Joy in the Journey
by Kristi Williams Fontenot
We are all on our journey in life… a very intricate journey with highs and lows. My journey looks different than yours, but one thing we all have in common is deciding how we will embrace the voyage. We all will have times of great joy; times when we feel like we are on the mountain top and nothing can possibly take away our happiness. But what about those times where we are in the valley low; times when we wonder how we will face another day?
We all experience pain, trials or heartache, but how is it possible to find joy in the difficult times? Earlier this year, my family and I walked through one of those valleys. One second, I was on the top of the world, within a moment I found myself suddenly in one of the lowest places of my life. My husband and I found out we were expecting a sweet bundle of joy, unexpectedly! It was a complete shock to us and our four children, who range from ages nine to nineteen, but none the less we were excited for the surprising blessing we would soon welcome into our family.
Like clockwork, within a month the dreaded morning sickness had set in. As a mother of four, who runs a household and also a business, it was very difficult to function. Thankfully, as I neared my second trimester the sickness started getting easier by the day. When I went for my three month checkup I was devastated when the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat. My heart broke into a million pieces that day as I saw my unborn baby on the monitor without a heartbeat. Having to come home and tell my children was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Watching them hurt and cry for me is something I pray I never have to see again. When friends asked how I was doing, I would tell them that I was thankful that through this experience my family learned true empathy.
Empathy isn’t something you can teach, it is only learned through real experiences. After I told my kids the news, I watched also as my children truly understood and felt the pain and hurt I was feeling. They felt true empathy for me. We are closer now than we were before the loss of the baby and for that I am so very thankful. In our valley, we were reminded that joy comes from the love that we have and show for each other. It comes from within and we can choose it each and every day of our lives no matter what we are walking though.
In those days of hardship, we choose joy over our circumstances. Joy in knowing that even through the pain, there is love. It won’t always be easy and it’s a decision you will have to make. I hope you choose joy in your journey.
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13