Sassy, silly, and spunky. ---- (and saved! Ha since I'm on a roll with the letter "s". Anyways…)
"Who is this person, where has she been?"
"I've missed her so much."
The above statements are things I tell myself (and to my best friend) from time to time over these past few months.
God continues to restore joy within me and it develops within my character. (I am definitely a character.)
After my mom passed I misplaced part of me. I was trying to "get better", but part of me wasn't doing it for me, but for others I love. Some may have expected me to "be better" within a certain time frame, but in all honesty that pressure only made it worse and I wanted to retreat into myself even more and hide behind my fears. This is all meant to be a journey, not a rushed process. This has all been nothing short of a journey. Sure, I could have done things sooner and differently, but I am where I am now. I accept that and I need to keep moving forward in this journey.
And now, now God is healing me and I don't think it makes sense to say that I'm "getting better" but God is doing a work within me and the parts of me that where hiding during those dark moments are resurfacing and I LOVE it. I'd rather phrase it as soul restoration. I say it this way instead of getting better because losing my mom isn't something to just move past. This is something I have to live with for the rest of my life. I think it's something I'll just keep learning how to deal with better. By dealing with it better I can continue to move forward in life instead of listening to the lies Satan tries to put in my mind that create ridiculous (seriously ridiculous) fears.
Putting God first has put things in perspective for me. Craving Him instead of fleshly desires is where my peace and joy come from. [In the beginning of this year that's exactly what my new year resolution was. It was to crave God more than anything. He sure made that happen this year.] Living for Him and His will makes life more enjoyable. Now I may not be happy every day with every situation, but that doesn't mean I've lost my joy. I've learned there's a difference between the two. Happiness is an emotion that can come and go depending on a situation. God gives joy and He is joy. His joy really is my strength. God's joy is my fuel to keep going. His joy stays with me consistently lately; that’s because I'm consistently staying with Him.
God's restoration of joy in my life has been on my mind a lot this week. This morning before church while talking to my best friend it became so evident that God has been working in my life. I really asked out loud - "Who is this? I've missed her." It's great to know that God is working in my life and it's even greater that I am paying attention to the good work God is doing in my life so that He gets the glory.
God will give you joy even when He's having you take a detour and really making you grow. Yes, even when it hurts and your circumstances don't feel very pleasant. God is your source of joy. Please do not allow Satan to steal that joy from you. If you're anything like me you have worked way to hard to give the joy of the Lord away to the enemy. Sweetie, that joy of the Lord is yours to keep. It is yours by the blood of Jesus because God loves you so much, yes, because you are His child. A good parent wants their child to have joy in their life. What makes our heavenly Father any different?
Allow God to come into your life and breathe restoration into your soul.
Hold on to the truth found in 1 Peter 5:10 - "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."
God, Himself will restore you and make you strong. AMEN. Walk in obedience and let Him restore you. Allow Him to be your joy. Don't stay so stubborn that you won't accept His joy and peace. Seriously, you're not teaching God anything. God gives His joy and peace freely. Ignoring this gift only allows a door to be left open for more strife to enter your life and creates some leverage for Satan to tempt you. You're going to go through some sufferings because we live in a fallen world and Satan wants to capitalize on your hurt. Resist the devil, he has to flee in the authority of the name of Jesus. Live in your victory. Live with the joy of the Lord in your heart despite what this world offers you and the schemes Satan plans against you.
Claim your joy. Claim your restoration in Jesus' name.