Thursday, January 22, 2009

Joy = Strength

"The joy of the Lord is your strength." ~ Nehemiah 8:10

God keeps putting that one in my head. Been tossing it around trying to really understand what it means. I think today I have finally begun to get it. I've learned so much these last few's hard to sort it all out and put words to it. The biggest thing I've learned so far is that with God I can have peace. True peace. And joy. Not the kind of joy that you get with a new car or a new whatever thing that makes you happy. The kind of joy you get when things are not going well, when you find yourself in a dark valley. You are able to smile through it and stay CALM knowing that God has it all planned out and is working ahead of you for your good. Now that's what I'm talkin' about.

I'm coming out of a valley....headed back up the mountain. God has been with me all the way. Teaching me, showing me, "cleaning out" my heart and helping me see how things should be. It's exciting, scary, fun and exhausting.

My journey to finding my true self is on-going, but I finally see pieces of the real me coming out. Things I want to share with others and I've started to realize that I am fully capable of making a lasting impression on this world for the better. God gave me gifts and talents and He is showing me who to share them with. I'm letting Him choose and make those choices and, boy, is that a ton easier! He knows their hearts and He knows their intentions. He's a pretty good "wing man"! :)

As you know, I am a very impatient person....I believe I have described myself as having the patience of a flea. That's getting easier too. I have always wanted to know how the story ends before I start reading it. I realized, with the help of a very good, smart friend, that if I know how it ends, I either won't go through it or will "prepare to lessen the pain" and miss the blessing God has planned. So....for the first time EVER....I started a new book and am all the way to chapter 7 and haven't even THOUGHT about looking at the end! God is so good. :0)

JC is my BFF....


sharilyn said...

thank you for this honest post... i find it, and you, encouraging and inspiring! God's best to you today and 'in the process.'

Billy Coffey said...

Glad you're coming out of that valley and heading back up the mountain. More glad that you've grown closer to the One who walked with you step by step the whole way. And you're right, you ARE fully capable of making a lasting impression.

Good for you.

Frisbies Forever said...

You make me laugh! Look at how many you have brought together from HS and freed from their thoughts of how others are OR should be. I just realized I can't do this without writing a book. I will just email you! Love, Your 2nd Biggest Cheerleader! He already KNOWS what you can do! You DO make a difference!

God's Not Finished With Us Yet... said...

Have you read the book 'Hinds Feet on High Places' by Hannah Hurnard? Your post reminds me so much of this book. It's the first thing that entered my mind.

It's a Christian novel about a girl named 'Much Afraid' trying to find herself and break free from her fears. But she has a hard time. The book follows 'Much Afraid' (It took me awhile to get used to all the names and their meanings as I was a baby Christian when I first read it.)...Anyway, the book follows her on her Spiritual journey as she overcomes torment, fears, and dangers to reach the High Place. Once she goes through the valley and back up the mountain (more than once), she finally reaches the Shephard, learns who she truly is, and He gives her a new name and transforms her completely. It's a great book about how God wants us to be led by Him and not our restrictions, past or tricks of the mind telling us we 'can't' when with Him we 'can' break free, even if it's just from ourselves.

It's an awesome book; the first Christian book I ever read and I love it. And, no, don't read the end pages of this book either, should you decide to look into it. I'm proud of you for not looking at the end of the book you are reading now....tempting as it is, (We've all done it a time or two) the advise from your friend is dead on!

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1: 5

Jennifer said...

God bless you as you come out of the valley, finding joy and strength.