“Joy Comes In The Morning” by William & Gloria Gaither

This song is special to me.  It goes along with Post Gaudius Luctus – Joy Succeeds Sorrow.  My husband’s quartet used to sing this song.  My mom sent me the music to this song to encourage me early on, and the fact that my parents named me Joy gives it even deeper meaning to me.  Shortly after my first laparoscopy – my first “darkest hour” in discovering I had Stage IV endometriosis – my mother-in-law called me and said she was listening to this song in her car and she just cried as she realized this song was for me.  “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5b

Joy Comes In The Morning

Words by William J. & Gloria Gaither

 

If you’ve knelt beside the rubble of an aching, broken heart,

When the things you gave your life to fell apart,

You’re not the first to be acquainted with sorrow, grief or pain,

But the Master promised sunshine after rain.

 

To invest your seed of trust in God in mountains you can’t move,

You have risked your life on things you cannot prove;

But to give the things you cannot keep for what you cannot lose

Is the way to find the joy God has for you.

 

Hold on, my child, joy comes in the morning;

Weeping only lasts for the night.

Hold on, my child, joy comes in the morning;

The darkest hour means dawn is just in sight.

Hold on, my child!

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Post Gaudius Luctus – Joy Succeeds Sorrow

I would like to wish away the tears that come unexpectedly, without warning, seemingly without reason. 

Yes, I cry for the baby girl – we – my husband, my son, and I want to add to our family but aren’t really pursuing. 

But is that all my tears represent, after all this time?

I remember the tears, just like the tears someone is crying today. 

I cry for others.   

I cry for the woman who is viewing her ultrasound for fibroids, cysts, or endometriosis – instead of viewing an ultrasound of a growing embryo in her uterus. 

I cry for the woman alone in the waiting room of her OB-GYN waiting for her next pap smear – instead of waiting to hear the measurements and heartbeat of her growing baby.

I cry for the woman who miscarried after IVF – instead of hearing the hCG levels after IVF were rising beautifully in the right direction. 

I cry because I have been there.

But then I pray for them.

I remember the joy. 

I pray for joy for them, too.

Post gaudia luctus.  That’s Latin for “joy succeeds sorrow.”  Several verses in Scripture confirm this.     

Jeremiah 31:13b “for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.”

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on this verse: Those are comforted indeed whom God comforts, and may forget their troubles when he makes them to rejoice from their sorrow, not only rejoice after it, but rejoice from it their joy shall borrow luster from their sorrow, which shall serve as a foil to it; and the more they think of their troubles, the more they rejoice in their deliverance. 

Psalm 126:5 “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” 

Matthew Henry’s Commentary: Suffering saints are in tears often; they share in the calamities of human life and commonly have a greater share in them than others.  But they sow in tears; they do the duty of an afflicted state and so answer the intentions of the providences they are under.  They shall have a harvest of joy.  The troubles of the saints will not last always, but when they have done their work, shall have a happy period. 

Psalm 30:5b “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. 

Matthew Henry’s Commentary: If weeping endureth for a night, and it be a wearisome night, yet as sure as the light of the morning returns after the darkness of the night, so sure will joy and comfort return in a short time, in due time, to the people of God. 

“Our joys are made better if there be sorrow in the midst of them.  And our sorrows are made bright by the joys that God has planted around about them.  The flowers may not be pleasing to us, they may not be such as we are fond of plucking, but they are heart flowers, love, hope, faith, joy, peace – these are flowers which are planted around about every grave that is sunk in the Christian heart.” 

Streams in the Desert, April 25

 

Join the Movement. Apply the Ointment.

2013-bloggers-challenge-badge NIAW

I am trying to make a difference in the lives of people with infertility.  I know how it feels.  I know how it hurts.  I have one son, yet infertility is still with me.  I can’t take away my infertility nor can I take away your infertility.  But I can apply the ointment to help alleviate the pain of infertility.

In one word, the ointment is Jesus.

Assuage – I like that word even though I don’t use it in my everyday vocabulary! It means to lessen the intensity of something that pains or distresses.

Through prayer, His Word, a caring friend, a compassionate family member, a song, a devotion, a sermon, and a blog, Jesus applies the ointment to assuage your pain of infertility.  He soothes your troubled soul, calms your anxious heart, comforts your disappointed spirit, and quiets your fears.

National Infertility Awareness Week isn’t just a week to make others (who seem unaware of infertility) aware of infertility. This week causes me to reflect on where I have been and praise God for what He has done in my life through this trial of infertility.  In a sense, this week I relive the pain to relieve the pain for others who are hurting.  This year, I purpose to apply the salve to the women I personally know who are experiencing infertility by praying for them and encouraging them more consistently.

