Friends, I am excited to introduce you to a dear friend of mine: Sara Cormany, whom I met through the Mundane Faithfulness Community on Facebook. Sara is fun, funny, clever, and talented. She is the kind of mama we all want to be, and a visionary with a servant’s heart. And she is one of the most joy-filled women I have ever had the privilege of knowing. Sara is a true gracemonger, always seeking grace in the hard spots and mundane parts of life. I asked her to share her heart with us and give us a glimpse into her journey of being met by God’s tender love even as she travels a difficult path. I wept when I read this (and you might think I’m crazy, but I suggest you read it out loud—it’s even more powerful to voice pain and then redemptive truth!), and I pray that Sara’s story and faith will meet you where you are. I am so pleased to share my sweet sister in faith with you.
A Quiet Joy
Guest Post by Sara Cormany
Every morning, she greets me—a quiet joy to meet the breaking of the night.
I peek through her door to see her little face peering over the edge of the crib. Sometimes bright and clear-eyed, waiting for the door to be opened wide. Sometimes a little punch drunk from the sudden snap of an interrupted slumber. But always met with her mama’s Hello, my love!
It is a greeting quickly answered with a half-cocked smile and little arms up as if to say, It’s time!
So I leave the pain of night behind and lift her into my embrace, standing for the count of 1-2-3-4-5 minutes with her little head snuggling so deeply into my neck it is hard to know where I stop and she begins.
And we sway, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Her hands holding mine, her forehead sometimes moving up to press my own, her little kisses on my nose.
A place of quiet restoration. A place where joy greets my morning. A place where pain melts into promise. A place where Jesus and I meet every day.
Because even as I count to the sway of 1-2-3-4-5, I remember the time that came before this dance began—a time when pain found me reeling from morning to afternoon into night—to a day 5 years ago, when I peered inside another door to see someone else’s smile.
Teary-eyed, I walked in with my hands shaking as my husband did his best to steady them. I was introduced to a tiny room filled with unfamiliar faces, This is Sara. She is my friend. She knows adversity. But she also knows joy.
It was an introduction that caused my tears to fall knowing what my heart begged to say: I fear I’m losing hope, my loves.
Instead I spoke of the previous year—the chronic illness, the stroke, the recovery, the things that had been taken from me. The pregnancy, the miscarriage, the septic shock 5 days later, the secondary infertility, all the things that had been taken from us.
And then my hands began to shake again.
In a way so gentle I could scarcely describe it, my husband rescued me. His hands steadied mine once more, his arm found its way around my shoulders, his words finished our story, talking of his job loss, the empty bank accounts...
Then the prayers began. I heard words like redemption and hope and beauty. I watched as the hurt in their own stories drew tears of compassion. And I trusted the motive of the tender hearts without question.
Yet I still struggled to believe.
How could I ever reconcile all that was broken and scarred and lost into hope?
It is only later that I realized these precious women who sat with us in our brokenness were leading us to an answer Jesus breathes into my heart even now: My love, you will not ever reconcile what is broken and scarred and lost into hope. But I will.
I could not have imagined how. I could not have imagined when. I could not have imagined her.
But as I walked out of that room, I felt a tiny seed had been planted, watered by the joy of life and three beautiful littles I had waiting at home.
For the next 2 years, almost in the same sway to a back and forth 1-2, Jesus patiently held me through the night until morning to see the beauty of all that He gives.
A heartbeat. A small, almost imperceptible heartbeat, a tiny flicker of hope that would begin to grow into a flame.
What the world had deemed impossible, what I had believed was impossible was slowly growing inside my broken and weary body. Yet the restoration of hope does not come without pain, my loves; it is woven intricately in the messy, broken, and uncomfortable pieces of real life.
Be it in the fear I faced every day as I felt my Madeleine Joy squirm inside me, or in the tears that fell onto my Daddy’s face as I kissed him goodbye, nearly 6 weeks to the day that she was to be born. Or in the year following her birth when my illness began to demand that I fight harder, surrender more, and be so much less than the mom I wanted to be.
Muscles stretched that I never knew I had, cutting right into the depth of me, yanking and pulling me fully into the light. Birthing a hope that brings us back to now, with her little face peering over the edge of her crib.
Yes, my illness still brings pain and suffering. Yes, my body is still broken. Yes, my future is still uncertain.
But in His grace, He has given me a dance for the journey, for the road I am asked to walk and for the time that I have left. A sway with a little girl, who is the answer to a sacred prayer and brings hope to every dawn.
So that no matter what the night unveils or the day before lays heavily down, I know Jesus will come to greet me in our 1-2-3-4-5, back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. His hands holding mine. His face bending down to my own. His arms catching me still.
A place of quiet restoration. A place where joy greets my morning. A place where pain melts into promise. A place where He and I will gently sway.
Today, tomorrow, and all the way Home.
Sara Cormany is mama to four and wife to one sweet guy. She is a stroke survivor, chronic illness fighter, and former teacher to teenagers. But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy, and the seemingly unimportant of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful. She writes about their journey together at www.everydayisgrace.com.