For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 2 Corinthians 4:17
What a difference a year makes.
In 2012-13, Reggie and I were in the midst of the hardest season of our marriage. There was one challenge and unmet expectation after another as we experienced a bit of circumstantial whiplash. We were weary, frustrated, and anxious.
I was angry. I had no joy. And most dangerously, I had lost hope.
I was sure God had abandoned us and secretly determined that I would do well to return the favor. But, David’s words came to mind “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast…” (Psalm 139: 7-10)
If I “abandoned” Him, where would I run? Who would I turn too?
At my lowest point, I sat on the bathroom floor, weeping – lamenting – questioning the meaning and purpose of life. As God would orchestrate, it was the life that I carried (unbeknownst to me at the time, they were twin girls) – and my 2 year-old son – that God used to begin to bring me out of despair. They needed me – physically, emotionally, and spiritually. And, the struggles we faced were but “light and momentary troubles” in the grand scheme of all that God has planned for our lives. How short-sighted I was to want to give up the journey because I hit a roadblock or two.
The truth is, life sometimes sucks. I cannot think of any other way to phrase it. It just does. We get sick. Loved ones die. Longings go unfulfilled. Relationships die. Financial struggles arise. It happens. But, be assured, joy comes in the morning andmourning.
When I “snapped back” into reality, our circumstances did not miraculously change. But, that brief moment of sanity led me to share with my husband my level of despair. He recommended we take that despair to friends, who then took it to God – with us and for us. And, in the midst of mourning, came joy. In the middle of not having employment or a place to call our own, of being in a new state, with a 2 year old, while pregnant with twins – came a life-saving reality – God is still God. That brings joy. There is joy in knowing that I belong to the God who created the earth with just the words “let there be”. He is powerful enough to fix my problems. There was joy in knowing that the same God from whom I could not escape in my anger, I could not escape in my pain. He is everywhere. There was joy in knowing that the same God who countless times rescued His people both physically and eventually, eternally, could rescue me. He is loving. There is joy.
And, where there is joy, there is hope.
As you read this, if you are wondering if God has abandoned you, He has not. If you are wondering if He hears – He does. Joy does come in the morning.
As I reflect over the year, I have seen God as Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides.
He has provided a place of our own and the resources to cover our family. He has granted new life. I think about friends, who this time last year were grieving the loss of a parent. This year they are celebrating the arrival of a new baby. Other friends were grieving the loss of unborn children. This year, they are looking forward to the coming arrival of a child. Another wonderful reminder of His grace in our lives is found in the names and joyful personalities of our twin daughters, conceived and birthed during this stressful season…
Isabella Joelle means “devoted to God”and “Jehovah is God”
Issa Joy means “God saves” and “joy”
Indeed, joy comes in the mourning/morning.
Desert Song by Hillsong encouraged me tremendously through this season. May it encourage you as well.
I will extol You, O Lord, for You have lifted me up, And have not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to You for help, and You healed me.
O Lord, You have brought up my soul from Sheol;
You have kept me alive, that I would not go down to the pit.
Sing praise to the Lord, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime;
Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, “I will never be moved.”
O Lord, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong;
You hid Your face, I was dismayed.
To You, O Lord, I called, and to the Lord I made supplication:
“What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness? Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; O Lord, be my helper.”
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that mysoul may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.
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