Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Joy in the Midst of Adversity

One of our daughters died less than a minute before she was born. Technically she was stillborn, but as you mothers have experienced, you know your babies even before they are born. They take on a personality and a life before you hold them in your arms. Sonoma was a peaceful, playful baby and as with all of my children, I knew and loved her before she was born. The thing that caused her death was a bacteria that entered our blood stream during the course of delivery. It immediately shut down her organs and almost did the same to me. I was in the hospital for ten days before I was able to go home.

It was a difficult time for our family, but it isn’t the death or the sadness I want to dwell on. The thing that surprised me is that even while experiencing the sorrow and the grief over what happened, there was also an under girding of joy that sustained me. It is difficult to describe, but it was very real. I didn’t understand what was happening at the time but since I’ve studied Truth I’ve come to realize that when we live in the Light of Truth, we always have joy not because the things happening to us are necessarily happy and wonderful, but because when we live in Truth our joy is in the Lord (2 Nephi 27:30). It comes from Him even in times of grief and sorrow and somehow sustains and enables us to withstand the sorrow.

As the Psalmist said, “My soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in his salvation” (Ps.35: 9). This is the key to experiencing joy even in the midst of terrible adversity. If we keep our focus on Jesus Christ and the healing, comforting power that is His salvation, we can feel joy even in times of grief and sorrow. It sounds like an impossible dichotomy, but I know it can happen because I’ve experienced it. When we live in the Light of Truth we always have joy.

1 comment:

Wendi said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through that, but I'm thankful that the power of the Atonement was able to pull you through.

I had the opposite type of experience. My son got the strep B virus when he was born because of an oversight by my doctor. He was in the NICU for 10 days and during that time, I became very sleep deprived. Two months later, I had to stop nursing him and go back on medication because my emotional illness came back with a vengeance. And I've never been the same since. However, I am so thankful for my sweet son. And, even though my life has been much more difficult than I would have liked over the past 10+ years, I know that the Lord has also pulled me through. :)