Something a lot of people ask us is how we can have joy in such a difficult situation. We would meet families in the NICU or at RMH that couldn't believe how much we were going through and how at peace we were. Honestly, neither could I. That's just not my personality! I'm a worrier and a planner, but I managed to keep it together. How?
Do not worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I can honestly say that God carried us through those early days and is still giving us "Grace for the moment." We may not know what tomorrow will bring, but God does. He knows exactly what will happen and will love us through it all. He gave Abby to us for a reason and we are thankful for every second we have her. We are able to choose joy because there's nothing we will face that hasn't been ordained by God. We are trusting his good and perfect will.
That being said, choosing joy is just that--a choice.
Some days, I choose bitterness. I'm angry at those who do not realize what a gift their children are. I just do not understand those who eliminate lives of babies because of convenience.
Some days, I choose fear. I find myself asking, "Is it today, God? Is today that last time I will kiss my daughter?" I jump every time the phone rings when I'm at work or away, thinking it's a nurse telling me something is wrong. My mind drifts back to that day when I nearly lost my girl.
Some days, I choose hopelessness. I wonder how I'll ever make it through another day and long for the day when there are no more trach changes, doctors' appointments, nurses, g-tubes, or nebulizer treatments.
But most days, I try to choose joy. And love. And trust. And hope. Because if I fill my mind with these thoughts and allow God to break me of the negativity, I'm open to all of the wonderful aspects of our life! I have two beautiful children who teach me more about God's love each day. I have a husband who I love more each day as I see him as a father. I have a wonderful support system of family and friends who watch Caleb, help out, drive me places, and just listen.
Most of all, I have a God who loves me. Yes, He has performed many miracles in Abby's life, but that's not how He proved His love for me. That was done once and for all about 2,000 years ago on a cross.
And that's why we can choose joy. :)