April 13th marks a special day in our household. Three years ago, two things happened that brought incredible joy to our family’s life. First, on this day three years ago, Noah ended his chemotherapy by taking his last Methotrexate. After two years of intense treatment for cancer, he crossed the finish line, and is cancer free to this day. But something else happened on this day three years ago. We welcomed another bundle of joy. Abigail Oliviah Joy entered the world to help us celebrate Noah’s milestone!
(Let me interrupt with a quick side note about Abby’s name. If you note, her name includes the “ah” ending which means “of God.” My wife and I couldn’t decide upon a middle name, so we compromised and used both of our favorites. I chose “Oliviah” and my wife preferred “Joy.” The interesting thing about the name “Oliviah” is that her name means, “Her Father’s Joy.” Her middle names actually could read this way, “Her Father’s Joy, Joy.” A double portion of joy and she certainly lives up to her name.)
The significance of this day still brings tears to my eyes. But something else happened that day that truly reminded us of God’s goodness and His presence. During Noah’s cancer journey, we adopted Laura Story’s “Blessings” song as our own. It truly spoke volumes to our family as we came to grips with the day to day battle of cancer and the debilitating side effects of his medications. Delaina and I cried countless tears, and Ms. Story’s song spoke to our pain. As Abby entered the world, both Delaina and I noted that Blessing’s started playing on the Pandora App. Coincidence? I think not.
At that moment, God reminded us of His love and His promises. He had not abandoned us in our “valley of the shadow of death;” He was abiding with us as we celebrated a saved life and a new birth. And today, in case you’re waging a battle of your own, let me encourage you with these words,
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills— From whence comes my help?
2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1-2