Untapped Joy

6:34 AM

    After our loss, I started to meet a lot of people who had walked similar roads; miscarriage, infertility, even stillbirth. They knew what it was like to have a hard story. They knew what it was like to have lost something so precious, or to have never even had the chance at parenthood at all. 

The women came to me privately and quietly. Often it was a kind Facebook message or a quick word in the ear. Their age didn’t matter. Some women were well into their eighties, but they hadn’t forgotten, could never forget. Their gentle words and looks of understanding were a balm to my deeply troubled soul and answered many an unspoken question. Would I always grieve? To an extent, yes. Was there something flawed in me that my body couldn’t do what it was designed to do? No. I wasn’t alone. 

    Strangely, when I found out I was pregnant, I thought of them- the friends still in the midst of the hard part of their story. I didn't want to hurt them. Seeing pregnant women and newborns was sometimes hard for me, and I didn't want to be the cause of someone else's grief. How do you rejoice in God’s redemption without downplaying the pain someone else may still be experiencing?

  By my late twenties, I had watched nearly all my friends get married off. After that, they started to hang out more with other couples. They were in a totally different season of life, one that I didn't relate to. That hurt. When I started dating, I watched the drift happen with other single friends. Whether it was too painful for them, or I was so consumed by this new life, I don't know, but the scenario sadly repeated itself. 

    Now, I was moving into a new season yet again. Although there were definitely new friends to be made, I was so worried that I would have to leave behind those people who meant so much to me but weren't yet parents. 

   I decided to tell one of my closest friends out here first. I expected her to be kind but withdrawn. I always imagined her being a mom long before me. Her reaction completely took me by surprise. I’ll never forget her face, how she lit up when I told her the news. Instantly she wanted to know how my pregnancy was and all my plans. She listened raptly as I told her about the morning sickness and how strange it all felt. She felt just as, if not more excited than me about this new life. I could have cried for the kindness and understanding. 

How could I tell her what it meant to have someone rejoice for you when you get a victory they deserve so much themselves? She wasn’t the only one. Another friend, having found out just after lockdown, immediately met me at her door with baby clothes and beautiful gifts. I was completely overwhelmed. Both these women, taught me a lesson I’ll never forget- how to rejoice with someone else simply because of their joy.

It has been said that the greatest source of untapped joy is rejoicing with others. Romans 12:15 tells us to rejoice with those who rejoice and to mourn with those who mourn. These women who surrounded me in my pain didn’t leave me when the Lord brought healing. I’ve never seen such a picture of Jesus’ love- selfless, unchanging, kind. 

It’s challenged me in my own selfishness and caused me to reflect on my life. How would the Lord want me to react when He blesses someone else? For some strange reason, mourning with those who mourn comes a lot easier than rejoicing with those who rejoice. Often now when I catch myself envying something someone else has, their faces come to mind and remind me I am truly and deeply blessed. How I react when someone walks a difficult road is just as telling as how I am when they walk a sunny way. As God humbles and teaches me, all I can think of are His words:

“Greater love hath no man than this, that he would give his life for a friend."

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