Pregnant With Joy
from Element Connection, December 2013
Back in the day, church music captured much of my ministry focus. From sweet singing in the choir, to solo parts, to choir director, I was connected to the music ministry of the churches we served. I have probably sung every cantata written by John W, Peterson. (I told you it was back in the day.) I think I most loved the Christmas music.
December 1974 found me working hard on Get Ready for the Coming of the Lord. I was to sing the song of Mary. Mary had grabbed my imagination. I wanted to understand this young Jewish girl, pregnant outside of marriage. How did she feel about this unexpected chain of events? Did she wrestle with conflicting emotions about the steps the Almighty had ordered for her?
The challenging score solidified the small, albeit, mostly untrained, group of volunteer singers at Trinity Assembly of God in Lanham, MD. Camaraderie grew as we practiced. The sound of joyous Christmas celebration emerged. Excitement built as we eagerly anticipated the coming Sunday night performance. Performance night finally arrived. We had worked hard. We loved the music. That mix of thrill and trepidation pulsed as we took the stage. Singing with abandon, I sensed the elation of expectancy at the prospect of the coming of the promised babe. I was pregnant with Joy.
Indeed, I was pregnant with Joy. In January, 1975, I found out I was pregnant. After a season of barrenness marked by discouraging medical diagnosis and endless worries about what protocol we would follow, I carried my own promised child. Like Mary, my heart held divine words of promise, a prophetic word given in a church service. As I think back to that Christmas musical, I remember the special sense of joy I had in singing Mary’s song. God had regarded my low estate and given me the child for whom I prayed.
The long awaited child did arrive on August 4, 1975. We named her Joy Kristin. Today, I no longer wait for the birth of a child. I treasure dreams that still lie unrealized. So…, I wait in hope. Let this season of waiting be filled for you with the strength that comes through the joy of the Lord.
Unto you is born today in David’s city a savior, Christ the Lord.
Joy to the world the Lord is come.
LORD, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. (Psalm 38:15)