Monthly Archives: May 2016

Morning's Joy

When each of my children was born, God placed a word on my heart that over time I’ve come to associate with them and their journeys. Inevitably, as their mom, those words have also become part of my story.

For my first son, it was hope. He was unexpected and there was so much uncertainty surrounding his arrival. But our gracious God gently prodded me to put my hope in Him and trust in His goodness.

For my daughter, it was faithfulness. After years of unanswered prayer and heartbreak, her birth was a glorious reminder of God’s faithfulness.

For my second son, Nathan, the word was joy.

The second half of Psalm 30:5 says, “…Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes with the morning.” I can’t think of another verse in all of scripture that more adequately embodies the journey of joy Nathan and I have been on.

For starters, there was Nathan’s birth. After a difficult time with pain meds during my first son’s birth, I elected to refuse an epidural and take my chances. It was brutal. The labor nearly broke me. After hours of backbreaking labor through the night, Nathan, weighing in at a hefty 9lbs 13oz, was born in the wee hours of the morning.  And as I held him to my chest there was a powerful acknowledgment that together, we had endured a tremendous struggle. I looked at him and whispered over and over, “That was so hard.” But soon, the difficulty of the previous hours melted beautifully into one of the purest joys life offers.

“…Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

 Fast-forward a few years. Nathan started having some struggles and there were no answers to be found. First we read books and tried simple solutions. When that didn’t work, we consulted pediatricians, then specialists. We moved on to counselors and psychologists. Everything came up empty. It was disheartening and frustrating. My heart broke a thousand times over as I watched my son wrestle with monsters no one could name. While I’ve seen time move like a freight train, during those years, fear and worry were the relentless second hands on a slowly moving clock.

But finally, a solution. After years of questions, hope was on the horizon. We embraced it like a warm blanket and things grew better. The cracks began to heal and there were promising glimpses of wholeness. I watched his shackles fall and realized that, yet again, we had sustained and survived a great struggle together. And as His world grew brighter, so did mine.

“…Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

Then came middle school and it all fell apart. Nathan is a gentle giant and that makes for an easy target. While at home he can be strong-willed and contrary, at school, my 6-foot son has a hard time advocating for himself and fending off the attacks. Furthermore, Nathan doesn’t quite fit the mold of a middle school boy (which we love by the way!), and his quirks quickly drew fire. It started with veiled comments and grew to name-calling. Eventually it was straight up bullying and Nathan began slipping. As he succumbed to self-doubt and sadness, the nights grew long again. We pulled him out of school and began the excruciating work of healing his damaged heart.

That was two very long years ago. And after all of this, the sun is coming up. Just in the last few months we have seen our son resurface. He smiles more. He talks more. He laughs more. His eyes show signs of life and happiness that we have been desperate to see for years. We have survived yet another struggle and the joy is indescribable.

“…Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

Every once and a while, Nathan’s birthday falls on Mother’s Day and I find it no coincidence that this is one of those years. After 14 years, through valleys, over mountains, in and out of days, our journeys have become inextricably entwined. And through it all, God has been so very faithful.

Looking back at our story, the truth of Psalm 30:15 is undeniable. There has been so much weeping and the nights have, at times, seemed unbearable and unending. But morning always came. Morning will always come. Every night is followed by day. Every sunset is followed by a sunrise. And with every sunrise comes joy.