Finding Joy In Difficult Seasons
Updated: Apr 23, 2020
If you are like me, there have been seasons of life that have been filled with deep sorrow. Places you anticipated the sweetest songs of love, laughter and joy brought the opposite. I pray that if this is you, or if this ever becomes your story, with pit-bull faith you will press your aching soul into God's love. Push through the seasons that are like a lead wall of disappointment. But don't do it alone! Immerse yourself in the truth of God's tenacious and unrelenting love for you.
I try to do this amidst the ebony shades of circumstances that flow in and out of my days. When the beauty within my soul has been warred against, I have dug past the dead foliage, once lush and vibrant. It is from this place of sorrows, I have discovered a deeper sense of my worth and value despite...
A dream was awakened a little over a year ago because of a book written by Chris Rice called "Widen". It was as if I was awakened from a deep sleep. My soul was weary and worn from daily and weekly challenges. Three parts in the book did something deep in me. And so for a month or so the words haunted me like the most beautiful lovesong from God.
I began to write. I don't consider myself a "great writer" as he spoke of in the book. But, I love words well written. They paint with colors upon my soul and the driest places absorb them like a sponge. My heart feasted on the banquet of words in Chris' books. I pondered. I prayed. And then... I began to write. Hardship had silenced me.
There are many so many facets that make my dream improbable. My pastors words also serve as a steel-like post that help hold the vision in my heart steady. "Do something the only God can do, so that God will get the praise." Many people dream of publishing books. Statistics in the publishing industry are narrow.
But, still I write. I let the words, that bounce like pinballs in my head, out. Then more slowly they move as I shift sentences and paragraphs, sculpting the words like clay. I "show up creatively weather people are looking (reading) or not!" (Ruth Chou Simmons)
Words buzz, move and twirl in my head like bees in pursuit of their hive. Bees were created to deposit the sweet nectar of the flowers they sip from. In a similar way, God's creative nature within each of us is meant to be shared to deposit the rich honey within into souls in need of the Lord's sweet love. We are all created in the image of our Creator. Therefore, there is some creative gift within each of us God longs to use.
It is my prayer that if you find yourself feeling trapped in a gloomy or dark season, that you too will search and stand steadfast in God's unrelenting love. A love that builds you up and gives you courage to pursue using your gifts amidst life's busyness, trials or sorrows.
Around a year after I read Chris' potpourri of poems I heard of Emily Freeman's book, "A Million Different Ways". With the gentleness of a velvet paintbrush wet with the colors of God's heart, her words added more layers onto the canvas of my soul. Parts of the masterpiece God sketched in my mother's womb had been covered over with dark shades. Between these two authors, my pastors and dear friends, the deep colors of hopelessness and sorrow are being restored with an array of colors to God's original design.
There are so many ways I love to express and create things to encourage others. My voice seems small. My heart of love for others is big. My determination, against all odds, is fierce. It's hard work creating things to serve others well. It's time consuming and tedious.
So, I get up early to write. Because once my son wakes I am surrounded by a tornado of joy that doesn't stop all day! He overflows with an intense spectrum of emotions, opinions and unending energy. I am pretty much focused on the canvas of his heart! Usually, I'm too tired and night to create or write.
As I write this, we are in the midst of the incomprehensible COVID-19 pandemic! Pursuing these longings seem meaningless and out of sync with what is going on. But a creative force inside compels me to keep pressing on up this mountain of impossibilities and discouraging statistics. I keep writing.
This is a time I want much of my focus to be on others, but social distancing is still in affect! Now I juggle house, homeschooling and trying to be a fun mom to one precious boy who desperately wants someone to play with all day! When I can, I make cards to bless others and encourage my son to do the same.
I feel inexpressibly alive when I create! COVID can't silence or choke life from this dream. In the opposite way it has made me more determined to plummet the entirety of my soul into the blissful and scary unknown. I want to bring hope and joy to kids who long to know they have an incredible purpose and great worth. Future predictions seem bleak. There is a force in young people I want to bring to life similarly to the way God has used other writers and pastors in my life.
I wish for everyone a dream so fierce and real that you believe in it while encircled in pitch black uncertainty and impossibilities! I pray that your heart be alive even when other dreams have died.
Let God's love water flow past and through the crushed dreams. Receive seeds of hope. As you seek God when sorrows ebb and flow, it is there you will find yourself in a garden of life... especially if you seek God despite sadness. The disappointments can become soil through which your heart comes back to life!
And if you have read this far, maybe you were the one I wrote for! And someday I hope to meet you, give you a big hug and be one that cheers you on. Maybe we will even exchange and share things we are writing or creating. Don't give up or stop! You have a purpose! Your life matters! Your voice was created to be heard! You are not alone!
Much love to you my friend,