Hello my friends…I know I have been AWOL. You may not be as acutely aware of it as I am. But I have missed writing and I have missed posting so I had to just write a little something to let you all know I’m still alive. I greatly appreciate my guest bloggers and I have another one I’m going to feature soon. But today I’m going to write a little bit from my heart.
First, I have to tell you that I met my guest blogger, Heidi, on Tuesday in Dallas. I know many of you really appreciated her thoughts on taking people in our lives “as is.” (If you didn’t get a chance to read her post, click here.) I just have to say she is such a cool person. I’m really thankful I got to meet her face to face and I have a feeling she will be a guest blogger again very soon.
I have been unable to write lately because my family has been going through some difficult times and it was too hard to write without saying everything I am thinking. Trust me, that would not be a good thing. Now it feels like the crucible we have been in is cooling down a bit and I feel like I can write a little better now. No, I’m not going to go into the details about what’s been going on. It’s enough to say that both my husband and I have been dealing with some really tough personal & professional situations at the same time. The cool thing is that we were able to lean into each other because we were both hurting and I know it brought us closer to each other.
God has such a great sense of humor…and even though I don’t always find it funny when I’m in the midst of something, I can still appreciate it. See, I’m not generally a person who struggles with anxiety and worry. Not because I’m such a rock or anything. Just because I’m not wired that way. It’s nothing I’ve accomplished or take credit for. It’s just not an area that I usually struggle with. (I have plenty of those areas…for a list of my faults you can check out a previous blog here. Haha) However, in the midst of a week when I was probably more anxious than I’ve ever been, a friend asked me to write a post on “worry.” I wanted to say, “Very funny God. Come on…this is not a weakness of mine…it’s just a really stressful time!!” But I think he was sending me a message to live out what I preach. Any other time, I could have whipped off a post about “why you shouldn’t worry” in about ten minutes! But I couldn’t even type three words on it when I was in the midst of it.
It’s easy to say in your head, “Don’t be anxious. It doesn’t solve anything.” But it’s much harder to convince your heart of that when you are feeling anxious. So I think the best advice I have for when you’re worried or anxious is to tell yourself what you already know for sure. “I am God’s child. He works all things together for good for those who love him and he will never leave me or forsake me.” That doesn’t mean that everything in your current situation is going to work out to your liking or that you will even understand everything that comes your way. It just means that no matter what happens, he’s with you and he won’t leave you. That is the biggest comfort to me.
Not only did God make me laugh when my friend asked me to write about worry…he also had me in a Bible study on the book of James and of course, the first chapter says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Seriously God? Pure joy? I mean, I could probably keep myself from grimacing…but you want pure joy? That’s a tall order. I have to admit, I don’t know how to do that. But I keep asking God to help me with it. I know he can. That’s my prayer this week for myself and for you in whatever you find yourself going through. I’m asking him to help us find joy. Because joy isn’t dependent on happy circumstances. It goes back to the things I already know. “I am his child. He will work all things together for good (eventually ;)) and he will never leave me or forsake me.” That’s something to be joyful about. Joy has to live deep inside. It’s not related to what’s going on around me but what’s going on inside of me.
And did you catch the end of those verses? The end result of going through trials is that we are made mature and complete. That’s cool! I like the sound of that. I know I need that. So, while the joy isn’t necessarily found in my circumstances, it can be found in knowing that those circumstances, if I react to them in the right way, can make a beautiful thing in my life. I may not see that beautiful thing for years, but I trust God and I know he will make it happen. There’s so much more that I could write about this topic but this is enough for today. One thing at a time and today I’m seeking joy. 🙂
If you have a tip for finding joy in the midst of pain…leave a comment. I’d love to hear what you have to say.