Choosing Joy

July 24, 2017

I’m stepping out of my comfort zone today and allowing myself to be completely vulnerable and transparent with y’all. I’ve been a Believer basically my whole life, but I’m daily learning and being taught things in my walk with Jesus. This pregnancy, this season of life is no different. I have had to surrender so much to Him, so much that is out of my control, and choose joy.

I’ve mentioned before that our first pregnancy resulted in a missed miscarriage. There were no signs or symptoms, only the lack of a heartbeat at a routine ultrasound. It completely rocked our world and, in that moment, stole our joy. That tiny life that we were so excited for had been taken from us. We wondered “why us?”, we cried, we were worried of what this meant for subsequent pregnancies, but we still pressed into Jesus because we knew that He was not surprised by this like we were. James 1:2 tells us to “count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds” so we did our best to do just that. We were thankful that we were able to get pregnant and thankful that God was in control, and thankful for the life that I carried for just over 8 weeks. The enemy was waiting in the wings though, waiting for the next chance to steal our joy.


I went on to have two healthy, uncomplicated, full-term pregnancies that resulted in two beautiful baby boys. But worry crept in a lot, especially in my first pregnancy after the miscarriage. I held my breath at every ultrasound and every time I had to pee. I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. When we found out that Atlee was a boy, I was worried about raising two little men in today’s world (still have those worries at times). The enemy kept creeping in, feeding me lies and worry, and stealing my joy. I knew that he had no control over my pregnancies and over my life. I knew that I was bought with the blood of Jesus and I prayed daily (and still do) over my sons’ lives, but he has a funny way of hitting you when you’re most vulnerable. And I was vulnerable.


Fast forward to April of this year when we found out that we were expecting our third. My excitement and joy quickly turned to anxiety and doubt. I had read so many stories of genetic abnormalities that resulted in infant death mere hours after birth, I read so many stories of late term loss of pregnancy and still birth, I had the thought that “there’s no way I can have a third healthy baby”, I was, once again, waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. But God being faithful reminded me of His goodness. While these things do happen because of the fallen world that we live in, the thoughts and feelings that I was having were not of Him or from Him. The enemy was planting these untruths into my mind and heart, and stealing my joy. Through scripture, talks with Justin, and friends God reminded me that He is in control, He loves me, He loves this baby, and He works all things for my good and His glory! No matter what!


You would think that after that epiphany I wouldn’t worry anymore. Wrong! As soon as we found out we were having a girl, I immediately started worrying about raising her. Would I be a good mom to a girl? I only know boy mom things! How do I raise a girl in today’s scary world?! Every worry imaginable popped into my head in the 60 seconds after the ultrasound tech said “it’s a girl”. It took me several days to truly grasp the reality that we were going to be parents to a little girl. Once again, I was reminded of His goodness and grace. He has a plan for our little girl’s life just like He has a plan for the lives of her two older brothers. We may not always have the answers in raising her, but we know where the answers and the wisdom we will need come from.

This Thursday I go in for my anatomy scan. We opted out of all genetic testing for all of our babies, so the anatomy scan is our glimpse to see if the baby is healthy and growing and forming properly. I’d be lying if I said I was dominating this spiritual battle. Countless prayers are being said over this precious little girl and I trust Jesus with her life, but the joy stealing worry is in the back of my mind. I’m not allowing myself to “google” anything before Thursday because as great as the World Wide Web is, it can also be one of the biggest stealers of joy ever!


I’m going into this week choosing to focus on the miracle that God saw fit to give us, to show us His glory through. I am choosing to let the “joy of the Lord be my strength.” Does that mean that I’m going to be filled with a happy-go-lucky sense of cheer? Not entirely, that’s not the kind of joy this is. This kind of joy is an indescribable peace that comes only from Jesus and being reminded of His love, grace, mercy and power. I’m choosing to surrender my worries to God and remembering His goodness in ALL things.


If you are dealing with fears or worry that come with pregnancy or if you’ve recently walked through pregnancy loss, know that you’re not alone. I am praying with you and for you, for the peace that passes ALL understanding, that you’ll be filled with joy, and that you’re daily reminded of God’s love for you!


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