Happy Sunday everyone! I hope your weekend is going well and I hope your Monday is even better! We had a few thunderstorms last night and are going to have some more today-YUK! I was sitting outside and was watching it lightning off in the distance, it was the sharpest and clearest bolts I have ever seen. Am I the only one that loves watching it lightning off in the distance at night? Then counting down to the thunder…brings back memories as a child. I was so content watching the awesomeness of God’s handy work. Wow!!
I have been thinking and thinking about today’s post and I keep coming back to joy! Joy is something we all want down deep inside. We all have been hurt, we get bogged down with “life”, people hurt us and these things seems to snatch our joy. Joy the Lord promised us…but sometimes we stand in our own way of receiving that gift. So I thought I would share a part of my life that brought great sadness, but how I eventually got joy and learned to depend on the Lord day to day, not just in the bad times.
Psalm 94:19 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.
When I was married in my 20’s I was cheated on and it was the hardest thing I ever went through. I have never experienced that kind of hurt and rejection or betrayal. I had a small child that was 2 years old and I eventually moved into my mother’s home so I could maintain my lifestyle. Moving back home was not an easy task either. I swallowed that pill called pride and moved back in with my mom. Little did I know, moving back in with my mom would be the greatest gift I could receive in spite of the horrible heartbreak.
I was an emotional mess ladies, I could not eat, I could not sleep, I was losing weight daily. I managed to work and I managed to look after my son, but at night I would lay in my bed and cry myself to sleep. The hurt and emptiness were like nothing I had felt, it was a totally different kind of hurt than losing my dad. I would try and eat, but I could not swallow the food. I would keep myself busy at work and when I found myself tearing up, I would walk to the back and get my self in order. I would play with Chase and fake smiles and laughs and then bedtime came and the tears would come again.
I was 26 years old and that’s when I finally knelt down beside my bed and sincerely cried out to God to take total control of my life. I started going to church, I read my Bible, I knew I could find joy in the Lord. I had been taught that my entire life – I had faith in the teachings of my mother. I had faith in that Bible and I knew the same God in that Bible still reigned and he loved me and he would give me joy again.
Girls, I cannot tell you how many Sunday mornings, Sunday nights and Wednesday night I would go the altar and pour my heart out to the Lord. Many times I would be the first down there and the last to leave at the altar call. I prayed for the Lord to help me forgive my husband, to lead my path and mostly to give me joy again. I wanted to laugh, I wanted to sing, I wanted to smile and the smallest things in life.
I was persistent and I persevered in my prayers and then I started thanking the Lord for giving me joy instead of asking for joy. I had to step out on faith because I was so miserable and I could not shake the hurt. And the hurt was turning into resentment. And as the resentment was building, I was building walls up around my heart so no one would ever hurt me that way again. But this is not what I wanted – I wanted to be happy, forgive and forget and move on with my life. It seemed like it was about 2 years of constant praying at church, at home, in the car, at work – you name the place and I was talking to the Lord in my mind.
One night I was coming in late from work and I was singing coming in the door and it hit me – oh my gosh– I’m not bitter, I’m not hurt, I’m happy again. From that day on I started really analyzing myself, at work, kidding with people again, at home playing with Chase – I was back and better than ever.
Some will say time heals all wounds and that may be true, but the scarring from hurt can last a lifetime. Some say this was not the Lord, well that’s ok – but I BELIEVE it was God. And I also believe that it took a long amount of time because God was teaching me patience, how to pray, how to fight spiritually and teaching me how to lean on scripture and the promises of God.
What did all that praying give me? JOY! I’ve been in slumps before, but nothing has ever sucked the life out of me where I could not smile, laugh and carry on. I literally have joy down deep in me and it pours out daily in all kinds of ways. Little did I know that I would go through the worst 2 years of my life only to be rewarded with the ability to laugh and smile through anything. I now see the positive in things and try not to only look at the bad. It has been hard at times but in the end, it has made me realize that if I can’t change it – don’t worry about it.
So for those of you that are going through the valley right now, keep hope, pray and know God hears your prayers and he will answer them. Your trials, heartache
Have a wonderful day ladies, every one of you has touched my life in some small way. Whether you comment and I have become long distant friends with you or if you follow me…you are touching my life and I am thankful for every one of you! Stay safe and I will see you tomorrow on the blog!!
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