Choose Joy: When Oceans Rise {Jenni S.}

As many of you know, I just returned from a life changing weekend in Laguna Beach, CA called Choose Joy. This conference is geared towards adoption and infertility and was something I only saw on Instagram. This year with the help of my friend Jenny, I decided to take a risk, buy a ticket, and go. The weekend was so much more than anything I ever expected. Everyone and everything was just more. The love I felt from God was bigger than anything I have ever experienced and the sisterhood I encountered was something I that took my breath away. 

There were so many people in the conference that were hurting or had been in a season of hurt from infertility and waiting. Many women were hurting at different levels, at different places and phases in their lives but at some point whether it was current or past we all had felt the same hurt at one point. It was humbling. One thing that I really walked away with is the freedom to admit the hurt. Freedom to own my hurt. To truly own my own sorrow. To be able to give myself the grace that I deserve through that sorrow and MOST IMPORTANTLY GIVE THAT SORROW TO GOD. Give it all to him.

Being in seasons of suffering is hard. Most women that were at this conference have or had all been in a season of it, which is why we all "got" each other. We have all suffered and asked God why. We have all been mad, angry, depressed and confused. No matter where we were in our season we all had been there. 

Our morning started with hands down the most powerful worship service I have ever been a part of. That morning sang the song Oceans. 

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail

And there I find You in the mystery

In oceans deep

My faith will stand

 

And I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine


Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand

Will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me

You've never failed and You won't start now


So I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine


Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

 

Oh, Jesus, you're my God!

I will call upon Your name

Keep my eyes above the waves

My soul will rest in Your embrace

I am Yours and You are mine

I call upon your name to keep my eyes above the waves. When oceans rise, My Soul will rest in your embrace. I was drowning y’all. I was drowning in what to do with all the sorrow that I had kept in my heart for so long. That drowning was killing my soul and my spirit. Oh how God brought me 6 amazing women to throw me a life jacket. Back to them in a minute….

You don’t have to be infertile or in a season of waiting to drown though. We all have seasons of suffering that make us do that. We don’t know how to get out. I did not either. I honestly thought it was just my lot in life to put on a happy face and suffer with a smile so to speak. I was really really good at that by the way. I could put on that smile and no one would know how sad I was. I did not know how to save myself and like God always does he threw me my life preserver and showed me doing this alone was never in his plan. He introduced me to six women who gave me a life jacket. They showed me what it feels like to be prayed on. They showed me that power of releasing guilt, anger and sorrow. The showed me how to handle myself and others in my life with more grace. Something that I struggle with because we all want what we want when we want it. Which is human. 

As I mentioned in a previous post being vulnerable is something that I have never really done before. I was always the strong one and the survivor. People would ask me "How I did it", knowing deep down that I had so much sorrow in my heart. Putting your heart out there, especially in front of essential strangers is a terrifying experience. I am a SUPER UGLY CRIER and I got messy. Mascara running make-up a mess, puffy eyes…you name it. You know what though? Like with any risk, being vulnerable is also very cleansing. It is freeing. 

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me

You've never failed and You won't start now

What I realized this weekend more than ever is that God never fails. He never leaves and that is a constant we can count on. I gave it all to God that weekend. I left my sorrow in California. I had the help of 6 beautiful women that helped me leave it there. Their friendship and grace gave me the strength to do that. I feel 50 pounds lighter from that weight. Giving our sorrows to God may sound hard and well it is. We try so hard to control timing and expectations. We look at social media and compare ourselves to others. After this weekend though I realized that giving it all to God does not mean it still won’t hurt. My infertility will always hurt. The babies I lost will always hurt BUT God’s love heals that hurt. His love allows me to hurt and also allows me to Choose Joy even when it is tough. So I hope those reading this who are in a season of sorrow to do the same thing. Give it all to God. Find friends who will help you do that and walk away from it feeling free, cleansed and whole again. 

Until Next Time
Xoxo
Jenni