Choose Joy

When I think about a halfmessy life, I can’t help but think about what took place and is still taking place. It’s hard to believe that Covid has been here for over a year! This time period has brought many challenges but many blessings at the same time. I would’ve never in a million years thought that I would be pregnant with my first child during a pandemic. I was 32 weeks pregnant and a baby girl with my wonderful husband when I wrote this. So here is my halfmessy story to anyone who needed to be encouraged to choose joy!

We found out we were pregnant on February 11th. We had so many mixed emotions, however, it mostly felt surreal! We had been praying for a baby and when it finally happened, it was hard to believe. My husband, Connor, was able to go to the first two appointments with me and it was such a beautiful moment to see our daughter and listen to her heartbeat at just 8 weeks. In March, that’s when the news of COVID hit and all the changes started happening. One of the new regulations for hospitals and clinics was that patients could not bring visitors to their appointments anymore. This was tough! Especially when it came time for our 20-week anatomy scan where we would be seeing our baby and finding out the gender. I wasn’t allowed to record the appointment and when I tried to Facetime Connor, I realized I didn’t have service. I felt frustrated and sad. Connor was waiting in the parking lot and told me it was okay and for me to enjoy the appointment because he can just see the pictures afterward. I will always treasure this memory because in that moment, I felt peace and was able to sit back and focus on our baby. If my husband would’ve been frustrated or disappointed, I would have probably freaked out and cried, I was on the verge of it anyway! However, he chose to act in confidence and reassured me that everything was okay. I’m thankful for a Godly husband who leads by example. Connor is such a great supporter, he has continued to take me to my appointments and waits in the car.

Another major challenge during this time is not being able to travel. Connor and I moved from Florida to Oregon just over a year ago. It has been exactly a year and 3 months that we haven’t seen our friends nor my family. I was hoping to visit Florida within a year of us moving away and I was definitely planning to have my baby shower there. When I first found out I was pregnant and thought of the baby shower, I envisioned a big celebration in Florida with our friends and family. This, sadly, was not a reality. My best friend, Jennifer, has since planned a virtual baby shower for me so that I can still experience this and see my friends and family. This is so sweet and I’m really looking forward to it.

Overall, being pregnant during COVID has been quite interesting. My husband and friends know I’m a very positive person, however, I’d be lying if I said I haven’t had moments of frustrations and mixed emotions. I’ve had moments where I’ve thought “pregnancy isn’t supposed to be like this!” I’ve thought about how my husband hasn’t been able to go inside and experience the appointments with me or how we’ve had to be socially isolated and I can’t be around friends. When thinking about the virtual baby shower, I’ve thought “it’s just not the same” and have wondered if it’ll be silly or awkward to try this virtual thing out. I’ve been sad when thinking of all the people who I have not been able to hug or who have not been able to rub my belly. When having these thoughts, on top of already being hormonal and emotional due to pregnancy, it’s easy to feel frustrated, disappointed, sad; you name it! When feeling one negative emotion, it’s easy to jump into another one, and another one, and then get sucked into this black hole of negative feelings and thoughts. 

I can honestly say I’ve experienced about two of these moments during my pregnancy, where I feel so overwhelmed and frustrated that I just cry. And just like that, in those few minutes of thinking and feeling this way, my joy is robbed. Yes, robbed! It’s exactly what it feels like because I’m not myself in these moments and it feels like my happiness has been taken away. I’m thankful that these moments don’t last long because within a few minutes I remember that this is not God’s plan for me. While COVID has brought instability and daily changes, one thing that remains, and that’s God’s Word and perfect love. He is never changing.  While I’m human and get stressed and lose sight of what’s in front of me, He is never shaken. In these moments I remember that I can either let the negativity take over and have my joy stolen, or I can stand firm and declare God’s Word over my life.

 

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

John 10:10

 

I can listen to worship music, pray, and get overwhelmed in a different kind of way; with peace that surpasses all understanding. With peace that doesn’t make sense in the middle of a pandemic. But God’s promises and Word don’t have to make sense for us to believe it. I’m all for validating and processing emotions so that we can work through what we’re feeling, however, we can’t stay stuck and let them consume us. We have to decide to move forward and choose joy. We have to change our focus and decide to think about the positive things instead. While there’s all these negative things happening, let me now tell you about all the good. Since March, my job switched to Telehealth, this means I get to see my clients through video or phone appointments while at home. I have been able to work from home while pregnant. This means I get to be in the comfort of my own home, I’m able to dress in a more comfortable way and my (many) walks to the bathroom are much closer! Can I get an Amen?! My job and my husband’s job were thankfully not greatly impacted and we have been able to continue to save money for our baby fund. God has been so good and has provided for us in such a miraculous way. We can truly say it’s all God math! 

Since we have been isolated, Connor and I have had a lot of quality time together and time to relax. Time has slowed down during these past few months, even though pregnancy has gone by very fast. We have been able to enjoy this time together and have had a lot of great times with my in-laws. I’ve enjoyed watching my husband be his creative self and complete many cool wood-working projects. We’ve had plenty of time to work on our baby girl’s nursery, which has been so fun. There has truly been a lot of good and the good certainly outweighs the bad. I can confidently say that the timing of this pregnancy is perfect, just like with all of God’s plans. There have been challenges, yes, but there have also been many blessings. I’ve had amazing support from my husband, family, and friends. I have felt closer to God than I have before. Truthfully, I have felt like an emotional mess many times, sometimes crying for specific reasons and other times unsure of why I’m crying. But when I let Jesus take the wheel and remember God’s Word and promises, all is right in the world again. God is good all the time and He is never failing. From my halfmessy life to yours, decide to choose joy! I can confidently say you will not regret it.  

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10

“He has made everything beautiful in its time.” Ecclesiastes 3:11

 

My go-to songs when feeling overwhelmed: 

-It Is Well by Bethel Music

-Anchor by Hillsong 

-Prince Of Peace by Hillsong 

-You Make Me Brave by Bethel Music

-God I Look to You by Bethel Music

-Beneath The Waters by Hillsong

-Have It All by Bethel Music

-Graves Into Gardens by Elevation Worship

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