Monday, December 12, 2011

This is what joy really is....

It was October of 1999, I was a single, 22 year old,  free spirit with not a care in the world.  Every night was a party night, as far as I was concerned. I lived my life paycheck to paycheck, taking care of minimal needs and blowing the rest on anything I wanted.  I set a goal for myself that I would become "responsible" when I was 25 and if you asked me on a weekend I'd postpone it to age 28.  I procrastinated at everything, so finding the time to become responsible was just another thing to add to the list of things.
My plan for procrastination however was abruptly interrupted when I found out I was pregnant.    The first 40 minutes of the movie Knocked Up is pretty much a documentary of my life minus the guy really wanting to be an active participant in parenting and well the obviouse fact that I don't resemble Katherin Hagel in any way.
"God? How could you possibly think that  I out of ALL PEOPLE, could be a mother at this point in my life"  I probably asked this 100 times. I've always been Pro Life but there was a period of time of about 10 days that I considered other options, but knew that I wasn't emotionally strong enough to terminate my pregnancy or hand my baby off to someone else.  So when I made up my mind, I wouldn't be wavered in my decision.  Somehow I would do this, somehow I'd get thru it, somehow. "God, help me get thru this", was the only prayer I could muffle up after all my ill behavior.

I questioned myself repeatedly during that 9 month period of time.  "What are you thinking?", "What man is EVER going to want you?", "What about art school?", "How are you going to work and support a child?", "Kiss your party life away, is it worth it to ya?", "What do YOU know about being a mother, at least your mom was married before she had you!".

God showed up for me in more ways than I can count.  My sister was able to move to GA. My boss was VERY supportive and understanding. WIC was available, although I loathed having to rely on the government. 

Aside from the support of my family and friends I also had the support of the volunteers that worked at the Safe House, an organization that assisted other woman in my exact situation.   I would meet with other young women weekly for parenting classes, counseling, and bible study. The program allowed me to earn credits to use in their store for things that my baby would need.  I was so thankful and grateful for all they did for me that I made a promise that someday I would pay it forward.

My life came full circle 2 years ago when our small group was introduced to Whispering Hope.  The organization is just like the Safe House but located in Cumming GA.  For the last 2 Christmas Seasons our small group has been able to reach out and assist and love as many families as we can during the holiday.  When the opportunity to serve presented itself the first year, I remembered how I felt when Kendell was a newborn and I wanted so badly to have pictures of him but was limited to a disposable camera.  I was so happy that I was finally able to use my talents to bless someone else's life.

This is what joy really is, being able to serve others.  December 10th was the annual Help Portrait event. In conjunction with North Point Church's  Get Rich Campaign, we were able to work together to bless families' lives on Saturday.  One Santa hat, beautiful faces and a whole lot of love later,  I'm still beaming with joy after editing some of the images from the day.

Has someone done something nice for you? I hope you consider paying it forward too.

1 comment:

  1. These portraits are beautiful and your blog made me cry :), these are true moments of Joy captured for a lifetime. We need more big hearted people like you in this world. Love you sis!