In the summer of 2022, we found out at our 12 week appointment that we were having our first baby girl. But a moment later, we also learned that our daughter had Trisomy 13, a life-limiting diagnosis with little to no chance of survival.
A few weeks later, a group of women came over and prayed over me and our baby girl. The word “Joy” kept coming up in the prayers and one of the ladies told me maybe Joy would make a great name for her. Little did she know, I was praying for God to give us her name…
Richard came home later that evening and I told him about the name Joy and he cried and told me he was praying for God to give us a name on the way home.
Joy is only found in Jesus and not our circumstances. Joy doesn’t depend on what’s happening, or what we have, or who’s in our life or not in our lives. Joy is an attitude of the heart determined by confidence in God. Real, genuine joy is a byproduct of having a strong and intimate relationship with Christ. To truly know Christ is to truly have joy.
Shortly thereafter, we got in touch with Abel Speaks. We heard about it from a friend who recently heard about the ministry, as well as another woman who had been blessed by them and could relate with us. Abel Speaks immediately put us in contact with another couple who also could relate after losing their son.
We immediately connected with this community. It felt safe and they could understand and empathize with us. We could ask questions anytime about the medical terms and decisions the doctor was asking us and just to be there when we were having a hard day or moment.
Since then, Abel Speaks walked every step with us and celebrated our baby in so many beautiful and tangible ways through the most beautiful sweet gifts. Seeing her name on each gift was such a beautiful way to honor her.
They’ve shown us we could celebrate and find joy in each moment we had with our daughter, and even after. We’ve learned that joy and sorrow can coexist.
We gave birth to our sweet Joy on Dec 14 , 2022 and although she already passed in utero we cherished holding her and celebrating her life. It was one of the most difficult days, and yet, we felt God holding us and comforting us like never before. We are forever thankful for the life of our little girl.
PAYING IT FORWARD
Abel Speaks is family to us. This ministry supports each life no matter how brief it may be. Every life is created by God with a plan and a purpose.
This past summer, they hosted us for a retreat with all expenses covered. We got to spend a weekend celebrating our baby girl with other families who recently lost their babies as well. It was the most beautiful and memorable weekends we have ever experienced. To be able to speak about her and celebrate her with others who understand was so healing for our family.
Abel Speaks helps families find Hope in Christ, knowing they are not alone in this, and seeing that they can celebrate their babies life, knowing JOY in the sorrow. We look forward to continuing to support and serve in this ministry, and invite you to make a donation in Joy’s honor so that other families can have the same support we did.
By faith, Joy still speaks!
-Richard & Pam Paulin