Last Tuesday I attended a fundraising dinner for a local maternity home, Elizabeth House. The mission of Elizabeth House is to offer a safe, loving home to pregnant women in need. During the presentation several stories were shared about the actual women who have been helped by Elizabeth House as well as the babies who have been born and a quote that was shared really hit home with me.
Those of you who have been around the blog for awhile already know the story of the girl who saved me. When I heard this quote last week that time in my life was the first thing I thought of. I had spent the previous six or so years prior to my unplanned pregnancy chasing happiness. I looked for it everywhere and found it many days but the problem with happy is it is fleeting. You can go for cocktails and find happy. You can have a guy pay attention to you and feel happy. Never will happy fill up your soul. Joy comes from the inside and was a gift designed for us by God.
Finding joy will not always be easy and often comes through hard work and various trials. So many times while I was a single, pregnant college student I really wanted to find a reason to feel sorry for myself but that sweet little baby I was growing wouldn’t allow it.
Today I am grateful for the support I was given and the strength I found to seek out transitional help to help me stay afloat and prepared to embrace this unplanned joy.
I was from a middle class family so walking into a welfare office to apply for Medicaid was not easy but my parents health insurance would not cover a pregnant child. Believe it or not there was only one OB in all of College Station who would accept Medicaid once I finally was approved. I had not been to the doctor for almost my entire second trimester and I finally was able to hear my sweet babies heartbeat again (joy). The doctor was one of the kindest I’ve ever seen but also one who shot straight. He did not hesitate to preach to me about finishing school!
Applying for WIC was also quite a process but as soon as I was approved I was able to receive food supplements and free formula. In order to receive the monthly allowance it was required we attend educational classes and I was able to learn a few things I may have not figured out otherwise. My baby was healthy and well nourished (joy).
My first two years of college I attended a local junior college and because my mom was employed there I received free tuition. Texas A&M was much more expensive. I’ll never forget sitting down with the financial aid counselor asking for a packet and hearing her say “you are a single mother with a child; this will be easy”. (joy)
Obviously there were still bills to be paid and my parents provided an allowance to cover those cost so I could continue school and spend as much time as possible being a mom. (joy)
There were late nights and ear infections and lots of diapers to change but I could always count on extra snuggles, a sweet smile a baby only has for their momma and all of those amazing and incredible milestones. (joy)
Looking back over all my life, some of the greatest joy I have experienced has come after a long and hard road. I love this verse and it is so true!
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. James 1:2-3
I hope you are feeling joy in your heart today. What are you feeling grateful for?