Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. — James 1:2-4
Four years ago today I was meditating on these words as I anticipated the birth of my fourth son. I had suffered severe anxiety regarding this labor and delivery because my third son’s birth had been rather difficult and traumatic. I was scared to “run the gauntlet,” as I call it. But, these words brought me hope and courage. God would use the trial of childbirth to change me, to make me steadfast, to make me like His son – perfect. And He wanted me to experience joy in the process.
I recalled how “Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 2:2) At the cross Jesus was purposing to give us new life. With the birth of my son, God was giving me the opportunity to participate in His bringing forth another kind of new life. What joy!
Our little guy was born that evening, exactly fifteen minutes after we arrived at the hospital! It was one of my best labor and deliveries ever — once we were safely in a room. The doctor was not there, so the nurse had to “catch him.” Believe it or not, her name was Joy. I am so thankful for these wonderful memories and reminders for when the going gets tough.
May you experience God’s blessings of joy today in whatever trials you face in your life as MOM.