Thursday, June 4, 2015

My Journey to Joy

Yuck.  When I was much younger--with my whole life ahead of me, all I saw were sunshine and roses.  My life was everything anyone could dream of having.  I had (still do) wonderful, amazing God-fearing parents who taught me more than I ever express.  I had (still do) and older brother with a bright future ahead of him--he was married, already had a gorgeous little girl, and was working towards becoming a chemist.  I had (still do) a younger sister who was everything I'd ever wanted in a sister and who brought light into everyone's life.  My grandparents were very much a part of my life and I loved and appreciated them very much.  In the summers, we spent more time with them than we did our parents and we loved it that way!  I was in college to become a teacher.  I had wanted to be a teacher even before I had started school--way back when I was three years old, I would play "School" in the family bathroom--for hours!  I had many friends.  I had a boyfriend who eventually became my fiance.  

Life was soooo good!  I had so much to look forward to.  My future was bright and I was excited about what God was going to do.

I was so young and so very naive.  I had NO idea that life was NOT all sunshine and roses and that just when I'd think I could at least have some sunshine with a few roses, something would happen to bring tremendous storms and to kill my roses even down to the roots.  (Read my previous blog posts for the trials I've suffered.)

If you had shown the image above to me way back then, I would have laughed and said, "Bring it on!"  I believed that I honestly, truly, and seriously handle any turn in the road life brought.  I was excited and READY for my Life Journey.  

Since then, of course, I have learned.  Oh, have I ever learned.  

One thing that continues to stay with me, though, as I am coming out of my cave is that for every single step of my journey, God in Jesus Christ Himself has been with me.  Sometimes He has walked beside me.  Sometimes He has carried me.  Sometimes we have simply sat together while He has held and comforted me.  Always, though.  A.L.W.A.Y.S. He has been with me.

What is even more amazing to realize is that while I am bruised, battered, and broken and feeling
beyond repair, all I'm supposed to do--all He expects me to do--is to be able to STAND.  He is fighting for me.  He is my Protector.  He is my Shield.  So many scriptures demonstrate the truth of the fact that God fights my battles for me.  All He asks me to do is to STAND--and be courageous!  (For right now, I'm not going to take the time to list all the scriptures with such a reference, but trust me.  If you don't, then please go ahead and look them up!  I hope you'll be wonderfully amazed and excited to see how very many times God has said that He fights for us!)  My whole job is to wear my armor--keep it on--and to STAND AND SEE WHAT HE IS DOING/HAS DONE for me!!!  

As I look back over my life's journey so far, I see so many places where He fought for me.  He did the best He could considering the battle He was fighting.  I have no idea what it is that I am still meant to do in this life, but I know that I am still here on this earth for a reason....that God still has SOMETHING for me to do to glorify Him.  Otherwise I would be dead now from the attacks of the enemy.  And let me tell you, the enemy has attacked.  He continues to try to attack me, but just as He has always done, Christ runs interference.  

Yes, some of the enemy's servants broke through and got to me while Christ was busy fighting elsewhere.  But He has never failed me in spite of those attacks.  I'm still here, right?!  I believe that just as I have wept and mourned my losses, He has wept and mourned with me--all while comforting me--and still fighting the attacks of the enemy.  
I am humbled as I realize what Christ has done for me.  Yes, He came to this earth as a baby to live and die (a horrible, horrific, horrendous death) because He loves me so very much.  And that means the world to me.  It is what originally drew me to Him and gave me the desire to accept Him into my life.  But what has kept me following Him with every fiber of my being is the knowledge that He loves me so very much that He has fought and He continues to fight the enemy--doing everything in His power to keep me Safe.  

His word says that He will NEVER leave me.....I am so incredibly thankful that so far, He never has.  I know that because He has been with me so far on this journey of mine that He will ALWAYS be with me.

For some reason or another, He loves me so much that He has chosen to anoint me with His oil of JOY more than on anyone else (Psalm 45:7 & Hebrews 1:9).  So in spite of the twists, turns, side roads, getting lost, and so on as we have taken this journey of mine, God still wants me to find Joy in Him.  Because of what He as done for me, I find it impossible not to be full of the Joy of the Lord!  

My journey isn't even close to being finished.  I still have healing to do.  I know that God has more for me, especially for my ministry.  He has put dreams and desires in my heart.  I know He will bring them to pass.  I am simply trying to hang on and do my best to EnJOY the ride!

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