Wednesday, March 27, 2013

joy


I'm kind of going to put my self out there and share something I wrote to a friend not too long ago.  It was meant to encourage them and I was thinking today about transparency and thankfulness and all sorts of other things and felt maybe it was the right decision to share this on here in the hopes that there was someone else in the world (a.k.a the 20ish people who read my blog) who might need/want to hear it as well.  So here ya go...

There have been many times in my life where I have struggled with finding joy. I wouldn't call it depression but they were just times when I didn't feel right, just not quite myself. At some point in my early/mid twenties I feel like God started opening my eyes to the circumstances around it so that I could begin to pinpoint when it might happen or at least when it did happen what the cause might be. It usually comes along side times where I'm (1) exhausted (2) have a lot of things on my plate/in my brain and get overwhelmed (3) haven't been able to spend time with friends who encourage me (4) letting the lives others make me feel discontent with where I am in my own life. I"m pretty sure it's not a coincidence either that when any or all of these four things are going on that the amount of time I spend in prayer or reading my bible is pretty pitiful.
I started feeling these oh so familiar feelings a couple weeks ago when Logan was sleeping horribly because he was teething and Zach was really busy and gone a lot of nights and we were having lots of conversations about different decisions we needed to make. I felt the need to look up verses about JOY so that they would be ready for me to read when I needed them. Knowing my joy does not come from me or my surroundings but only because I am a child of God and that I have an amazing Savior who sacrificed himself so that I could not only have everlasting life BUT that I may also enjoy the life he has placed me in here on Earth despite the circumstances I am in. Don't ask me why I didn't think of this years ago. I guess its just reason one million that I need the Holy Spirit's guide or I'd just keep trying to fix it on my own and failing 
btw I know it's weird but I looked them up starting at the end of the NT and working my way forward. Not sure why but here ya go 
1 Peter 1:8 ...rejoice w/ JOY that is inexpressible and filled with glory
1 John 1:4 And we are writing these things so our JOY may be complete
James 1:2 Count It all JOY (He is sovereign and knows my whole story!)
Hebrews 13:17 (obey with joy not groaning)
! Thessalonians 1:6 w/ the joy of the Holy Spirit (just knowing Him and what He did feels us w/ joy)
Philippians 4:1 my JOY and crown stand firm thus in the Lord (nothing/no one can steal a joy fixed in Christ)
Philippians 2:2 Complete my JOY by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and one mind
Galatians 5:22 The fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self Control
John 16:22 no one will take your JOY (JOY=Christ's sacrifice, God's forgiveness, our Righteousness through HIM)
John 15:11 ...my joy may be in you and your joy may be full
Habakkuk 3:18 YET I will rejoice in the Lord. I will take Joy in the God of my salvation.
Isaiah 55:12 For you shall go out in JOY...
Isiaiah 35:10 ...they shall obtain gladness and JOY. and sorrow and sighing shall flee away
Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous brings joy
Psalms 119:111 Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart
Psalm 92:4 For you Lord have made me glad by your work; at the works of you hand I sing for joy
**Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit**
Psalm 30:5 ...joy come sin the morning
Nehemiah 8:10 ...the JOY of the Lord is your strength
If nothing else I hope it makes you feel good to know that you're not alone. It always makes me feel good to know that other people struggle with stuff too. no one is perfect...no one has it altogether. Even the people who pretend they do 

4 comments:

  1. this came at the perfect time for me, Sarah. Just from being sick these last two days, I have been super depressed and consumed with worry. "what if this is what the rest of my pregnancy is like? how will I be able to get out of bed each day knowing that what awaits me is all-day nausea and incredible fatigue?" It's so hard for me to find any sort of joy/peace when I am physically afflicted by something. thankfully, I am already feeling better today, so my worries were over-exaggerated. But even if I did have nausea for the rest of this pregnancy, that still shouldn't rob me of my joy. But it does, so easily. Ugh, so convicting. I'm going to re-read through each of these verses you found, probably multiple times this week :-)

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  2. I'm home sick today and spending my morning perusing through blogs. If you didn't count me in the 20 people that check in on yours than now you have 21 people that follow you! I am actually at a time in my life where I am very joyful, but if I take a step back and look at where the joy is coming from some of the time (people, things, relationships) it is convicting. Just like you said; our Joy comes from the Lord and Him alone. He can use people and things to bring us joy for sure, but ultimately it is only through Him. Thanks for the reminder! Hope you and all the boys are well! PS - Andrew Peterson led worship at my parents church a couple of weeks ago and she knew of him through me and I knew of him through you....so my mom thanks you! They thoroughly enjoyed the worship and the concert later that night.

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  3. You are always very encouraging Sarah! I'm blessed to have you as a sister!

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  4. You're so right...God places us right where we're at, with the circumstances that surround us, not so that we can try to find our way out of the maze ourselves, but so that we can follow Him as we walks us through. There are so many twists and turns and dead ends, and if we could just have fun in the maze instead of freaking out when it closes in, we might see that we aren't alone at all. If we shine our light bright enough, we'll see the faces of all the people who are lost and searching around us. We can link arms and enJOY the journey of the maze together. He standing right there in front of us, telling us where to go. But we get so lost in being lost that we forget that we're already found. I love your insight and your openness, Sarah! 😊

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