At 11 months

Catalina is nearly 1 year old. Has it passed that quickly? It’s been 11 months of loving my baby through sleepless nights and soiled diapers.

At the same time last year I was stressing out about the realities of giving birth to a fifth child. I got through that and then came the challenge of her first month. Confined twice, once for an unknown bacterial infection and then for pneumonia a month later. But now look at her. I am amazed at how God makes all things beautiful in his time. For all the heartaches and pains he allows in our lives, there is a season of rejoicing that follows when we hope in him.

It was this hope that kept me afloat when I was lost in the darkness of uncertainty, when I was a mother gripped by anguish at the sight of her sickly child. Had it not been for hope’s warm light illuminating the tunnel of my consciousness, I would have given in to the blackening despair.

I was the saddest I had ever been, looking listlessly at white walls, past the point of tears. Edric feared that I was disappearing, emotionally speaking. But my Savior, my harbinger of hope, in a hospital room where I thought myself alone in sorrow, broke through my night with the affirmation of his presence.

It happened in an instant, while I watched my baby wearing her tubes and monitors lying quietly in her plastic crib. I said in my heart, “Surely now you are here with me as you have promised that you would always be. I believe it and I claim it.” And then I knew he was. There was no apparition. But I was convinced that he was watching it all unfold, his eyes upon me through the tempest. They were upon my sleeping child. We were the fixed mark of his love.

Then a peace and a calm that only he could bring entered into the arena with me. I had a fighting chance against the oppressive grief. In time, those dark days ebbed away. On the hope of his presence, I survived. As the weeks became months, the joy returned. His joy.

Sometimes on the path to joy, we must pass through the pain, the loneliness, and the darkness. It is during those shadowed moments when humanity’s weighted sorrows feel larger than us that we tend to reach for God. And finding Him we find the answer to our questions, the calm to our fears, the balm to our wounds, the satisfaction to our longings, the hope to our despair, the heaven to our hell.

I do not know the rest of my child’s story. But I am enjoying where it’s at right now. This page of her history declares that God is good and faithful. His doings are often mysterious to my finite mind but they are directed towards the same end — that I should know him, obey him, love him, and serve him, and lead others to do the same.

For all its turns, valleys and precipices, its narrow ways and indiscernible paths, I would not trade this life for any other as long as God is with me. He is the Lover of my soul, my all-knowing, all-powerful, all-present Savior, Redeemer and Friend. To know him is to know joy, and in him is a life of joy!

O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD,
Let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving,
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the LORD is a great God
And a great King above all gods,
In whose hand are the depths of the earth,
The peaks of the mountains are His also.
The sea is His, for it was He who made it,
And His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let us worship and bow down,
Let us kneel before the LORD our Maker.
For He is our God,
And we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand.
Today, if you would hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts
… (‭Psalms‬ ‭95‬:‭1-8‬ NASB)

7 thoughts on “At 11 months

  1. I, too, went through despairing moments alone in a prayer room in a hospital in a foreign country while my sister lay in the ICU bed next door, attached to machines and monitors, fighting for her life after a car accident. I remember desperately crying and praying that she survives, not knowing how she will be in the next hour or minute but in one fleeting moment the good Lord gave me peace and said everything was going to be okay and that He is in command. I believed, I trusted and now my sister is alive and going through therapy to get back on her feet. Thank you, Joy, for always sharing your thoughts and experiences for others to learn and be inspired with.

  2. “Sometimes on the path to joy, we must pass through the pain, the loneliness, and the darkness.” That line speaks a lot.

    I am following your blog and it inspires me. Thank you.

  3. Tears me up, this Shakespeare sounding post as it brings to mind an old hymn by the Haven of Rest Quartet

  4. Deat Joy,
    God’s timing is always perfect.
    Last week I gave birth to my second daughter, Natalia. After a joyous first day, she had to be confined to the NICU on her 2nd day because of episodic desaturation of oxygen and cyanosis (she turns blue at times). She’s been there for a week now but her condition is still a mystery. The doctors have yet to uncover the cause. Specialists for the heart, neuro, GI, neonatology, etc. have had a look at her and she’s gone through many tests and procedures but last Tuesday My husband and I finally decided to check out without her due to financial constraints. It’s hard leaving her in the hospital and coming home without her in my arms. I feel like crying many times a day because of the uncertainty of the situation and because I just miss her so much. This entry gives me so much hope and strength to just hang in there and trust in God’s plans for our family. Thank you for writing this. Please pray for my daughter.

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