Thursday, April 25, 2013


It doesn't always feel like joy. 
Sometimes it feels like 2:24am and you haven't gotten much sleep, but you're awakened to a crying baby who needs a(nother) bottle.  

Sometimes it feels like 6:13 in the evening and the baby is really fussy and you don't know why. 

Or sometimes it's 11:04am, and your baby is crying and you don't know why. 

Yet, there's joy
Joy because the crying baby or the fussy baby is the answer to so.many.prayers.  
Joy because the baby who smiles at you literally makes your heart leap in your chest. 
Joy because this child is a constant reminder of God's faithfulness and goodness.
Joy because, even though circumstances are not ideal, you have lots of 'extra' time with this child. 
Joy because after so many years and months of waiting and longing and praying and preparing,
he's here-in my arms.
Joy because God chose us to be the parents of this specific child. 
And to be able to have a bond with his birth family in a way that no one else ever will.   

On April 15th, I woke up with a sadness.  I was remembering a place I lived that I loved.  A place where I lived so intentionally.  Where everyday was filled with purpose and joy in knowing that I was exactly where I was supposed to be.  It was April 15, 2006 that my teammates and I had to leave that country.  We didn't want to leave.  We were sad to leave our friends, especially knowing that we might have endangered them and may never see them again.  
Ever since that day in 2006, I've lived with a sadness.  Not despair--because my hope is not in this world. Our friends were not dependent on us.  God's Name was not dependent on any people in that country, especially not the crazy American just-graduated-from-college-kids.  But I truly loved that place. And those people.  A large piece of my heart was left in that country.  So, remembering that place sometimes makes me sad.  Especially when I remember having to leave so suddenly. 
But, this year, on April 15th, as I lay in bed with our son, something happened.  Tyndall and I were 'talking', and he got so excited and made the funniest noise, I laughed.  And Tyndall laughed in response.  He didn't know he was doing it and in fact looked a little frightened at what had happened.  But, then he laughed again.  And we laughed together.  And then I cried tears of joy.  God literally turned my sadness into laughter.  The first laughter from my son happened on a morning when I was sad.  The son who we have waited for, longed for, hoped for, yearned for.  Our son was laughing with me.  What a sweet gift from my Heavenly Father.  
Ever since then, He keeps reminding me that He is the Source of joy.  He is the Giver of the gift of my son that brings me so much joy.    

The Boston tragedy happened later that day.  And then the Texas tragedy.  I was reminded that we live in a broken world.  But we're not alone in this world.  There is Joy in the sadness, in the chaos, in the brokeness. 


Sometimes, Joy overflows out of our hearts.  Sometimes, we must choose it.  Always, it is available.

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