There is no denying His absolute love for us. There is no denying His perfect, precise timing.
I took a few days off the grid to spend the extra time that would be spent on the internet in the Word & in prayer. I am excited to be back because I have so much to share with you all. But first things first! Sadly enough, today is the last day of Testimony Tuesday. I hope & pray that each and every testimony has spoken to you in a powerful way. You can always check out the category “Life Stories” to catch up with them all! I know each of the life stories have encouraged me and have served as reminders of His great and awesome love for us. Each story has also convicted me to go live daily as a testimony of His grace and compassion. If you have been following my journey, you will remember that my “one word” for this year is joy. Oh, my soul yearns for more joy. I am astonished at the Lord’s hand in wooing me to His side in such a supernatural way that I cannot explain the joy in my heart. It grows more and more each time I intentionally live in the presence of the Lord. It’s no coincidence that today’s testimony is one of renewed joy…
“I have something very special to testify about. It’s that I got my Joy back this year!
I have been a Christian for over 40 years. Married to a wonderful Godly man for 38 years and I lived with joy for much of that time….but slowly I allowed “life” to steal my JOY. Sometimes we live in difficult situations. For years God had strengthened me during difficult times and gave me strength and wisdom. He used the bad for good. But at some point slowly I allowed myself to become weary. I started asking “what about me….when is my time?” Selfishness was the start to my becoming weary…and not looking to God for my strength and for ways to bring Him glory. Instead I was looking for MY WAY to be happy! Colossians 3:17 “Whatsoever you do…do it heartily as unto the Lord and not unto man” I knew that I wasn’t suppose to live my life to please others(including myself….only God.) My dad had abused us all of my life…especially when he was drinking…then my brother committed suicide….and then my parents health began to fail (heartache can contribute to many health issues)….then my identity changed….I had been a wife and mother and LOVED it!!!! Now my nest was empty and my husband was always busy….after losing my brother, my nephew, my mom, my dad, and my grandmother….it seemed like my life was filled with one loss after another and in the midst of it all….somewhere along the way I LOST MY JOY. II Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind”
How did I find it you ask? Well, let me tell you about something God used to help me. A friend told me a few years ago that she had gone through an experience …a conference called “The Encounter”. She couldn’t tell me much detail except that it had changed her life. So after a couple of years I had an opportunity to attend this “Encounter”. I went seeking….seeking God…seeking answers to why I had so much resentment in my heart and seeking to get my JOY back. This encounter was a time away to get away from the hustle bustle and reflect, listen, and take time to hear from God. It was a time to evaluate myself and be evaluated by others. During one of the “designated “quiet times before the Lord I saw myself kneeling at His feet. As I knelt there I began to vomit. All of my bitterness and resentment was coming out of me and when it was over…I was free of all bitterness. I was happy…I had my Joy again…God immediately began filling my heart once I let go of the hardness and hurts of my heart where bitterness had been accumulating. I have been forgiven of so many wrong doings in my life by the Lord and by loved ones I have hurt. How dare I keep holding them to such a strict standard when I had not lived up to that standard myself! What a hypocrite I have been! So you see, this is not about me or what I have or have not done. It is not about others or what they have done or not done to make me happy or sad. This is about a loving God who has forgiven me. And willingly continues to forgive me. Who gave His Son to save me from my sins …to save me from myself! It’s about a Heavenly Father who loves me and wants good things for me. It’s about you and I first taking time to listen to God. It’s about seeking Him.
Since that “Encounter” I sometimes start to allow disappointments and hurts to come in to my heart and I want to mull over them and think about how much I’ve been hurt….but then I take that hurt….express my emotion and disappointment and lay it back down at the feet of Jesus. So my friends, I pray that God uses this testimony for HIS GLORY and that you are drawn to His goodness and faithfulness.
Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. -Psalm 25:5
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. -Psalm 31:24
I am proud to exclaim that this awesome woman of God is my mother in law! I can testify that she truly has “gotten her joy back”. She exudes the love of Christ & there is no denying the work that God has done in her heart. I am so encouraged by her willingness to serve tirelessly with joy.
Praise God for joy!
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