Jackson Smith and her husband, Connor Smith, posted a heartwarming announcement last week as they revealed they’re expecting their first child. Jackson Smith said at that time: “I feel like I said so many times last year that 2023 topped the charts with more joy and celebration and redemption than any yet. Well, I have a feeling 2024 may give it a run for its money… 🙏🏻🥳🙌🏻 We are absolutely thrilled to share BABY BOY SMITH coming this June!!! 💙 👶🏻 🤰🏻 💙”
Jackson Smith said she wanted “nothing but absolute joy” in that announcement. But over the weekend, she shared in a lengthy post that “there’s so much more I need to say after the years of grief y’all have walked with me.” Jackson Smith posted a photo on Instagram with her dog, showing the In Joy Life podcast host resting one hand over her growing baby bump and another holding up sonogram images. The photo, dated 2/7/24, marks 20 weeks. Jackson Smith wrote about her thoughts on waiting, hope and celebration throughout her pregnancy so far. Read her full caption below.
Shortly after making her announcement, Jackson Smith’s father posted about his grandson on the way. Jackson posted a photo with his wife, Denise, and the parents-to-be as he wrote in his caption: “Blessings are overflowing in our growing family! Denise and I are thrilled for our second grandson to arrive in June! We’re so happy for proud parents [Mattie Jackson Smith] and Connor Smith and can’t wait to meet the next addition to our family.”
Earlier this week, we shared about our sweet baby boy coming this summer. I wanted nothing but absolute joy in that post! But there’s so much more I need to say after the years of grief y’all have walked with me. So here’s a few things that have struck me deeply in the first half of my pregnancy:
On WAITING - To be honest, there’s part of me that’s always hesitant to share good news here, to post about these miraculous things in my life that are literal answers to years of tearful prayers. Because I know many of you are just there - in the tearful, waiting, wondering prayer place. I talk often on the podcast and when I speak about the secondary losses of grief, and for me, the constant wondering (worrying?) if I’d ever get to be a mom was at the top of that list.
I hate waiting. I’m so sorry if you’re waiting and anxiously wondering right now. All I know to tell you is that God doesn’t waste our waiting. In fact, it’s in the waiting that he teaches us the kind the surrender, the deep trust in his way and his will and his timing, that sets us free. And I promise you, that freedom is worth waiting for.
On HOPE - I’m a generally hopeful person. I imagine and prepare for the best. But hope in these past years has been a fight. It’s been a daily choice. It’s been an act of willful defiance against fear and loss and anxiousness.
Hope, as my friend [Lee Warren] says, is a verb. It is a thing we can choose to do, or not. When we do it regularly, acting in hope of future joy and redemption and life, we start to live with a little more confidence that those things can happen. I learned from him that “faith is believing God can do something; hope is believing he can do it for me.” Fight in hope, my friends. It, too, is a much freer and fuller way to live.
On CELEBRATION - One of my favorite stories in Scripture has become one where Jesus heals 10 lepers, only 1 of which Luke tells us came back to thank him. I hate to say that before Ben died, I probably would have been in the 9, not the 1. Moving too quickly to the next thing to the savor the joy of the thing that just happened.
A great blessing of grief to me was being forced to be slow, to be present. And there is no present more worth slowing down in than the ones when those years of waiting and hoping arrive! REJOICE my friends - make the little things big and the big things a celebration. Don’t blow past the yeses God gives or the dreams that finally come true. Pop some bottles, call some friends, have a party!
I lay at our 20 week ultrasound this week for 15/20-minutes with a stream of warm, joyful tears flowing down my face. And as the not-so-warm, very down-to-business nurse pushed and poked at my belly, and I DID NOT WIPE THEM AWAY because, REJOICE. Thank you, Jesus. Years of waiting and hoping is finally a reality, and I will not brush that away.
So wherever you are…
WAIT well, with the goodness and kindness and sovereignty of God as your fuel.
HOPE defiantly. Fight every day in anticipation for the abundant life Jesus says he has for us.
CELEBRATE everything. Because isn’t that a much better way to live??