Finding Joy in the Journey
©2005, Lani Wiens
a fresh flowers original
One of my biggest questions as we’ve explored the road of suffering this summer is this. Where is the joy? We are supposed to be counting it all joy when we encounter trials because it is producing His life in us. My friends, I haven’t always found suffering to be a joyful experience. However, this week God gave me a little glimpse of how it looks.
This pregnancy has had me nauseous from the very beginning. I am deeply grateful that I never actually throw up but nausea as your constant companion does not a happy mommy make. Then there is my amazing gag reflex to top it off, prompted by raw chicken, diaper pails and laundry. Believe I it or not, I am thrilled to death to be sick. I am not so sick as to be incapacitated but feel yucky most of the time. This has not been my experience to date in any of my pregnancies. I have been one of those people who just doesn’t get sick. Not this time.
As I was talking to another pregnant friend who can’t even stand to be in her house because she’s so sick she reminded me of something her mom had told her. That sickness is a great indicator that everything is okay on the inside. Your hormones and your body are doing what they’re supposed to do. So as I gag, I rejoice, this sickness is God’s way of letting me know that my baby is okay and my body is producing life. There is joy in the suffering.
I’m ecstatic that my pants are getting too tight. Any other time of my life I would not be happy about that, but now, my jeans have given way to sweatpants and soon to those lovely panel pants, I can hardly wait. None of these things happened when I was pregnant earlier this year. I was happy that I was 10 weeks pregnant and could fit all my pants, it should have been an alarm bell in my head that things weren’t right. I am an instant expansion model and am usually putting away my regular pants by 8 weeks. I’m there now and I’m packing them up with joy!
Another example of this joy was found in the aftermath of a jam session. This jam session had nothing to do with music and everything to do with strawberries and rhubarb. I made jam this week and it tastes wonderful. My kitchen, however, did not look wonderful after I was done. There was sticky red blobs all over the place, on the pots, spoons, counters, stove, jars and on sticky happy children. That huge mess was necessary to get to the final result. There was joy in the cleaning up because there was fruit as a result of all that mess. My kids’ hard work in the strawberry fields would not go to waste, the jam is on the shelf.
Because I know that there is fruit and life as a result of mess and suffering I can have joy in the midst of it. There IS joy in the journey. Yippee!