Posted Feb 20, 2023 | Share this:

“Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.” ~Philippians 2:1-2 NLT.

God is asking us to have the attitude of Christ.  It can appear to be a big demand on our lives due to Christ being perfect.  He is not asking us to be Christ but Christ-like.  Christ thought of others above Himself.  He lived a life pleasing of His Father and brought joy to all who would listen.

One of my daughters’ names is Abigail.  It means “her father’s joy.”  My husband couldn’t have been happier when she was born but he owned his joy without knowing her outcome.

Declaring before knowing does make a difference.

For many years, I have struggled with fertility issues.  During my first marriage, I had several miscarriages and then had two beautiful daughters.  When my husband and I got married, he loved my girls and wanted his own biological children as well.

We went through three years of infertility, briefly discussed adoption, and finally decided to try In Vitro Fertilization.  The doctor told us it could make or break our marriage–and he was not kidding.  My emotions were all over the place from all of the injections I was taking.  At times, my husband thought I was losing my mind.  Our lives were turned upside down but we were finally able to harvest 19 eggs.

Out of those 19 eggs, only 10 were mature enough to fertilize.  There was plenty more technical things that we had to go through but I am giving you the Cliff Notes version.

Joy often comes out of suffering.

We were required to wait for a few days to see how they continued to develop before placing any.  Once the waiting period was over, only two had continued to develop.  Both were inseminated.  Two weeks later I was scheduled for bloodwork.  The results were disappointing.

My fertility specialist informed me that I needed to prepare myself for another miscarriage because the numbers were too low.  This was on a Friday and protocol dictated that the test be repeated in Monday for verification.

We were devastated.  My husband was beside himself with grief and angry at God.  With defeat in his eyes, he surrendered to the possibility of adoption and to God’s way.  Over the weekend, we looked into adoption agencies, in the country and overseas.

Joy comes from surrender.

Monday morning, my blood was drawn and that evening they called with a different report.  My numbers had quadrupled over the weekend.  The doctor wanted me to redo the bloodwork after two more weeks but I knew what it would say.

Through surrender, our prayers were answered.  We already knew the baby would be a girl because of In Vitro, so we began the name choosing process.  We didn’t get very far.  Her name is Abigail.  Her name means “her father’s joy” and boy was he joy-filled at the news.  There was no guarantee that she would make it, though.

When we heard the results, I prayed a prayer of thanksgiving to God.  I informed Him that I would be joy-filled for any time He allowed me to have with her.  If I get a few weeks of pregnancy, I will be happy for a few weeks.  A couple of months of pregnancy, then happy for a couple of months.  If she makes it to birth, I will be happy for her delivery.  No matter how long I get her, I will be joyful.

Joy comes through tears.

When she was born, my husband and I couldn’t help but cry.  The tears flowed for several hours as we held her and shared those moments of bliss with one another.  Since her birth, there have been tough situations and learning experiences we have had to muddle through.  Joy is still present and each day gives us another chance to choose joy.

Things don’t go the way you plan.  It might not work out the way you had envisioned.  But choose joy.  Nothing can compare to the results of feeling joy.  Joy actually increases your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being.  It is the best medicine for anything that troubles you.

I choose joy, do you?

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