"Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God."

Friday, May 29, 2015

Who's Driving the Bus?

Who's following you?  

And I don't mean in social media.

The truly important ones watching you aren't followers on Twitter or likes on Facebook.  (Welcome though!)

Instead, they are those real life connections who look to you as an example for inspiration and hope.

Often, I'm surprised who that includes.

The past couple of months have been especially rocky for us in a specific area.  There have been times this joy-gal has been especially discouraged.  Days I just wanted to throw in the towel.  Moments I thought about giving up.

Over and over again God has whispered and showered me with reminders of others riding on my bus.

If I get lost, what happens to those following me?


Think about it.  Who is watching you?  Your children?  Neighbors?  Co-workers?  Friends?  What difficulty have you survived or endured?  Did you handle it with some grace?  Did it draw you closer to God?  Did it change your outlook on life?  Someone is holding on to how you coped and using it for encouragement for their own trials.

Maybe that knowledge can seem overwhelming, a hefty responsibility; but to me it was an uplifting reminder that it is not about me!

Our role as Christians is to lift each other up, to pray for one another, and to keep our eye on the prize.  When it feels like you're losing your way, turn to the One for direction.



Don't be discouraged.
Never forget others are following us and finding hope along our journey.
And remember you can't get lost with Jesus as your co-pilot, 
no matter how rocky the road!


Linking up with: #DanceWithJesus




Friday, May 22, 2015

Lead Me

Tears brimming.  Voice shaky and cracked when words escape.  The stress from the past few days overwhelmed me as I broke down in front of my husband.  

"What do we do?!" 

Heavy uncertainty lingered in the room.  My husband's hand on the door, waiting.

I whispered, "I guess we just keep praying."

"You're right," he said, as his hands left the door, clasped with mine, and he led us in prayer.

My worries melted and, despite the pain of the moment, I found myself lifting up prayers of gratitude to God.  Forgetting the current struggle and celebrating, as my soul pondered what a beautiful gift this husband is.  Oh, what a change He has made in him!  And us.


Most nights, now, I drift asleep to the sound of my husband reading the Bible.  


Tears falling at the magnitude of this single sentence.
How many years...the number of prayers whispered. 

For so long I prayed for my husband's relationship with God to grow.  After we lost our oldest son, I feared those prayers would never be answered.

Not only did I hope for him to be stronger in the Lord, I yearned for my husband to become the spiritual leader of our home.  To be the man I knew God had planned for him to be.

Most of our marriage, I took the reigns when it came to our Christian walk.  My constant prayer was that Tim wouldn't just join me at church but lead us.  To not just attend but be present, engaged.  And there were many years I doubted.  Wondered if God heard my pleas.

Austin's been gone nearly seven years.

Unimaginable pain we've endured.  Unspeakable loss.  A broken that isn't easily mended.  My husband's shattered heart was visible, even from the outside.  The spark had left him, as well as his trust in the Lord.  He was angry, uncertain, hurt.

To fast forward to where we are now.  The progress and change that has evolved the past few years.  It can't be summed up in a few lines for this post.  But what I can say, simply, is that God can move mountains!  In all things He works for the good.



As I write this, my soul connects to other women I know facing this prayer.  I join them, knees bent.

If this is you today, my sister, please know God hears you.  He knows.  It has already been planned.  In the midst of your storm, He has already formed your rainbow.  Just cling onto Him.  Trust in His timing.  And have faith that He only wants the very best for you - and the man you love.

Don't lose heart!  Never cease praying.  

For when the answer arrives and you witness the powerful change that only comes from the hand of God, oh, what a blessing it will be.  How wonderful His mercy and grace!

In gratitude for the leader God's gifted to our home.


Linking up today with:
Dance With Jesus

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