This post is my heart in black and white. It has been a difficult year and a half in our family. We have faced circumstances that have revealed things in my heart that are hard to bear. My husband has often been perplexed with how to help. Most times he just holds me and listens. Always he prays.
This week my angst came to an ugly head. Tom laid his hands on me and asked God to bring me to a place of peace and joy as only He could. In that moment I felt his unrelenting love and support. It is what God used to allow the light of His love to begin shining in my darkness.
There are so many things God has used to lead me through this valley. Two books I’m reading, one given to me by a friend who was compelled to share it with me: Images of Faith, by Miriam Huffman Rockness, and Pierced and Embraced by Kelli Worrall. I highly recommend them both!
Confession of sin is the doorway to freedom. I know this and have used it in counseling others. But somehow when in my own valley, it is often hard to get there. Too many “what if’s” haunting my path, making me paralyzed to move forward.
But God. He knew this week was my focus on joy.
Our life has not been filled with happiness as of late. But God wanted to fill me with something better that I can stand on—joy in the Him. He took on sin, my sin. My freedom was a joy set before Him allowing Him to endure the Cross of suffering, so I wouldn’t have to.
Circumstances haven’t changed, but my focus has. I will not allow the enemy of my soul to dictate my level of joy. If Jesus endured unimaginable suffering for me, I can follow Him through whatever valley His providence leads because I know He is with me.
I end with two articles by Desiring God Ministries. The first is titled, How Shall We Fight for Joy. In this Mr. Piper simply lays out 15 practical steps on how to get out of the mire of a joyless focus.
The second is titled, Learn the Secret of Gutsy Guilt.
If this season you find yourself in a similar struggle, I’m praying that your marriage will be the catalyst God uses to launch you to a place of truth and joy in the Lord.
The joy of the Lord is my strength—those words have never been more deeply felt.
Merry, Joy-filled Christmas from our home to yours.
Thanks for sharing your struggles and the encouragement that only God can give. I’m so glad to hear of your breakthrough this week, and know that your husband was an instrument of grace in all of this. May your JOY in Christ carry you through these trials and continue to overflow to others!!
Thank you, Markus. Merry Christmas to your family!