My husband and I have the privilege of celebrating our 18th anniversary today. As I reflect on the beginning of our journey together, I’m reminded of the moments of fun and laughter we have shared. Oh, how special those memories are to me.
But such moments seemed to vanish into thin air when we entered a difficult season. With our younger two children being diagnosed with rare illnesses, joy seemed to have lost its place in our lives. Suddenly, we had gone into survival mode which became a new normal for quite some time. When I look back at pictures of us during that time, all I see are faint smiles that seem to carry the weight of the world.
But God’s desire is to see His children thrive. John 11:11 says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” We knew we wanted to experience His unspeakable joy in spite of our circumstances.
We took a hold of God’s Word and ventured out from surviving to thriving. Whether it was simple moments together over coffee while at home or going for walk or even going out for a meal, the fun and laughter returned to our marriage, to our family, to our home.
Maybe you’re the exhausted parent of a newborn or maybe you’re stressed out from working long hours or maybe you’re weary from caring for an elderly parent. In the routine of doing what you have to do, you’ve lost joy. I get it. It’s hard not to.
If we can stay tired and defeated and discouraged, the enemy has succeeded in stealing our joy. But are we ready to put the enemy on notice and grab a hold of the promises of God no matter what our circumstances? Then, it’s time we boldly declare,
“I’m trading my sorrows,
I’m trading my sickness,
I’m trading my pain,
I’m laying them down
For the joy of the Lord
I’m pressed but not crushed
Struck down but not destroyed
And I am blessed beyond the curse
For His promise will endure
That His joy is going to be my strength
Though my sorrows may last for the night
His joy comes with the morning”
(lyrics from Trading My Sorrows by Darrell Evans)
Praying you thrive my dear Friend.