The word ointment comes from the Latin word unguere, meaning to anoint.  When Jesus applies the ointment to our hurting hearts, He is choosing or consecrating us to do the same for others who are hurting.

I do hope for you the joy a baby can bring.  I also pray that you will receive the ointment that can bring you joy as you journey through infertility.

On January 15,2010, I started my blog, due in part to the following devotion I had read four days earlier on January 11 from Streams in the Desert.  I had written in my Streams journal on that day in 2002, realizing I did need training to be a comforter and there would be others down the road that I could help just as someone helped me.

 

Streams in the Desert, January 11th

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.”
Isaiah 40:1

Store up comfort.  This was the prophet’s mission.  The world is full of comfortless hearts, and ere thou are sufficient for this lofty ministry, thou must be trained.  And thy training is costly in the extreme; for, to render it perfect, thou too must pass through the same afflictions as are wringing countless hearts of tears and blood.  Thus thy own life becomes the hospital ward where thou art taught the divine art of comfort.  Thou art wounded, that in the binding up of thy wounds by the Great Physician, thou mayest learn how to render first aid to the wounded everywhere.  Dost thou wonder why thou art passing through some special sorrow?  Wait till ten years are passed, and thou wilt find many others afflicted as thou art.  Thou wilt tell them how thou hast suffered and hast been comforted; then as the tale is unfolded, and the anodynes applied which once thy God wrapped around thee, in the eager look and the gleam of hope that shall chase the shadow of despair across the soul, thou shalt know why thou wast afflicted, and bless God for the discipline that stored thy life with such a fund of experience and helpfulness.  Selected.

“God does not comfort us to make us comfortable, but to make us comforters.”  Dr. Jowett

They tell me I must bruise

The rose’s leaf,

Ere I can keep and use

Its fragrance brief.

~~~

They tell me I must break

The skylark’s heart,

Ere her cage song will make

The silence start.

~~~

They tell me love must bleed,

And friendship weep,

Ere in my deepest need

I touch that deep.

~~~

Must it be always so

With precious things?

Must they be bruised and go

With beaten wings?

~~~

Ah, yes! by crushing days,

By caging nights, by scar

Of thorn and stony ways,

These blessings are!

I’ve No Cause For Worry Or For Fear

Three weeks ago today, I found myself in my car, parked outside a medical building that I had not been to in over 10 years.  Although it was years ago, I remember sitting in my car in that same parking lot, crying about results from an exam I had just had.  I wrote about that in Joy-Tester.

I was unable to hold back my tears.  My emotions were right on the surface, only this time the tears were for a blood test I was about to take.  I tried to evaluate my response and wondered, “Why am I losing control this time?”  It was simply worry and fear.  Worry about the future.  Fear that the test might reveal results I didn’t want to accept, which led me to worry about what could happen after that.  As a young child, I trusted Christ as my Savior, yet didn’t my worry and fear translate that I couldn’t trust Him with my current or future circumstances – with whatever His will is for my life?

Fear is defined as a strong emotion caused by anticipation of danger or anxious concern.  Worry is similar, meaning mental distress resulting from concern usually for something impending or anticipated.  Yet as Carolina Sandell Berg penned in the song, Day By Day, “I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.”

Why?  Because faith’s sweet consolation is my comfort.  “God never gives feeling to enable us to trust Him; God never gives feeling to encourage us to trust Him; God never gives feeling to show that we have already and utterly trusted Him.  God gives feeling only when He sees that we trust Him apart from all feeling, resting on His own Word, and on His own faithfulness to His promise.”  (Streams, September 26).  Faith alleviates my feelings and emotions.  Faith moves me forward to the next step.

Picture a little girl who is scared of the path ahead, but still, she looks up and takes her daddy’s hand and starts to walk with him.  She doesn’t have to be afraid.  She just needs to trust.  We must put our hand in the hand of God just like that and trust He will lead us, even if we don’t know where we are headed.

“The clinging hand of His child

makes a desperate situation a delight to Him.” 

Streams in the Desert, October 14

I have since gotten the results of my test, and although there are still unknowns, I can honestly say I have not worried or been fearful about the situation anymore.   I’ve been where you are: desperately wanting to have a baby, and now that I’m on the other side, it is easy for me to say, “have faith, rejoice, and trust.”  While that is true, this recent experience brought me back to a place where I could remember what it’s like to be IN that moment where you are right now.  I had to trust Him then and I have to trust Him now.

