Jennifer Kostick– Jennifer has been married for twenty-three years to her high school sweetheart, Paul. She is the mother of three children, Paul IV (22), Samuel (6), and Grace (6). She also has six babies residing in heaven. It is those six tiny souls who have propelled her into women’s ministry. She is a conference speaker and author of the book Nothing to Hold but Hope (one woman's journey through miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility). Jennifer blogs at www.Jenniferkostick.com and is passionate about encouraging women through a godly message of mercy and hope.
What brings Joy? I could write a “joy list" measuring a mile long. It would be very easy for me to share what everyone expects to hear. At the top of the list would be my husband, my children, and most of all, my God. I would mean it. Every word would shout truth because those beautiful people I share my life with, and that faithful God I serve, continually give me reasons to not only love life, but to fully live it.
However, there was another time – a time of brokenness that sent me to my knees with pain so deep I didn’t think I would ever recover. And believe it or not, it is that time period which brings me joy today.
It might surprise you that I can list 5 miscarriages, a stillborn daughter, and years of secondary infertility as a time where seeds of joy were planted, but I serve a God who specializes in surprises. The box they are in isn’t always shiny and beautiful. It is usually broken and bruised. Just remember, looks can be deceiving.
Once upon a time there was a girl in her 20s who prayed every night for another baby to love. She was forced to live through the beautiful sounding cries of her friend’s babies. She watched the calendar as her due dates, just like her short-lived pregnancies, came and went. The betrayal of her body angered her. She thought she was losing the biggest battle of her life. But God! He was waging war on her behalf.
You see, during that time God broke her wide open. He tilled the ground of her heart like a garden and planted seeds of dreams. He whispered truth to her weary soul and watered her heart with the promise of a new day.
Joy isn’t about where you’ve been; it’s about where you’re going.
Throughout that time in my life I never thought beyond “the baby.” It never entered my mind that God was doing a miracle work in my soul making it possible for Him to work through me. He was preparing me to write, speak, and love women through not only infertility and infant loss, but through any type of life challenges. He was calling me to encourage long before the discouragement of my own problems faded.
He planted joy then, so that I could live freedom now. And that is what God does. He works mightily inside the lives of those who love Him. And with a plan, He knocks hard on the doors of the hearts that don’t.
During the difficult seasons He pursues us while planting seeds of joy. Those seeds remove bitterness from sorrow and prepare the harvest with unspeakable joy.
And you, my sweet friend, can have joy too! No matter how hard today is He will break you wide open and till the ground of your heart. If you can, take your eyes off this moment, lift up your head, and Look to where you are going. You will find joy there!
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
To find out about my book, Nothing to Hold but Hope, click here.