Joy and anguish (part 1)
A week ago Wednesday my Bible study group discussion centered around joy and anguish. Wonderful conversation ensued after we watched the lesson on DVD. I thought about all the times in my life that had held both, there were many. I bottled up the lesson in my mind and moved on with my week.
Then came Thursday.
My beloved friend of over two decades who has walked through nearly all my joys and heartaches by my side was in labor for the seventh time. She has beheld six amazing, precious sons these past six times she has labored. She has counted herself blessed. And anyone that knows her would agree, blessed indeed.
After six sons your odds of more of the same are high. So she packed her blue clothes and blue blankets and anticipated (though they had opted to not know the gender) the arrival of her seventh son. And I clung tight to my phone to get the word that she and her baby were delivered, safely, soundly. I wrote these paraphrased words from the book of Isaiah to her that day she headed to the hospital:
She will cry out to the Lord because of her great need, and He will send her a Savior, a CHAMPION and He will DELIVER her. Thus the Lord will make Himself known to her and she will know Him that day. Isaiah 19:20-21
So I waited. Waited all day to see how God had made Himself known to her yet again, through the absolute miracle of giving birth. Waited into the night without the word. Went to sleep dreaming about her holding a tiny new person. Woke up at 5:45 AM to this text:
Philips girl born at 27 minutes after midnight…
There was more but I quit reading right about there. My eyes popped open and I started to cry. I shook my husband awake and said over and over “It’s a GIRL baby! It’s a GIRL baby!” with shaking hands I texted back and sat in bed weeping with absolute, total joy for my friend. She has one sister. I have only sisters as well. And for her to be gifted with a daughter to love and a little sister for all her precious boys to love, oh it was almost too much! I thought I would absolutely burst with happiness for her. Rarely, almost never in my life have I been so overcome with delight, so thrilled for someone else, ever.
So then I was awake for the day. After the shock wore off (a bit) I wandered down to my chair and sat spilling over with gratitude for my sweet friend, for her new daughter, for so many things.
And my Wednesday night study topic was about to get dumped out right into my lap. I just didn’t know…