Holding on to Joy

joy of the LordFor years I prayed for a baby.  I prayed so hard and I cried each month when it didn’t happen.  I didn’t know what to do when we were told it never would happen.  I was devastated and prayed for a miracle.  And I am so beyond blessed today to say that I am just about 30 weeks pregnant with my little miracle baby boy.  I still can hardly believe it!  Every time I feel him move, or listen to his heartbeat, or look at his ultrasound pictures, or see my own growing belly, I feel such joy, happiness, and thankfulness.

And yet, despite the joy, it seems over the past month there have been numerous trials trying to steal that joy.  Things that come up and cause stress and worry and pain (all amplified by the pregnancy of course).

Things like my husband having to travel out of town again for work.

Or like my dog getting a severe infection and requiring a last minute vet visit and several medications (not to mention the costs associated with this) all while my husband was out of town.

Or my car (that was paid off mind you) going into the shop for what we thought were minor repairs only to find out the cost was outrageous and it was more economical to purchase a new (to us anyway) car.

Or contracting a bizarre skin infection that has resulted in unexpected doctor’s visits, medicine, and a few added layers of stress.

Why in the world did all this need to happen in the last trimester of pregnancy?

Despite the joy felt by my husband and myself and many friends and family members over the new baby, there is one who is not happy about the new addition at all, and that is the devil.

I am sure that the idea of new life never thrills him, especially considering how much effort he puts into getting others to end life here on earth through abortion, terrorism, suicide, murder, euthanasia.  And the fact that this baby is nothing short of a complete miracle from God?  Well I don’t think he’s very happy about our joy over all this.  And I can’t help but think that maybe this same someone is watching these little trials come my way just waiting for them to take over so that the joy over this baby inside of me is replaced with worry, fear, anger, doubt.

But I refuse to let that happen.  Because when I take a minute to look at the big picture, there is far more to be thankful for than there is to be upset about.  And those things that caused extra moments of stress?  Well when I look at them compared to all our blessings, they are really nothing at all.

It is hard when my husband has to travel.  He is my best friend and I miss spending every day with him when he is gone.  I miss making him dinners and having him beside me when I go to sleep.  Of course I feel sad sometimes while he is away.  But I am blessed to have him in my life, as my husband and as the father of our little baby coming soon.  I am blessed that he is in good health.  Blessed that he shares my faith and helps me grow stronger in it constantly.  Blessed that he has a job in the field that he studied so hard for and that his job is one that is making a positive difference in our world.  So if that job sends him out of town here and there, I can deal with that.  Compared to all the good, that is nothing!

Our dog getting sick was certainly not fun. (She ate something left behind by some stray cats that dogs are not supposed to eat…)  But she was ok.  And despite the stress it caused in the moment, it was a blessing that I had the time to take her as soon as she got sick.  A blessing that it was nothing serious and that the medicine quickly helped and she is back to normal.  A blessing that we have the ability and finances to go to the vet and take care of our little pup when needed.  And a blessing that I still have her following me around, cuddling, taking walks with me.  So who cares about a silly vet visit with all those blessings?

It was so nice to have paid off my car.  But you know what?  We will make it just fine with the new payment.  Things may be tough but there are many things we can do without when money is tight.  We are blessed now to have a safe vehicle that we don’t need to worry about driving with the baby especially on long trips to visit family out of town.  And we are blessed that we found out about the car issues while it was in the shop, not during a break down on the side of the road.

The skin infection was truly random and caused the most worry out of all these.  I was concerned about it affecting the baby and about the medicine I needed to take for it.  But I am blessed that it was on my arm where I could easily notice it and have it taken care of quickly.  Blessed that we caught it early enough that it remained topical and did not get to baby.  Blessed that modern medicine has options for treating it that are still safe for me and the baby.  And blessed that it is healing!

When I sit down and look at all these blessings (not to mention other blessings we have like our family, home, food, running water, and countless more), I realize there is truly nothing to complain about.  Nothing to worry or stress over.  God is in control and has blessed us beyond measure.

So although that thief of joy might be waiting for me to lose sight of my blessings and turn to negative thoughts instead, I refuse.  When I feel myself getting overwhelmed or stressed, I will turn to prayer and to counting my blessings to keep things in perspective and to keep holding on to that joy.  The joy that comes from having the Lord in my life, having Him beside me every step of the way, and from all that He has blessed us with.

“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength” ~Nehemiah 8:10

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12 thoughts on “Holding on to Joy

  1. MyCatholicLiving August 23, 2016 at 11:51 am Reply

    Holy smokes woman! You just blew my mind! It’s so true that we have much more to be thankful for. We just have to really open our eyes to the truth of what God gives us.
    Also congratulations on your pregnancy!! This is like the greatest news I read today. I’m so happy for you 🙂 God bless you and your family ❤

  2. Peter August 24, 2016 at 5:32 am Reply

    I too am delighted that you have shared this with us. It’s a long time since I stood by to watch my wife give birth but I am so happy to be allowed to share in your joy. God bless you and your family. He will walk with you and keep you safe at all times.

  3. Dawn Marie August 24, 2016 at 9:28 am Reply

    Beautifully written! A wonderful witness to God being present in ALL things. Prayers of thanksgiving sent your way for this New Life you will soon hold! Hugs!!

  4. inthepottershands988 August 24, 2016 at 1:53 pm Reply

    Hello there, friend! Been awhile since I’ve been on here but I am so overjoyed to hear your news! Praise God!! What a great testimony of God’s faithfulness! He is good! And to hear how you are not letting the enemy steal your joy by focusing on the great things the Lord has done is just another testimony. We may never live a life without suffering or trouble but we have a God who promises to always be with us giving us what we need to be overcomers.

    • rosesnearrunningwaters August 24, 2016 at 7:05 pm Reply

      So true…in this world there will always be suffering but with the Lord there is always joy! Thank you & God bless!

  5. Tamara August 24, 2016 at 4:45 pm Reply

    That’s awesome news!

  6. monicakay August 25, 2016 at 1:25 am Reply

    All your posts are so inspirational! Today I was complaining about my own personal struggles, but then I need to remember my blessings

    • rosesnearrunningwaters August 25, 2016 at 6:27 am Reply

      Oh thank you! It’s certainly easier said than done and I think we all find ourselves feeling down and complaining about things….I know I do! But I think counting blessings is a great way to pull out of that mindset you know? God bless!

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