Choosing Joy

“The key is not to rejoice for the trials, but to rejoice while in the trials.” Pastor Justin


December 14, 2014 marked eight years since we had our miscarriage.  December 14th was the day Pastor Justin spoke at our church about choosing joy, the third Advent candle.  And, it couldn’t have been a better message for me to hear that day.

The morning started out with worship as usual and any time our worship team sings a particular song I stop and say a silent “Thank You” to my Father.  Back in May 2014, there was a women’s retreat at our church and God gave me a promise revolving around the Scripture, II Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (NIV) God always has our worship team play a particular song they wrote titled, New Creation, when He wants to remind me of that promise – from Him to me.  On December 14th, the worship leader decided to play that song and I felt loved…by my Father.

The sermon continued on with the same theme, with Pastor Justin referencing II Corinthians 5:17 as well, further reinforcing what God was trying to remind me of.  He also spoke with enthusiasm about Romans 8:28, which states, “ And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  (NIV) He asked the question, “How do we find joy in circumstances that are beyond our control – death of a marriage, a loved one, job loss?” And his answer was the above quote.  “We don’t thank God for the trial, but we choose to rejoice while in the trial.”



I will admit…it took me a long time to figure that one out.  And while I encourage others who are or have gone through trials to feel their emotions, not try to stuff them or ignore them or pretend they aren’t there, but instead to bring those feelings to God, I have learned that even during the hardest of trials, as a child of God, we can have hope during the trials.  Just as I learned I can choose worry or peace, I can choose thankfulness while in heartache.

I thought back over the last eight years of my life, and I realized God has brought a lot of good out of our journey.  He allowed me to fulfill a promise I made to Him in July of 2007, publishing a book offering hope to those who are hurting from the loss of a child.  I have been able to encourage and understand friends and even strangers who have lost not just a child but any family member with understanding I wouldn’t have had if I hadn’t experienced it myself.


Hope During Heartache

And while I’m not sure I’m at the place where I can thank God we lost a child, in one sense, I don’t feel like he’s lost.  I feel like he’s waiting.  I know that I will meet him in Heaven someday. I have peace because he never experienced pain here on earth. Instead of hearing my voice when he was born…he was greeted by GOD! Most importantly, having a miscarriage helped me to see life from a heavenly perspective instead of focusing on things of this earth. I know when it’s my time to leave this earth, I will be introduced to him and I can tell him what his early homecoming was able to accomplish on earth.

Thank you, Pastor Justin, for your message on December 14th.  It was more meaningful than you realize.

© Cheri Swalwell 2014


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