Friday, September 5, 2014

The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength

Tonight my heart transitions from the joy and laughter of the day with my oldest littles, filled with playing and birthday donuts and trip to the store and wrestling and tickling and book reading and playtime and snack time and failed mini golf attemps and lego building and princess playing... tomorrow. It transitions to the day a year ago when I saw two pink lines and knew we were expecting for the fourth time. I tested so much that week that I had made my husband nervous about how much money we'd spent on plastic sticks. I convinced myself there was a faint line four days before I should have actually tested. I just knew. And yet, I was still in shock that it was for real.

A year ago tomorrow, I went to the doctor for a blood test and had that nerve wracking moment where you wonder if they'll look at you like an idiot and tell you it's negative. But it was positive. And I was in shock. We've always wanted a big family, but our dreams were rocked after our first, Canaan, was a miscarriage. But we were here again...growing our family...and I couldn't stop smiling on my way home to tell Alan. 

Oh the joy that surrounded that day...we skyped my mom that afternoon, and had written on the chalkboard behind on the wall each child's name and birthday, and by Chloe's put Baby 3 Due May 18. But we didn't tell my mom. We waited until she noticed. It didn't take her long, but she was shocked and elated. 

But for some reason...I'm having a hard time with this tonight. And there are tears.

Is it because we didn't get what we thought we would in the end? A perfect pink bundle to bring home? Because that's exactly what we got, she's just not home yet. It's just that our idea of perfect and society's idea of perfect isn't the same, because the world told us to abort, but we knew she was worth it.

Am I grieving the loss of what I thought life would be like with three kids? Because if I am, then I'm not being thankful for this amazing, gentle, quiet gift He's placed in our lives, and the awe of what life with three littles, one of which with special needs, will be like. And that it'll be good. Most likely, better than we ever could imagine.

Am I crying because I'm scared-because when I originally saw those two pink lines I knew what to expect, what it would be like, what another c-section would entail, what sleepless nights and nursing attempts would again be like, but now to not know what any of this bringing her home stuff will look like and doing it on our own and with nurses I that scared? Terrified is a better word. Because if so, then I'm not trusting in His amazingness. New word: Amazingness. I'm not trusting that Jesus is going to bless us with the knowledge we'll need, the medical skill we'll aquire, the wisdom to know how to care for her, the discernment to choose the right nurses. 

But would I do it again? Would I do all of this again if I knew the outcome? If I knew the worries, the anxiety, the scary pregnancy, the fear every single day that I might lose her after that 19 week ultrasound, the many weekly ultrasounds where I held my breath waiting to know if she was still ok, the sleepless tear filled nights, the hard questions, choosing to give her life even though we knew the risk of stillbirth, the days of stress eating me away so that I felt as if I wasn't fully there and present for my littles and my husband that needed me, the specialists, the trips to KC, the childcare, the roller coasters, the three coding events, the chest compressions, the tiny hand gripping my pinkie, the smiles, the diaper changes around numerous wires, the surgery consents and risks, the raised eyebrows in great approval of us stroking her fine and delicate hair, the tiny sigh of comfort during trach care, the creation of a nursery within our living room, the backaches from NICU rocking chairs and PICU couches, the amazing nurses, the intelligent doctors that make me feel pint sized and in awe of their extreme knowledge and skill, the question marks, the snuggles, and oh my word the elephants...

the not knowing what every tomorrow holds for her in our lives...


In a heartbeat. 

"Taste and see that the Lord is good." Psalm 34:8 

 "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." James 1:2-4

"Take, my soul, thy full salvation;
Rise o're sin and fear and care;
Joy to find in every station.
Something still to do or bear."
Henry Francis Lyte "Jesus I My Cross Have Taken" {vs. 5}

So through writing my thoughts out here tonight, and praying my way through this, the tears have faded, and once again I am joyful and hopeful and blessed. The video below came to mind. It's a favorite and one I know we've posted before, but begs to be remembered and watched again.

 I am thankful for those two pink lines. Will I still struggle tomorrow though...I don't know. But now, right now, I'm filled with joy and hope. Not happiness. Joy. Not sorrow, but hope. 

"We must wrestle for our blessing. We must fight for our joy."~Rend Collective

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow.


  1. I think you cry because of the journey. Because of how up and down it has all been. Because you can look back knowing you clung to life and hope rather than despair and worldly wisdom and NOW you can see that God's way was, is, and always will be right. And because women are hormonal and we cry tears of joy and grief. I'm crying too. ;)