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Keeping Our Eyes on the Joy

by Cindi Boston-Bilotta, Vice President of Mission Advancementparalleltracks
Heartbeat International

I’ve been a part of the pregnancy help movement for 27 years. 20 years of that was spent starting and running a pregnancy center in Missouri. Being in this ministry, I’ve had the joy of holding babies who almost didn’t make it, and the sorrow of not knowing if others had. Now, in my role at Heartbeat as the Vice President of Mission Advancement, I get to describe the miracles of life that you are a part of.

I love this ministry. I love seeing and sharing with folks who want to support Heartbeat and the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network.

We have a lot to celebrate in our work. We get to rescue moms and babies from the travesty of abortion. We help mothers find a way to save and support their babies. We make sure families have the support they need to grow holier, happier, and healthier.

What’s not to love about our work?

But life happens. What do we do when we are called to great and holy things, but the hard stuff in life is staring back at us?

Let’s admit it – serving moms and babies the way we do is full of twists and turns even if our lives are simple and easy and we’re not being targeted by big abortion.

Dr. Taylor, Evangel University President, told of a conversation she had with Rick Warren, about good things and hard things:

“Kay and I have come to the conclusion that life is not a series of mountaintops and valleys, but rather a set of railroad tracks where sorrow and joy happen side by side.” He then shared that it was at the same time his Purpose Driven Life book was released making national news on the New York Times Best Seller list that Kay had been diagnosed with cancer and they began a painful journey filled with uncertainty. It really is a paradox of our faith to hold sorrow and joy at the same time. It makes one think of how Dickens began his Tale of Two Cities, “it was the best of times; it was the worst of times.”

Just recently, my son and daughter-in-law, Josh & Arielle, were experiencing the trip of a lifetime in Iceland, and on the same day as their exciting whale-watching trip, they heard about the loss of close friend whom they had dinner with just a week before – the tracks of joy and sorrow were running beside each other.

As we travel together with the sorrow and the joy, we must remember the promises of God.

Isaiah 51:11

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return

and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

they shall obtain gladness and joy,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

2 Corinthians 1:4 tells us “God comforts us all in our troubles so that we can comfort others with the same comfort we received.”

Working in the pregnancy help movement gives us such amazing opportunities for joy, and we must focus our eyes on that joy. We know sorrow will run beside it when life happens or when we see a rescue slip through our fingers. In those moments, we must trust in God and not become discouraged.

The tracks of joy and sorrow do run parallel. While we need to grieve the lost things, our focus must remain on joy – what Jesus is doing through you, how he is touching the world through you. Where is the joy?

Stay the course. You have been called into this movement. You are serving here for a reason. Joy and sorrow can indeed travel together, and it’s okay to have both joy and sadness at the same time. But I encourage you, hold onto joy. Expect the tracks to run parallel, but set your vision on the joy of what God is doing because He has called you to a holy mission. May your good work ever be joyful.