Sunday, June 22, 2014

I Got the JOY

Happiness:  the state of being happy; an experience that makes you happy; a pleasurable or satisfying experience.

Happiness is...
A delicious almond joy latte
An afternoon spent in the warm sun relaxing at the beach
Seeing the ocean outside of your window
Curled up on the couch with a good book
A rainy day that forces you to be lazy and stay inside
My husband coming home from work early
The feeling I get when the house is all clean
A new haircut
Bedtime stories with Micah
A big bowl of ice cream topped with rainbow sprinkles
My husband making dinner
A massage and pedicure
Receiving a card in the mail
Micah Micah Micah
Two furry dogs greeting you when you come home
FaceTime with family

All of the above things make me one happy girl, among a million other things I'm sure.  However, happiness is fleeting.  Happiness comes and goes.  Sometimes it stays for the duration of your cup of coffee, other times it lasts for days or weeks.  There's no telling when it will hit you, or why it will hit you, but the feeling of happiness will come.

It will also go away, then what happens?  When your world comes crashing down in front of you, where do you turn?  Do you still feel happy?  Do you throw in the towel?  Do you turn into a miserable person?  Do you self-medicate?  Do you feel angry?  Are you depressed?  Can you be happy in the midst of darkness?

My perfect, content, happy, comfortable little world came crashing down on me just a few months ago.  The days I have endured thus far have been the hardest days of my life.  People call me strong and say they don't know what they would do if they were walking this journey.  People say I have a positive attitude and that our story is encouraging and uplifting, but still they don't understand how we do it.  I got one word for you.

JOY...not to be confused with happiness.

So what is this joy thing?  Remember this song from sunday school when you were a kid?
I got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart...down in my heart to stay.

The important thing about joy is that it is always present.  It is not fleeting, it is here to stay.  The best way I can create an image of joy is this:  Since we received Asher's diagnosis, our world has changed.  The grief process started, the tears came, and they still do come quite often.  I still struggle with what all of this means, but at the end of the day, I have a peace that passes all understanding.  I don't feel like I should have this peace about Asher because the what could be is truly heart wrenching.  But it is a total God thing, this peace feeling is one that I have heard of, but never truly felt.  And here in the middle of the storm, I have that peace over flowing in my heart.  I have this feeling that no matter what happens, everything is really going to be okay.  I have this inclination that I do not need to worry, that some One much greater than me is in control.  I have this feeling that even in the midst of all this darkness, something beautiful will come from all of this pain and sorrow.  And that is what I call joy in my own personal life.  I am happy about plenty of things in my life right now, but there is also a lot that has rocked me to my core, a lot that makes me unhappy and confused, but that is all okay.  I know deep down that I will be okay.

Happiness can and will be stripped away.  When it is taken away, it forces us to our knees and that is where we find the meaning of true joy.  That is where we find this "thing" that will keep us going.  So where is your joy coming from?

Alright here is the latest with sweet Asher boy.  Today marks 35 weeks.  Last week at our appointment my fluid levels were quite low.  Typically at the point in pregnancy, the levels should be between 12 and 14cm, mine were measuring at 7cm.  At 5cm is when they start to get concerned.  This could be due to Asher's kidneys.  His kidneys have always looked a little different and a little enlarged on ultrasounds, so that could be why my fluid levels are appearing lower.  With that said, we will be going back on Wednesday to check them.  Please continue to pray for us and that my fluid levels would go up so we do not have to be induced earlier.  We are not ready to meet our little guy, we know that the longer he can thrive inside of me, the better off he is.  Please continue to pray that Asher keeps fighting.  I was pretty crushed after the appointment the other day.  I feel like we have made it this far without any real complications, it was painful to hear that things were not going as well as they had been.  Please pray for Sam and I over the next few weeks as there are A LOT of emotions swirling around.  Please pray for our time with Asher, it is our ultimate goal for him to be born alive and to be able to spend some time with him.  Please pray for any decisions that may need to be made as far as Asher's care.  Thank you, we cannot thank you enough for the prayers.

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