Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Retired U.S. women’s soccer player Lauren Holiday took to social media over the weekend to open up about her life as a new mother and the obstacles she faced upon learning she had a benign brain tumor while six months pregnant.
Holiday, 29, posted a photo of daughter Jrue on Saturday to her Instagram page and wrote, “I have never quite known suffering like I experienced the last 6 months. I can remember countless nights repeating ‘there may be pain in the night but joy comes in the morning.’ I remember half believing it and half still in disbelief that this was my life.”
The two-time Olympic gold medalist had the tumor, a type called meningioma, successfully removed in October, just one month after she gave birth to her daughter, Jrue Tyler Holiday.
Holiday says that in addition to the support of her husband, NBA player Jrue Holiday, and other family, her strength comes from her faith in God.
“I memorized scripture and some days my faith felt unshakable and others I was scared to death,” she wrote beneath the photo of her daughter. “Every time I see this smile, I’m reminded that joy does come in the morning. Maybe not the next day, maybe not even the next month but it comes. I can’t imagine what heaven will be like if this is the joy I get to experience on earth. Psalm 30:5”
The Holidays, college sweethearts, married in 2013. After Lauren Holiday’s diagnosis, her husband, a guard for the New Orleans Pelicans, took a leave of absence from the team to focus on his family.
He missed the preseason and 12 regular season games before returning to the court in late November.
“I’m blessed, man,” he said at a news conference at the time. “Blessed to have my family back, blessed that we’re OK. So blessed for the support from especially the team. I can’t even explain how much they were there for me and my family through everything.”
Jrue Holiday gave another update in January, saying, “My wife is a lot better so I’m doing a lot better.”
“I guess it’s been going well and it hasn’t been affecting me, I don’t think,” he said, according to ESPN. “My wife is doing really well and she’s gradually getting better, and that’s all I can ask for. She’s alive, and I’m blessed for that. My daughter is OK. So, I’m happy.”
Lauren Holiday has used social media to post photos of the couple’s daughter, including one eight weeks ago, captioned, “You’re my hallelujah.”
“There’s ultimate joy for Lauren Holiday on social media,” said USA Today columnist and ABC News consultant Christine Brennan. “I mean, she’s using it to tell what appears to be a very happy ending.”
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