“Weeping can stay for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5b) How do you find joy in the midst of suffering? All through our journey with Titus, I found myself asking, “Joy? How do I find joy in the middle of this mess?”
We sat in the lounge at Crawford House (our hospital accommodation). It was decided that Titus was to be transferred to Leeds so his liver condition could be investigated. Our friends came to visit us at our accommodation in Newcastle.
I was in deep despair over having to go to Leeds. It was an unplanned stop on our journey with Titus, and I had my heart set on not needing to go. Earlier, Dr. L told us that Titus likely had biliary atresia. I broke down crying in Titus’s cubicle full of doctors, junior doctors and nurses, and the room fell silent. I wanted so much for God to heal Titus’s liver: I wanted the doctors to be astonished by a miraculous healing.
That wasn’t going to happen. I was crushed.
We sat in the lounge weeping over the death of more hopes and dreams. Our dear friends are good shoulders to cry on. At some point, he asked a question I still ask myself today, “Where do you find your joy?” It was difficult to find joy when Titus’s diagnoses kept coming. At this point in our journey, I was also battling undiagnosed postnatal depression. Everything seems dark when you’re depressed. So joy wasn’t something I thought about much.
But that question begs to be answered–Where do you find your joy? Is my joy found in having a healthy baby? Or is my joy found in a faithful, sovereign God who knows what He’s doing? Sometimes joy is a choice I have to make. I wish I could say I chose joy that evening at Crawford House, but I didn’t. Joy doesn’t come easily at times.
Months later, I see little glimpses of joy in our time with Titus. As time goes on, I’m sure I’ll see joy shine through more and more. I’m amazed at the little blessings that happened amidst the sorrow. God is using this journey with Titus to mold me as a potter molds clay. In his book “Turn My Mourning Into Dancing” Henri Nouwen says,
“I am less likely to deny my suffering when I learn how God uses it to mold me and draw me closer to him. I will be less likely to see my pains as interruptions to my plans and more able to see them as the means for God to make me ready to receive him. I let Christ live near my hurts and distractions.”
When we start looking for the ways God is working in our suffering, we begin to find joy.
We all walk through difficult times. I don’t know what you’re walking through right now. I do know that it’s possible to find joy, no matter how difficult this season in your life may be. A mantra I like to use when I struggle is, “fake it till you make it.” Finding joy means choosing to look for it in difficult times. Finding joy means allowing yourself to see how God is working in your life.