When you live a life like this you have to find joy in the big things as well as the small things. The last two weeks have been stressful weeks for our family. Tiring, long weeks. We returned home from two weeks of traveling yesterday to an agent waiting to do a background check on C's previous boss. It was just bad timing. I was tired, the boys were tired, C needed to get some training in. It's a wonder I didn't close the door in his face and crush his badge. I guess I was just too tired to be snappy. I wanted the day to end. I wanted to get into my own bed and just sleep. Nothing was going to make this day better except its ending.
Many months ago, I called to check on a friend of mine. We haven't seen each other in nearly two years but we keep in touch. I will never forget that phone call and hearing her voice when she told me the news. She was half way through her pregnancy and baby Lily was most likely not going to make it. If she did, she would have a difficult life. There were complications - many complications. Her husband wasn't there. And she was facing that possibility without him. I wanted nothing more but to get on a plane and fly to Tennessee and hug her.
There is no telling how many tears were shed that night - between the both of us. I do not believe I have ever cried as much as I did then. To not be able to help. To not be able to physically be there. To not be able to have her husband be there. It tore me apart in the worst way. To know how badly she was hurting. To know that I had never faced what she was facing. To know no mother ever should.
There can only be tears.
Yesterday I heard the news. Lily was born - perfectly sized, perfectly healthy, perfectly beautiful. She is a miracle.
And to make it more amazing - her daddy was there.
I cried and I cried and I cried. There was just so much joy. A woman months before faced the possibility of losing her little girl that she had never met, without her husband beside her. And yesterday, he sat right beside her as perfect little Lily came into the world - very much alive, very much perfect. A perfect child of God.
It is so easy in this life to be beaten down. To grow tired of the journey. To focus on the negative. And then there are moments like this that we celebrate. When we are reminded that He has a plan. That He brings us through it. That He will not abandon us. Because her daddy got to hold Lily - not months after her birth, not weeks after she learned to smile, not after she first learned to roll, or sit up, or crawl but right as she entered this world. So much joy. So much to be grateful for.
We have to celebrate this life because it isn't always easy, it isn't always what we want it to be, but it is a beautiful life when we choose to embrace it. Hold onto the joy. It will get your through.
"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown
"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.