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Choosing Joy

Choosing Joy

It has been nearly two weeks since the Throne of Grace team got to be a part of the Choose Joy event, and I’m still in awe of the whole experience! It was quite honestly, one of the most incredible experiences of my life! I’m not being dramatic when I say it is right up there with my wedding, births of my children, and having the opportunity to be present at the adoption of my sweet niece.

In a way, the day did feel like a birth. It represented the birth of a dream that was conceived in the heart of my sister, Emmy. Here is Emmy (on the right) with her best friend, Megan, who flew all the way out from Denver for a week to help with Choose Joy.

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Emmy took what has been, to this point, the most painful experience of her life and asked God to bring something beautiful out of it. Emmy and my brother-in-law, Nathan, traversed the road of infertility for more than 8 years, including a miscarriage, countless fertility tests and procedures and a number of invasive, painful surgeries. If you are interested, you can read more about her story in a series of posts from her blog, Confessions of a Paper Freak, HERE.

Emmy’s story has an incredible ending – one I alluded to already – the adoption of her daughter, Penelope Susan. In my opinion, what is most amazing about my sister’s story is that even before Penelope joined the family, Emmy came to a point in her journey in which she had to choose joy in spite of her painful circumstances. In Emmy’s words, she had to choose to love the Lord and His plan for her life more than she loved her plan for her life.

So as Emmy struggled to come to grips with God’s purpose in her pain, she knew God wanted her to use her story to help others struggling through infertility. About a year ago, God gave her a dream for an event that would bring women (and their husbands!) together to share stories, gain resources, bring encouragement, and explore the option of adoption. She also had a dream of providing “seed” money to one special attendee to allow them to grow their family, either through adoption or through fertility treatments.

Saturday, February 9th, Emmy’s dream became a reality…

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The day was a PERFECT model of how God takes the little that each can give and multiplies it into something way bigger than humanly possible!

Emmy had friends from EVERY stage of life give of their time and talents – friends from the church we grew up in from the time we were toddlers, junior high school friends, high school friends, college friends, neighborhood friends, out-of-state family members, and even social media and blog friends!

Willing hands showed up to plan, prep, and serve food for more than 100 guests. Look at the adorable menus at each place!

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Servant-minded friends gave hours to make sure every detail was hand-crafted with care and made special for attendees.

Centerpieces…

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Programs…

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Desserts…Oh my goodness, the desserts! This picture isn’t even the tip of the iceberg! I was too busy gorging myself to stop and snap photos…

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And fabulous decor…

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14 different speakers taught on topics such as Infant Loss & Miscarriage, When Adoption is Your First Choice, Waiting on God’s Timing through Infertility & Adoption, Open Adoption, International Adoption, Special Needs Adoption, and The Ethics of Infertility Treatments. The schedule included a special breakout session for men to share questions and concerns unique to the guys, as well as a very fun craft time to give guests the opportunity to connect and chat casually. Emmy knows women open up a lot more to each other when they are working with their hands! Unfortunately, I have NO pictures of the very cute craft (a wreath that said “Choose Joy”) because craft time was also the time during which vendors were open for business. And we were BUSY!

Dancing Upon Barren Land…

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Throne of Grace…

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Throne of Grace was blessed to have the opportunity to make and donate 20 sets of our brand-new scripture memorization cards, custom made for the event – “God’s Word for Choosing Joy”.

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On top of being able to gift these tools to 20 lucky winners, God allowed us to encourage and bless many of the guests through conversation and through Throne of Grace tools like our Legacy Prayer Journals, “How to Pray through Infertility”, “God’s Word for Challenging Times”, “How to Pray for a Birthmother”, etc.

The best part of the day was when my brother-in-law joined Emmy on stage and the winning raffle ticket was drawn. Then Nathan prayed for Kristi, the stunned winner.

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As only God can orchestrate, it turns out Kristi and her husband are in the process of adopting their first child and the amount of cash raised in the raffle jar (over $2,700!) is exactly what they owed for their next payment in the adoption process! You can read Kristi’s story, in her own words, on the Choose Joy Event website HERE. (You will have to scroll down to the post from February 11, 2013.)

Truly, truly, a beautiful day and a beautiful event! I have a beautiful sister and my heart is swollen with pride! Not pride in what she did. Only God could do it. I’m proud of her for believing a dream God conceived in her heart and taking a huge leap of faith to walk with Him through the months of labor. Great job on the delivery, Emmy! You’ve birthed a beautiful baby and I pray that Choose Joy 2013 is just the beginning. There are many more hurting hearts to reach…

By His Grace and for His Glory,molly

Comments

  1. Okay – I just put my makeup on for the day and I’m crying like crazy now!! Molly, you have truly captured the day and the dream that gives God all the glory. Your love and support of your sister, for more than 35 years, has always blessed my heart, but today my cup runneth over! Thank you, God, for my two godly daughters. Only God could have done that work!

  2. OK I have a big lump in my throat, tears rollng down cheeks, but a joyful heart to read such a beautful description of a God-blessed event. I love the White family. May God bless you!
    Ree Sokol

  3. Diana Rodgers says:

    Molly and Emmy ~ God bless YOU Both and Your Golden Hearts as well !! What Joy You are bringing to so many people with the steadfast love of The Lord You Both have. How very proud Your Parents are and I join the ranks of proud followers…Praying the Lord blesses YOu Both with this incredible “joy-filled” ministry!! Loving Gratitude & Abundant Prayers!

  4. What an amazing event! So wonderful to see you, Emmy and Megan all working together at this special event. [Big hugs to you all!!!] As you know, we had struggled on the infertility road and it is so tough, but what an amazing outreach to these couples something like this is for both practical resources and to point us all toward our Redeemer. Are you able to provide links or info for the resources that were at the event? Even though God has blessed us with 3 kids, we know some other couples who are having to choose joy while walking the difficult path of infertility and considering adoption.

    • Hi Stephanie! Thanks so much for visiting the blog and saying “hello”! Big hugs back to you and your beautiful family! We miss you and Andy and we need to hang out SOON! Have to meet your adorable Zeke! Congratulations!

      Yes, I will ask Emmy to get me links to the resources and agencies that were present. That is a great idea! I will try to post those soon! I did have some links in this post (just in case you didn’t see them) to some of the resources Throne of Grace offers for those struggling in this area. I didn’t mention, but do also have prayer cards sets for praying for Foster Children and the Birthparents of Your Foster Children, for those growing their family through the foster care system. They are not currently up in my shop but I need to get them listed! :)

      Here, also, is a link to the Choose Joy Event website which has links to the various speakers from the event: http://www.choosejoyevent.com

      Blessings,
      Molly :)

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