’ve done the hard work in processing loss. I’ve questioned “why” and wrestled in lament. I only saw darkness in my future. But God walked with me through the valley. God listened to my lament. God’s kind and patient presence lifted me out of my season of sorrow and into a season of joy that I couldn’t have imagined. It is beyond all my expectations.
If you are in a valley now, do not give up hope. God is beside you, and there is a season of joy ahead for you too.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” – Psalm 16:11