Soon after our baby arrived I began hearing it.
I was lucky.
Lucky that my story ended with a baby. Lucky that I was able to birth a miracle. Lucky that I didn’t carry the harshness of infertility forever.
Nobody meant it in a superstitious way. They meant it in the traditional use of the word. That despite probabilities being against me, I was blessed enough to have slipped through and become one of the few who had a biological child after over a decade of infertility.
And you know what? They’re correct.
I’m one of the lucky ones.
But I’ll be honest, it would be easy to respond negatively.
Was I one of the lucky ones when I was curled up on my bathroom floor sobbing as my dreams bled out?
Was I one of the lucky ones when I was staring out the window in the Syracuse hospital, knowing my baby was dying and she was alone because our adoption paperwork wasn’t finalized and I couldn’t get in to her?
Was I one of the lucky ones when my older adopted child was screaming at me, throwing chairs and the vacuum cleaner, telling me to go away because I wasn’t the “real” mom and wasn’t wanted or needed and they’d rather suffer alone than accept my comfort?
Was I one of the lucky ones when more than a decade passed with barrenness marking my life?
It’s easy to think that anyone who has what you desire is one of the “lucky” ones—and in a way, it’s true.
What luck to live when we do and have what we have.
But at the same time—what sorrow we all face in our own stories.
Our daughter’s birth was traumatic. It was so long and things weren’t progressing properly and a slight abnormality in my body kept the baby from coming until I didn’t know if I would have the strength to birth her.
Afterwards, I thought maybe all births were that difficult. Maybe I just didn’t know what I was doing.
But then the nurse said it was rough going, and my doctor mentioned in passing that it was a good thing I was so strong, and my mother—who has been at numerous births—shook her head, “I’ve never seen that much blood at a birth before.”
It was really, really hard.
But there are worse stories. By far. Trauma, tragedy, unthinkable loss.
I’m one of the lucky ones.
Every person carries their moments of surprising joy and their moments of deep, heart wrenching sorrow.
We’re all the lucky ones and we’re all the ones who carry hardship and we’re all in deep need of the Father’s presence to survive both the good and the bad.
Life goes up and down. And yes, some people have harder stories than others—but in the end, we’re all in need of the same thing: Jesus.
We need Him.
I, personally, need Him.
I needed Him to survive the days of emptiness before we had a baby. I needed Him to survive my body literally tearing apart to birth her. I need Him now, as my body recovers and I lack sleep and I am embracing all the joy and exhaustion of having a baby.
Whether you’re living in the lucky (or blessed) moments, or you’re living in the sorrow-filled moments, you need Him, as I do.
The Apostle John tells us to “abide” in Christ. Over and over through his gospel and through his epistles, this is John’s plea: abide in Christ. Abide in the light. Abide in the Father.
Or, as another explains: to take up permanent residence, to have habitual fellowship, to make yourself at home.
Basically? Abiding means to have close, intimate, and permanent fellowship. To be at home with the one you’re abiding with.
We’re the lucky ones, friends, because despite our circumstances—good, bad, traumatic, boring, hopeful, sorrow-filled—we can choose to make ourselves at home in Christ.
May this be our heart’s cry this year. May this be where we put our hope.
May those who are still in perpetual waiting, those who are in seasons of suffering, those who are exhausted or afraid or struggling—may each of us choose to stay settled in the presence of Christ.
Today, tomorrow, and forever.