His Amazing Joy!

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Someone commented to me recently that they were surprised that I don't get depressed with all that has happened in these last few years.  I guess I've never thought of it that way.  Thankfully, by God's grace, that hasn't been the case.  I guess what I've experienced is that when it's hard, and often seems to get harder, and I know I can't make it - I just have to press in closer to the Lord.  He always helps me, and gives me greater and greater depths of His joy....which is our strength.

I know that may sound a little crazy.  But especially as I thank Him, worship Him, and speak out my trust in Him - it somehow expands my capacity for His joy which I desperately need.  And that powerful joy that He ministers to my heart protects me from being depressed.  That's the only way I know to explain it.

That doesn't mean I haven't had some low days.....some heavy days.....many, many hard days.  I definitely have!  As I've written these updates, I've tried to be as open and vulnerable with you as I know how, so I've shared the good and the hard times.  But the low times don't "stick" because of the love, grace, and joy that He has ministered to my heart.  It's not the natural law of things, but I think it is the spiritual way that God has provided for us.

We live in a painful world.  There are so many tragic things happening.  There is so much sickness.  There seems to be increasing numbers of natural disasters.  There are unanswered prayers that we can't understand.  There are difficult things that all of us face day by day by day.  But we are not helpless in these events!  God is with us.  He is faithful.  And I believe He has deeper and deeper pathways for us to walk into in our relationship with Him.  He will never leave us alone, in the hard situations.  He is right beside us, each moment of each day.  He holds our hand and is closer than the air we breathe. 

I know that depression is very real.  For those who battle it - my heart breaks for them.  I went through a season of depression after the birth of one of our children.  It was extremely difficult.  And we can't ignore it or pretend it's not there.  I just feel grateful that He has protected my heart from it on this long unexpected journey.

I think He's been teaching me is that when I reach "my end" it's not THE end.  He has greater and greater provision available of all that I need.  And He has invited me to join Him on a special journey of pouring that provision into my heart and life.  I can't thank Him enough.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."  Philippians 4:8

"But you, O Lord, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high."  Psalm 3:3

"Why, my soul, are you downcast?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Saviour and my God."  Psalm 42:11

"I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world."  John 16:33

"The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand."  Psalm 37:23,24

"I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry.  He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.  He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God."  Psalm 40:1-3

"A bruised reed He will not break, and a faintly burning wick He will not quench."  Isaiah 42:3

He has kept me from being broken on this journey!  My heart is full of His goodness.  He is so very faithful!