People tell me thay are amazed at the joy I have despite my circumstances. Honestly, I dont feel like I exude all that much of this word- “joy”- on a regular basis. I certainly wouldn’t list it as one of my top 5 emotions…though I wish it were most of the time.
People say I find joy even in the hard. I don’t even know if its true or, if it is, how I do it. Honestly, its hard to believe me exuding joy…yet this is what I keep hearing.
All I do is try to do each day is live. Survive. Make it through.
I dont smile often. You wont catch me jumping up and down over, well…anything. I am anything but the character that I imagine from the movie “Inside Out”, who bounces and jumps and always smiles and is the epitome of happiness and joy.
So how can I be considered joyful?
Sometimes i wonder about this word Joy-what is it? Really?
Is it a choice? Perhaps an emotion? A circumstansial happening?
What is the true meaning of these three simple letters: J-O-Y?
A pastor once defined Joy as
“Inward confidence over outward experiences”.
It is in this definition that I can start to see how people may consider this bereft mother “joyful”.
I do have confidence in God.
I have deep confidence in His getting me through this.
I have this inner peace that despite my fickle, surface, daily worries…that He has me, held safely in his hand. He wont let me fail. He wont let me fall.
And if I jump out of His safe hand, because I ‘know better’, he will pick me back up and nurse me back to health.
I have confidence in the one who has helped me to survive days and months of being a mother to child I can’t hold, who has not only helped me in that, but has helped me to endure through being that mother, and still trying to be a mother for the children I have here, he has helped me to survive being a wife, find a way to be a supporter. He has spoken between my husband and I when there just werent words. He has been working in every friendship, He has helped me find myself, and figure out who I am…or at least begin that process. I have done things I never would have even imagined doing…most especially on my own. All because of Him.
My confidence in the ability of God does not shake me. I know, without a doubt, that He is in me and is holding me- through it all.
As mothers of these babies, we want to (myself included) use about every excuse we can find as to why we aren’t joyful, or kind, or happy, or excited, or any nuber of a million other emotions…
And, dear mama, hear me in this- they are all valid.
You are allowed 110% to use any excuse you please. Child loss is incomprehensable to anyone who has not walked this path. Some will think they can relate, as they have lost one close to them…but they can’t. It’s a club all to its own. A club that none of us wishes we were in. And everyone thats “in” wants “out”.
Yet here we are. Together. Grieving. Understanding. Supporting. Learning. Growing. Doing Life. Surviving.
You have the right to use any excuse…but you have a decison to make at each bend in the road. To use the excuse. Or not to.
Maybe us finding joy is simply in choosing to “do” versus “not do”. Maybe its something deep within us that whispers”you can’t give up”. Perhaps it is the ‘something’ deep inside us that keeps us going yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Maybe it’s in surviving this. Maybe it’s in continuing to simply live this life here on earth.
Maybe its having the confidence to keep on going despite the hell we’ve been through… And proving to others that not even this Hell can defeat a mama who chooses Joy.