Joy Shared is not Divided, It’s Multiplied

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Luke 1:41-45

41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 In a loud voice she exclaimed: “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! 43 But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

 

My husband Dean and I were moving to Annapolis, so I met up with my friend, Daisy, to hang out before we left. Daisy was one of those friends that entered into the sad and scary places with me. And not only that, but she struggled with infertility too. Her infertility struggle of 4 years began after Dean and I were already 3 years into ours. We had been in this journey together, crying with each other when others became pregnant…and then pregnant again…and again. It was with her I could be brutally honest about my feelings, no matter how ashamed I was of them. I had decided that if I ever got pregnant or matched with a baby through adoption I would tell her in person.

I wanted to enter into every feeling she had, no matter how sad or upsetting. I wanted to show her that I recognized my joy brought pain and I wouldn’t shame her for that pain. I wanted her to know just how much I loved her friendship and how much I wanted to be a real friend to her just like she had always been to me, which meant, entering into her pain.

But I hadn’t planned on being matched with a baby just days before my time with Daisy. Was this the time? I didn’t even know for certain the Baby would be ours. We still had 9 days left in his revocation period (the time that birth mom can change her mind)! And we had only told family, but I wouldn’t be able to see her in person before bringing the baby home (if he was to be ours), because of the move.

The whole drive there I prayed, and God said, “Trust me.”

“But, God, So many years I have worried about which one of us would be a mom first, which one of us would be ‘left behind’, and how much it would suck to be the one left and to be the one to do the leaving. (I know having a baby doesn’t mean you have to drop your non-baby having friends, that’s not what I’m saying. In the infertile world, us women, tend to remove ourselves from our baby having friends just because of how painful of a reminder it is all the time. We do it to protect our hearts.) God I’m so scared to be the bearer of “bad” news when this news is so incredibly joyful for me. How will I tell her?

“Trust my spirit within you.”

“Um…easier said than done God…going in without a plan is one of my biggest fears!”

“Elizabeth…(*God chuckles to himself*) you aren’t going in without a plan, your plan is to trust that my Holy Spirit will provide you with the words you need. That’s the best plan!”

So I went in with a plan to trust the Holy Spirit within me, and before I knew it, Daisy was crying and telling me she was 8 weeks pregnant!!!!! I hadn’t even had a chance to mention our news and here she was telling me the best news in the world and crying for the pain she was inflicting on me! But she didn’t know…she wasn’t inflicting ANY pain on me!  It still gives me chills. She was crying for me, and joyful for her, and I was just joyful!!! And then the joy burst forth from me!

“We have been matched with a baby!!!!”

Daisy and I jumped up and down, hugged, and cried together. The joy was beyond anything I have ever felt. There we were, completely unprotected by ourselves (but fully protected by God) and we were both so full of joy! It didn’t seem possible. This was greater than I could have ever imagined! I felt like I got a small glimpse of what Elizabeth and Mary felt when Elizabeth’s baby leapt in her womb at the approach of Mary’s pregnant belly.

And the best part was to come. Daisy was really nervous about this pregnancy and had not heard the baby’s heartbeat yet. She had her first ultrasound in 10 days and she was waiting for that day with bated breath. We were in the same position, waiting for the “ok” to celebrate the fulfillment of a dream and a promise from God.

But God wanted us to praise Him and experience the joy NOW and always, not in the “if…then…”statements, but in the moment. We are to praise him in the present always, because he is with us always, because his protection is with us always: Emanuel, God with us…Always. That doesn’t mean everything will work out the way we want it to, but it does mean God is good and God is good to me! It DOES mean that I can praise Him now in the joy because he is good, and I can praise him later in sorrow because he is good.

And even though Daisy was worried about the reality of her pregnancy, I was not. I was so certain this was her time and I was able to fully feel the extreme joy of this long awaited dream of hers. And although I was worried about this revocation period, Daisy was not. She was certain that this Baby was mine and she was able to fully feel the extreme joy of my situation. So the more we talked, the more I experienced the joy for myself, and vice versa. Her joy for me allowed me to experience the joy for me and my joy for her allowed her to experience the joy for herself. Together we praised our God and savior. It was like an extra awesome blessing from God to help us both experience the joy of this waiting period and we couldn’t do it without each other.

 

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