That title may seem a little odd to most of you and even to me at times but the truth of the matter is that when we have Jesus in our hearts we can have joy in Him no matter the circumstances we are going through. I’m not saying I’m never sad, I’m not saying I’m never in pain and crying, but I am saying I have joy. My joy is knowing that God is almighty and his plan is at work. That phrase can sound overused and cliche but I cling to it through the days that are less than happy and so far He has gotten me through.
For those unaware I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) and Endometriosis. The basic run down is that my hormones are out of wack and I have enlarged ovaries and cysts, lots of cysts. I have been working with a specialist since January 2015, and gone through hormone treatments, fertility treatments, and a cyst removing surgery. But this is nothing compared to some of the women whose stories I have learned, years of treatments and multiple surgeries, I suppose in some ways I am quite blessed with what appears to be less endometriosis than most (at least so far). The point here isn’t the severity though, because the pain of infertility is real no matter how long (or short) you endure it.
When I was first diagnosed it sounded scary, I’d never heard of it, I didn’t know anything like it existed, and I most certainly didn’t know anyone with it, or so I thought. Turns out I know many women with PCOS, Endometriosis, and other forms of infertility, and if you are a woman with any of these and feeling alone let me tell you with absolute certainty you are not alone. I wish it wasn’t so taboo to talk about because feeling alone in it can be one of the worst parts. A few months after diagnosis I connected with two different friends on a much closer level because when I shared what was going on with me, they opened up about theirs too. Having someone who understands the exact pain you feel without you having to say it makes a world of difference.
My recommendation for remaining joyous is to choose some bible verses that really speak to you, or if you are bad at finding your own maybe find a devotional. Something that will keep God and His Word at the forefront of your mind rather than the pain, and when things get hard turn to what you know. A few verses I love are below, perhaps you can start here and find something, even just one phrase that you find uplifting and cling to it.
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy.” Colossians 1:11
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His Word I hope.” Psalms 130:5
“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. ” Romans 12:12
It is also worth mentioning that this has opened my eyes to my ability to hurt someone without realizing or intending to. In the past I might have been one of those nosey friends that asks when you’re planning to have kids (as if we can plan it ourselves HA). Now I can see how a simple well intentioned question can lead to an inner dialogue that simultaneously scoffs at the idea of having an answer for that question and saddens at the thought that the plan was for now or in the past, but all you can do is wait and be patient. Quick point for those who ask your friends or even worse, acquaintances that question – STOP. No seriously, if they want you to know they will open up, ask them questions like how are things going, what are your plans, and if they want to share they will let you know.
Lastly, I am not sharing this to be pitied. As a matter of fact that is one of my hesitations in sharing it. I am hoping that by sharing I can help someone know they are not alone and perhaps there can be a future where sharing these burdens isn’t taboo.