Advent, Advent Devotionals

Finding Joy Under The Lord’s Care

Christmas 2002, a lonely day.

Coming home from an unexpected underway, my husband met a very pregnant wife, a scrawny Christmas tree, and dinner plans that were lacking.

It was a day for pajamas and movies. We won’t mention that I didn’t fit into much else anyway. Missing home and family, we spent our time cuddling under a new down comforter sent from my mom while eating our leftovers from the local steakhouse.

But in our quiet time of celebration and binge watching movies, my husband was holding back news that he was afraid to tell his wife. Deployment.

Deployment was starting to not scare me as much at that point, but my heart dropped all the same. Unplanned, undisclosed, and really bad timing. We just went through a very long and hard deployment into a very difficult high-risk pregnancy, and now this… we had just days to prepare and the baby was coming.

Hopelessness followed suite. We had no choice but tell ourselves, “chin-up,” because there was nothing that we could do except embrace the inevitable.

Chin-up, Sailor! We needed to just get it done. This was our life and so we go on.

Chin-up, Mary, the Lord is with you. He gave you a great gift and placed His wondrous joy inside of your womb. You will face adversity, but God has you. Your baby is the hope of all nations. He will bring light into the darkened world. The greatest joy ever known will save the world.

God places us in quite the situations. He refines us in ways we often question, yet learn immensely from. We hurt, cry out, ponder, and even try to hide away, but He is always there. The Spirit is continuously convicting and supporting us in many special ways no matter how much fear would like to overtake us.

Let us look at joy. Will we embrace it or kick it to the curb? Will we meet the Lord’s loving guidance with praise or hide in the corner until our circumstances pass?

Our sister Mary could have easily run away despite the encouragement she met from an angel from the Lord. She could have hidden away despite the conviction of the Spirit. But instead, Mary chose a song of praise.

Luke 1: 46-49 ESV

And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.

May we move forward with a song of joy, too. Let our lips praise the Lord’s mighty name. Let us use our testimonies to magnify His name in all circumstances.

Let us use our testimonies to magnify His name in all circumstances. Click To Tweet

Psalm 63:7

for you have been my help,
    and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy

Deployment happened. Less than 48 hours at sea, my husband heard the first joy-filled cries of his baby over the telephone. This was only the beginning of her story of joy and tribulation. The child continues to rejoice in the Lord through adversity. She lives out loud for the Lord and does not hide from His call.

Daddy met his little girl exactly five months after she was born. It was a joyful day! 


7 thoughts on “Finding Joy Under The Lord’s Care

  1. So, what’s an ‘underway?’ ;). I’m guessing it’s some sort of military order, but I’m clueless. We’ve had a couple of grim-looking Christmases, but even though someone looking in would think them bleak, we felt the joy of the Lord for his provision for us.

  2. Absolutely beautiful post, Maryanne! I LOVE THIS —> “Chin-up, Sailor! We needed to just get it done. This was our life and so we go on.” I used the acrostic J-O-Y when speaking to a GriefShare group last night. Jesus. Others. You. Your blog is lovely! 🙂

    Pinned and tweeted.

    Thank you for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

  3. Great post Maryann! That would have been really hard for both of you! You’re a courageous woman of God!
    You’re most welcome to join me in a cuppa at Tea With Jennifer,
    Bless you,

  4. MaryAnn, I love that you’ve worded this finding joy “under” his care. All things come under his Lordship, including us finding joy hey. I can’t imagine what it must be like to face the birth of your baby without your hubby, but I know that that circumstance has already been used by God for His glory. Your post is proof of it as many of us are encouraged and give thanks to Him for your words. Bless you xx

  5. This is beautiful, Maryann. I’m so sorry that you had to deliver your little one without your husband there to support you and meet his precious baby. I absolutely love though how you stayed strong in your faith and chose joy over discouragement. What a great reminder of how Mary responded when she was in a difficult situation as well, and I completely agree that it is often through those trying times that we grow in our faith.

  6. Wow Maryann it always breaks my heart when husbands are deployed during the birth of their children. God is good and you are loved. So glad God uses everything.

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