Monday, April 18, 2011

With Joy


With Joy

Monday, April 18, 2011

This weekend was such a joy. I spent Saturday at the Extraordinary Women's conference with some dear friends and then church on Sunday. It was a completely joy filled weekend. What a fresh breath of air for me. I am finally rolling into real life. Life that does not have that horrible dark shadow that is always hanging on.  A life of normalcy and expectation. What a precious gift.

My friend Barbara always seems to have the fresh breath of air around her. I love that. I love her joy, her expectancy of life. It is contagious so I long for the days that we can spend time together so I can breath in her air. At many points in my walk it reminded me of life.

God, this weekend, took a moment and reminded me of my gift of Joy.  That it was back and overflowing. The gift was bigger than I ever thought possible. I realized on Saturday, as I listened to these women of immense strength and faith talk, how truly blessed I am. I heard them speak about where they had walked. I listened to their testimonies intently. I wanted to shout out Amen several times. Because I had been there, walked there, hurt there but now, I am free.  Free to soar . Free to run and not get weary. I just wanted to celebrate the moment. That moment of Joy.  That joy that comes in the morning from the long night.

 Before my friend Donna was to speak at the conference on Saturday, we took a moment and prayed together.  At first I was thinking how many times she had asked me to come, and now I could finally be here, as a friend with no worries, nothing hanging in the back of my mind, just a friend able to pray and be a support to someone else.  What a joy that brought to my heart. Just to be!

Donna and I have been prayer partners for a little more than a year now and God has done some amazing things but we both live in different states so this was the first time we were able to pray together, in one place. Just the two of  us. I could finally pray for her and it not at all be about me. I stood backstage and was prepared to call a host of angels down for my friend. But before we started she  looked me right in the eye and asked me "how are you doing?" and without hesitation, I said "Great!". Then, I started to cry…crying because of the joy that overflowed.  Crying because I could be there with my friend and crying because, well, because God is so good. But that moment was not about me.  It was for Donna and you know what? It made it even more special. That I did not have to be in the moment of tragedy but I could be in the moment of hope, joy, support, and life. God breathed life.

As Moms we all take joy in our children.  We can't help it. They are amazing. We all take joy in the love of our husbands. But, for me, that joy has so much depth that it just overflows. I can’t even talk about it without tears.  Because for me, I was not sure if any of these days would ever be here. I have spent the last two years looking God right in the eye and saying "where ever you have me walk, I will walk, I am not sure I am going to like all your answers but I promise to keep walking". I kept to that scripture that says "do not turn to the right or the left" and Proverbs 3:4-5 "in all thy ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path".  I have clung to them, I have screamed at them, I have begged God to release me and my family from this path and can we at least start a new one. But I can now, for the first time look back.  Though that path was full of rough terrain, I would never want to walk another one.  This path seemed to be the perfect one for my family and I. Rough terrain and all. We are healing but in such a better place.  Our hearts are different. We look at life differently. We look at people differently. We have more compassion. We have more grace.  We have more love to give because we have  been filled with so much.  We laugh more, we walk a bit slower in some ways so we can see life.  Feel life. We are running without weariness and we are soaring with the Eagles. Spiritually.

I know, you are thinking it must be a great place to be, it is. Are there still mountains in our life. Oh yes. I lost my job a few weeks ago.  We have a mountain of bills that I just look at and then look up. We have to prepare Olivia to finally be a teenager and get back into her social life which will not be an easy task.  She has been sheltered and grown up in an adult world.  You see, we still have issues but when I see who God is, how He has brought me through each and every valley, each and every heartache, each and every stumble….well, those are not problems. As my dear Donna would say, they are inconveniences.  God will work those out, I just walk through the doors that I see Him open and continue to be obedient and it will all work out. 

There was a time in my life that I would not have been able to sleep at night with just the bill problems. I would hold on to that issue until it was a not just a problem but a mountain in my heart.  I have been so amazed at the view point I have today. I am not ignoring them. I am walking through and doing what I can but the burden is gone.  Just being truthful and giving God my best. I still am amazed at the lack of stress it causes me now.  Because I have way too much joy to see it any other way than God has it under control.

So, today I am blogging about the joy. Real, freeing, beautiful joy. It creates a new heart in me for sure. Maybe it will be contagious, like my friend Barbara is to me, and you will find yourself with a song in your heart today.

Bless you and keep you today.

In His Grip

Barb

 (Just a side note, Donna was phenomenal. She is an amazing speaker and such a strong message for today. So if you want to check out what God has and is doing in this Extraordinary Woman's life go to www.donnavanliere.com .)
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