Our journey with joy!

Our daughter Sara was born with a heart defect called Ebstein's anomoly. We found out at a routine ultrasound at 24 weeks and they said it might mean a heart transplant. We were sent to the Children's hospital, and she was born early at 35 weeks. On that day, our lives changed. Not only did the world we knew come to a halt, but time seemed to stop because nothing else mattered. We were caught up in the world of hospital life, not knowing how long Sara would be in or even where we'd stay the night! Our home was nine hours away, and fortunately, we had relatives in the area that opened up their home.

After being in the hospital for 10 days, I asked if I could hold my new baby, there were so many lines off of her little body I thought it would be impossible, but I couldn't wait any longer. My 3 year old daughter Hailey was thrilled, a new baby sister! We all enjoyed cuddles with baby Sara and then rushed out to get Hailey to bed. It wasn't until we got to our truck in the parkade that Hailey said "Where's Sara? I thought she was coming with us!" She paused and looked around, and continued, "She can share my carseat." :) Because we got to hug and cuddle Sara, Hailey thought she must be better, and ready to come home! What a cutie!

God gave us incredible peace, and joy in little improvements in Sara's health. She spent her first 2 months in the hospital and she had her first heart surgery at 6 weeks old. It wasn't until after our time at the hospital that we began to get to know our little girl. Her older sister was completely delighted! We enjoyed almost 5 months before having to go in for her 2nd surgery. She was in for a month, and this time we knew the routine, and where every play center was by heart! God helped us so much, Sara came so close to going on the heart and lung machine, but recovered to the doctors surprise.
Coincidentally, we were able to connect with families we met when Sara was born. It's amazing how God puts you in the right place at the right time, God used us many times to pray for others and support them in their journey. There were sometimes when our hearts were broken for others, and many times of joy when we laughed together! Every time God's word brought me joy. Just like in Psalm 5:11,12, "But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favour You will surround him as with a shield."

When I think about our lives 3 years ago, I feel like we are at the same place now, sort of. We are at a place of uncertainty, and our situation isn't comfortable, but God is protecting us. Sara's 3rd heart surgery didn't go as planned, her heart couldn't handle it. Now she is waiting for a transplant, and while she waits she's on a Berlin Heart.  The great thing about having a Berlin Heart is that she can play & get out of her bed! She's almost back to her normal self now, doing all sorts of fun activites. The not so fun part is staying at the hospital during her wait, because it may be a couple months here or up to over a year! But, all of this gives me that feeling again, and it gets me nervous, and excited at the same time! Like I know good is coming out of it all and I can't wait to see how God reveals it!
I've been thinking a lot about where my joy comes from, in good times and in times of trials. I think about the blessing of having joy in my life like my husband, my girls, my horses, my artwork, my friends and family, and these are all so precious to me. They all bring me joy, and I am so blessed! But I find that God is always turning me back to himself! In all of those blessings not one will bring me lasting joy, the joy of the Lord! So how do I hold on to this joy, cause I want it!?!

In my search I read Romans 15:13 "Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." God is our hope, and he supplies our needs! He fills our hearts with joy, hope and peace with the Holy Spirit! It's not something we have to wander around looking for! It's already with us when we accept Christ, because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us! And while we wait for Him to show us where he wants us to be we can have peace.

Psalm 16:11 says" You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." So where ever we're at, on this roller-coaster ride, God knows and he cares. He will bless us with joy in His time, all we have to do is be faithful to him in praying, serving, worshiping the Lord, sharing the love of Jesus, and desiring to learn more about him through his word, the Bible.

I love Colossians 1:10-12, "...that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him,being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light."

Search for joy in God's word, and you'll find it!
We feel so supported by our friends and family, their love and encouragement is amazing, and their prayers are what's getting us through everyday. God is so good. Thanks for letting us share our journey with you.