Joy in the burps.
Joy in the spit-up.
Joy in the latching.
Joy in dirty diapers.
Joy in the alertness.
Joy in the lab results.
Joy in the uneventful.
Joy in the fussy cries.
Joy in the grams gained.
Joy in the healthy skin tone.
Joy in the outgrown clothes.
Joy in the outgrown diapers.
Joy in the rhythmic breathing.
Joy in the finished bottles of milk.
Joy in the squirmy diaper changes.
Joy in the maintained body temperature.
Though I wouldn’t have chosen this NICU life,
I am grateful God chose it as our path.
Yes, I am grateful for this trial,
a trial that has grown my faith
a trial that has transformed my heart.
I can now find joy in the little things.
I can now expect less and appreciate more.
I can now recognize and appreciate the small victories.
I can now count my daily blessings.
And now I can better empathize with others.
I can pray bold prayers of intercession.
I can speak an encouraging word.
I can show compassion.
I can extend love.
I can more effectively be the salt and light He calls us to be.
I can now consider it all pure joy.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” —James1:2-8
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” —Matthew5:13-16
Pause and Reflect:
Has your NICU experience cultivated a grateful heart within you? What did you once take for granted that now you no longer do?
Lord, I lift up the woman journeying through a difficult season. I pray her heart would not grow hardened or bitter during the hardship. Instead, I pray her heart would be softened and surrendered to Your Hands. May You use these trying times in her life to till the soil of her heart, cultivating an even more beautiful heart within her. Remove any weeds that may have begun to take root and threaten to prevent her growth. Be her anchor, help her roots to grow deep in You. Help her to not be swept away by the gusting winds of the storm. Use each tear that falls from her eyes. Use them to water the promises you have planted deep within her heart. Lord, shine Your Face upon her, enabling her to bloom where you have her. May she rise up out of the darkness and be a beautiful testimony of Your strength and grace. In Jesus's precious name, I pray. Amen.
Hope in the unexpected©