Monday, December 15, 2008

Defining Joy

To be totally honest, I've had mostly good days here in Texas, but last week during the night on Saturday night, I woke up from a dream and cried like I haven't in years. I think it was my very soul going through separation and loss. It was the worst grief I've experienced since my sweet daddy went to be with Jesus. Poor Mark was at his wits end. It lasted for several hours and even bled over into the morning. There were no words to explain it. My soul was literally groaning in agony. I put it aside as I tend to do and probably fed it over the week with some M & M's and other various chocolates....chocolate covered pretzels, in fact.

When I got to church yesterday the sermon was the beginning of a series on the gifts of Christmas. The first was "Joy." The pastor used several examples of real joy including what Job felt after losing his home, family, land, and as he was scratching boils over his entire body.....he felt the love of God and counted it all joy. True joy comes only after intense sorrow and suffering. Joy is not related to more temporal "happiness." Joy involves the soul. It has nothing to do with our circumstances. It has to do with the condition of our souls. Mine is secure, covered by the blood of Jesus. He will not leave me or forsake me. I've heard all this before, but now it really has penetrated my heart. He has called us to this place. I am leaning on Him as I never have before. And I know that I am exactly where he wants me. Broken and at his feet, trusting him for every breath I take. It is so much easier to hear him when I'm totally broken. His sweet promises whisper in my heart and mind. "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thess 5:16-18

"You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." Psalms 16:11

Why he would do this for me, the worst of sinners, I can't fully comprehend. The fact that he did is testimony of his goodness and grace.

Amidst the sorrow, the joy shines through. I love my husband and the time we are having to act like honeymooners and the freedom of no expectations placed on us. We are enjoying making this house our home and exploring our new town together. We are waiting for clear direction as to what comes next, where he would have us serve, but we know our God is our future. He will direct our paths and has a wonderful plan for us. It is all good.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:10-12

To God alone be the Glory. Great things He has done.

1 comment:

Tracy Bro said...

What a sweet post. Bittersweet. It makes my heart ache. I miss you. Somehow just knowing I can't call and meet you at Cancun tomorrow for lunch makes me sad. I love hearing that you and Mark are having a great time together. I can only imagine what "acting like honeymooners" means. :) I'm guessing Santa was able to come this year?