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow,

it only saps today of its joy.”

Leo Buscaglia in Zig Ziglar’s Something to Smile About

The Joy Of Encouragement by David Jeremiah

 What is a wounded soul but one aching for hope?

Redirect a life.

 Unlock the Power of Building Others Up

You wield the power to heal the hurting. 

You hold the words to affirm the doubting.

Several years ago, my husband recommended I listen to a series about encouragement on Dr. David Jeremiah’s radio broadcast.  It was such a blessing to me, that I promptly ordered his book, The Joy Of Encouragement.  Since I recently shared some thoughts on becoming a self- encourager, I want to recommend my main source – this book and its study guide.  Dr. Jeremiah will share how to encourage and how not to encourage anyone you know – your husband, your children, your friends, your fellow church members, and a world that needs to know about the love of Jesus.

You may request a copy of the book by giving a donation in any amount by clicking on this link:  The Joy Of Encouragement by David Jeremiah.  You can also order a study guide through Amazon.com or other places online.  Be sure to find out whether you are ordering the actual book or study guide.  I ordered a book on Amazon thinking I would give it to a friend, but instead it was the study guide, so I kept it for myself!  I recommend this book to anyone who is hurting or to anyone who wants to learn how better to encourage someone who is going through a difficult time.

The Joy of Encouragement is an uplift in itself. 

You’ll find yourself basking in God’s love while giving it away.

Don’t Ignore Your Support System – My Thank You Notes

The 2012 theme for National Infertility Awareness Week, “Don’t Ignore,” first caused me to look back on the wounds of infertility, the times when I felt ignored in my condition, stung by the words and actions or inactions of people in their ignorance.  However, it didn’t take long for me to also reflect on the people who did not ignore me.  We all have a system of support, if we will avail ourselves to it.  I am thankful we didn’t go through this trial of infertility alone.  Thank you, my support system, the wonderful people and resources God has brought into my life in my time of need.

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your omnipresence and your Word. 

For the times when I felt alone, You were always there.  When my heart was feeling overwhelmed, You comforted me through Psalms and other Scripture.  When I felt like no one understood, You preserved examples in the Bible we could learn from, like Sarah and Hannah, who also experienced barrenness.

Thank you for my husband.

You were and still are my protector and greatest source of strength and faith.  Thank you that we went through this trial together and came out of it with our faith and marriage still strong. 

Thank you for our loving parents, who hurt when we hurt and rejoiced when we rejoiced. 

In addition to being there to give hugs when we needed them, you prayed for us.  You sent cards and shared songs that were meaningful on this journey.  Mom, you helped me see God’s purposes in my trial of infertility.  Mom (in-law), you gave me my favorite written resource besides the Bible, my first copy of Streams in the Desert – a godsend!

Thank you for our loving family. 

Our brothers and sisters, your love and support with your prayers, phone calls, notes of encouragement, and thoughtfulness meant so much.  You also exhibited faith by saving all those baby things to pass on to me, generosity when turning your home into a bed and breakfast for me during my stays for IVF, empathy when experiencing secondary infertility and loss, and compassion in trying to be a part of the solution.  Our aunts and uncles, your notes and prayers encouraged us, as well as your efforts to help us find solutions to build our family.

Thank you for the spiritual authority you placed in our lives.

My pastor and his wife:  You loved us and prayed for us.  I am especially grateful you preached about joy from the Book of Philippians, the first series of messages God used for good in my trial of infertility.  You shared personal experiences and later caused me to face the difficult questions, like making sure God didn’t want us to have just one child.

After our preacher retired from the pastoral ministry, I became equally thankful for our new pastor and his wife:  Even though (or perhaps because) you were blessed seven children, you showed compassion for us.  God gave us peace and direction through you when we turned to you for counsel.  And most recently, I am thankful for your messages, the current series on the Life of Joseph – God Meant It For Good.  My pastor’s wife: You also shared godly wisdom in teaching me to think about different aspects concerning infertility and the treatment of it.  You offered hugs and a listening ear when I needed them most.  Thank you for your prayers on our behalf.

Thank you for the women who shared their stories of infertility with me and gave me hope. 

You gave me hope that I would also experience what it was like to be a mommy someday.  You remembered me on Mother’s Day, took me to doctor appointments, asked how things were going, listened to the Lord’s prompting to pray over us, hugged me, cried with me, sent cards, helped me realize I could be thankful I experienced infertility in a time when fertility treatment options like IVF were available.  You showed me I could stay encouraged, stay in His Word, and praise Him.

