Our Stories: He is where the joy is

Contributed Community

By Lindsey Carr

In the weeks leading up to the birth of our second daughter, I began grieving.  I began to say “goodbye” to almost every expectation I had surrounding her birth.  Our first daughter was born while we lived in California, separated by thousands of miles from everyone in our family.  This time, we were really looking forward to everyone getting to meet our baby much earlier.  I had to let go of the picture I had of our girls meeting at the hospital, the scene we had hyped up to our two-year-old for months.  Even just the feeling of safety at the hospital seemed to be gone; we wanted in and out and back to the shelter of our home as quickly as possible.

I had many days of feeling sorry for myself over the current situation.  I shed more tears than I’d like to admit.  And then I thought of my daughter.  I realized that I didn’t want to one day be telling her about how I dreaded her birth because it wasn’t going to be what I had planned.  I wanted to feel nothing but joy over this new little life.  I got a journal and I wrote what I would want her to one day read.  I told her about the world in which we’re living.  I told her about what I had dreamed for her birth.  But I also told her about the song that had been on repeat in my head – “Because He Lives.”  How sweet to hold a newborn baby and feel the pride and joy He gives.  But greater still, that calm assurance, this child can face uncertain days because He lives.

Uncertain days?  For sure.  Not ones I ever imagined we would see.  The world she was born into was not one we were even familiar with.  Unprecedented.  Quarantine.  Out of an abundance of caution.  Flatten the curve.  Shelter in place.  Words and phrases rarely used before were now commonplace.  

The morning of her birth, I was cleaning groceries that were left on our front porch by someone in a mask.  We were cutting it close getting to the hospital because of how long that took!  When we got to the door of the hospital, we were met by people wearing masks, and had our temperatures taken before we could even be admitted; my husband was initially told he had a fever and couldn’t go in.  Thankfully, he was able to convince them he was hot just from the rush to get out the door, and walking slowly across the hot parking lot.  We wouldn’t have believed any of that would be part of our day had you told us a few months prior.

BUT GOD.  God has reminded me throughout that He knew Emmalyn’s birthday long before she was even a dream of ours.  He knew the state of the world she would be born into.  He knew her first glimpse of us would be in masks.  He knew who would and wouldn’t be present in her earliest days. He knew all of this, and still, April 9, 2020, is the day He chose to be her birthday, and I don’t believe that’s a coincidence.  He’s just as much in control today as He was before this virus took over our world.  He is where our hope lies.  He is why we don’t give up when all seems to be falling apart.  He is why we can see lost expectations as grace.  He is kindness even in the dark days.  And He is where the joy is.

Lindsey Carr lives in Cumming with her husband Grayson and daughters Avonlea and Emmalyn.

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