So I wrote this last week . . . and finally posting💕.
I’m sitting here in Colorado enjoying a beautiful view, surrounded by the majesty of God. His creation speaks of who He is . . . majestic, powerful, beautiful and good. When we first came to this area, I saw the mountains surrounding us as obstacles that created fear in my life. Over the past year and half, God has taught me how to find beauty in the hard places and how to LIVE where He has me. That has a lot to do with getting out of our stuck places and finding joy where we are in life.
Again, it’s about perspective and mind set.
Can You Find Beauty?
When you look at life and what lies before you, can you find the blessings and beauty in broken, messy places? If it’s fresh in your life, maybe it’s too soon. I remember flying into Colorado with tears, fears and a heavy heart. At that time, Colorado was not beautiful to me.
But over time and after a few more trips this way, God began to change my heart and perspective. I believed God was with us and was answering my prayers, but boy was it a hard path to walk. So it took some time for me to grow to appreciate the journey. It’s just that way when our lives are shattered. Perspective amidst painful things takes time and as we lean hard into the arms of Jesus, He heals our hearts and strengthens us to be able to stand and proclaim that we’ve seen and tasted the goodness of God in our brokenness and need.
Actually, the fight for joy in my own life started months before my trips to Colorado. Thank goodness, God was already working in my heart and life before we received that phone call in July of 2019. That’s why it is so important to tune into what the Holy Spirit is speaking to you and then do what He says. God could be trying to prepare you for a time down the road where you will need to be strong and know that He is with you and orchestrating the details. When God prepares you, you need not be shaken by whatever comes.
I seem to always digress as I begin to write . . . thoughts and words just seem to come, and I struggle to get to my point.
Going back to early 2019 I found myself living life without joy. Life had drained me. The previous several years had been taxing and demanding. Most of the circumstances surrounding us – we had little control over. It was real life and what comes with that life . . . marriage, kids, jobs, and elderly parents. However, looking back, there were things we could have done MUCH better. Personally, I will admit that I took on too many things that I felt expected to do, and I failed to ask for help. That took a toll on my family and me!
So how did I push thought the yuck and fight for Joy?
I continued to seek God and pray about the condition of my heart, mind and soul. I knew God created us to live with Joy – based on what Christ has done for us, not our circumstances. So that is where I began. Jesus must be my first love. Apparently, I had been basing my contentment with life on things that are temporary and passing. Disappointment can set in and cause us to doubt and drift away from growing in Christ.
Life on Earth is full of disappointment. That is reality. We live in a fallen world full of sin so we are going to face disappointment. But this is where we have to focus and move out of our stuck places. Who or what are we looking to for happiness? This world will never satisfy our souls! If we are looking to be fulfilled by the temporary things of this world we will end up empty. Only God satisfies the longings of our soul and heart.
11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations] Romans 10:11 (AMP)
Do you believe that He will meet your needs?
Learn to Apply Truth
The Lord is my Shepherd [to feed, to guide and to shield me],
I shall not want.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still and quiet waters.
He refreshes and restores my soul (life);
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the [sunless] [a]valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort and console me.
Are you willing to BELIEVE God at His word?
To fight for joy you must start to fill your mind with what is TRUE.
Take Brave Steps Toward Change
What is something you once loved that you no longer do? Did it once bring life and joy to your heart? Start doing it again.
One of those things for me was walking. I just quit and it affected my mind and body. One day I started back and each step was a fight for JOY and TRUTH. Now at first, it was a battle because I didn’t feel like doing it, but I knew I needed it. As I pressed on, praying and listening as I walked, joy came.
Get Freed Up
This is actually the verse inscribed in mine and Chuck’s wedding bands. Little did we know how appropriate this verse would be for our marriage. Here we are 24 years later, and we have experienced the truth and life of these words in our family.
Confession and repentance are vital to experiencing Joy. Stuffing our negative emotions is one sure fire way to end up unhealthy – spiritually, physically and mentally. We must learn to pour out our hearts to God. Get honest with God and others about where we are and how we struggle. Isolation will destroy us . . . again, spiritually, physically and mentally. We were not created to live alone. Fear can cause us to withdraw and not allow ourselves to be vulnerable with God and other people. But we do need to be careful to develop relationships with safe, trustworthy people who are walking with God. We cannot experience the joy of the Lord without confessing our sins (and yes, that is often not fun, but necessary). We must pray for the Holy Spirit to bring us to repentance. We cannot muster up repentance in our flesh, it must be the Holy Spirit’s work in our hearts. When we experience the freedom that confession and repentance brings, we will know the Joy of the Lord in our lives. There is so much more I have to say . . . and I will. But for now, I’m going to close and ask you to be praying about what is keeping you from being open and honest about your own heart struggles? I continue to pray the same about my own heart and mind. There is more I will share about my own journey as we grow together to live surrendered; to be authentic; and to know by experience God’s joy, love and power.
Monica and Chuck