Thank you for the women who encouraged me while also going through struggles of infertility.

It was hard because some of you got pregnant before me.  But even harder was when I got pregnant and some of you were still barren.  I am blessed with friends like you who shared what helped you, like the website Hannah’s Prayer (http://www.hannah.org/).  You helped me realize secondary infertility was difficult, too.  You offered prayers, hugs, a listening ear, positively uplifting encouragement, and helped me see it is about trusting God and His plan for our lives, though it may not mirror the plan we had envisioned.

Thank you for the people we were privileged to teach.

It warmed our hearts when we heard some of our four-year old boys in Sunday school were praying for us to have a baby.  You heard it from your parents and that was special.  When we started teaching young-married couples, a few young moms gave me precious cards on Mother’s Day.  I saw God had given me children in that you considered me a spiritual mom.  Several of you encouraged me in my own trial even though you had gone through different but very difficult trials in your own pregnancies and deliveries.  One of you even wrote a poem for me on Mother’s Day, “What Makes A Mother.”  I am thankful for each of your testimonies during your difficult trials.

Thank you for showing me others who were hurting.

I am thankful for you who I felt suffered and sacrificed more than I, but through you I saw God uses the difficulties of others to teach us the same lessons and to have compassion.  My Streams in the Desert helped me so much that I wanted to give a copy to everyone who was hurting.  One of you shared with me that devotional and my gesture in giving it helped you make sense of your own trial.

Thank you for my friends and my church – the people I consider my family and my friends.

You gave me continuous support, a listening ear, cards and notes of encouragement, and fervent prayers.

Thank you…

To my friend who prayed God would give me the desire of my heart.  He did!

To my friend who did make eye contact with me while you opened gifts at your baby shower – I didn’t have to ask why, for I saw the compassion in your eyes and knew you were hoping I could experience this one day, too.

To my friend who mailed me a care package when you knew I had experienced disappointment in fertility treatments.

To my friend who was concerned enough about my struggle to ask someone who had experienced infertility to help me.

To my friend who realized I had a difficult time at that one particular ladies meeting in your home and you encouraged me with a sweet note instead of ignoring my pain.

To my friend who offered a big hug and a listening ear when I lost it in the choir one day.

To my friend who prayed for a bundle of joy for us, and knowing you’re a prayer warrior that meant a lot.

To my friend who made me a JOY bookmark for me when the Lord prompted you to think of me.

To my friend who prayed and wanted me to be pregnant almost as badly as I wanted to.

To my friend who gave me a sweet kiss on the cheek and a hug when you noticed my tears in church one day.

To my friends who sent cards and prayed after my surgeries for endometriosis.

To my friend who wrote me a sweet note of compassion when you noticed my sorrow in church one day.

To my friend who took an interest in our desire to add to our family while I was trying to encourage you in your journey.

To my friend who confirmed God allows different trials of infertility in our lives and knows what each of us can handle.

To my friend who prayed for that baby girl; for all I know, you haven’t stopped.

Thank you for helpful online resources, like  RESOLVE (http://www.resolve.org/) and the many websites and blogs devoted to helping those who are experiencing infertility. 

You offer support and a voice for us.  You are a place we turn to when we need or want to keep things private.

Thank you, all of you, for bringing me joy in my journey.

I Prayed For You Today

One July morning, the Lord gave me a verse, a hope to cling to, a quiet confidence.  That day was July 23, 2000.  The 23rd day of every month will always be one of my favorite days.  You can call me sentimental.  I am.  Before God gave us our son, every day that I realized was the 23rd day of the month brought me hope and faith.  Now it brings me joy, and I praise Him.

I wrote about this in one of my earlier posts:  Psalm 113:9 God’s Promise.  If you read 5 Psalms a day each month, you will come to Psalms 111-115 on the 23rd day.   That particular day on July 23rd in 2000, I read Psalm 113:9 – “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.  Praise ye the Lord.”

Most months, the 23rd day passed without incident, but sometimes – a couple of times a year – that day proved to be very difficult regarding our infertility.  I would look to God for hope or encouragement or reassurance and realize it was the 23rd.  If I had missed reading Psalms that day, I would soon realize what verses I would be covering.  It would make me smile – or smile and cry at the same time.  I knew God was still in control, and my heart would be comforted.

I want you to know you can count on me to be praying for you on the 23rd day of every month until you have a baby.  I pray for the barren women I know by name and their particular situation or specific prayer request.  Even if I don’t know you by name, I pray for everyone who has subscribed to my blog or who might read this post and beg God to do the same for you and turn your hope and faith into joy and praise.

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