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Finding Unshakeable Joy

Posted: November 13, 2017

These are the dark days of remembering. The paramedics revived my beloved Jack’s heart on November 11, but then he died November 15th. Yesterday (November 11th) one of my children asked, “Mom, what did you think about when you first work up this morning? I responded, “My house full of paramedics, machines, frenzied and hushed conversations and a lot of thumping.” But as the day evolved, the images changed from the horror of that day, to the beauty found in the valley of pain.

My two words for 2017 are hope and healing. For the past year those two words were on my prayer sheet, and the lenses through which I sought God to birth fruit to meaningless words on paper. However, those words became alive through my faith, family and friends.

Faith: Faith is my top spiritual gift, but it didn’t feel like it during the dark and lonely days after Jack’s passing. Jack and I had always flamed each other’s faith through deep conversations and morning devotions and prayer. Now I was on my own. I was numb and lonely. But my faith was rekindled by believing, (and not just feeling) God’s promises that He still had a good future for me. A friend brought me Phillip Keller’s book “The Shepherd Trilogy” and the 23rd Psalm fired up the pilot light of my faith. Remembering that God is my good Shepherd, my Father, and now my husband, reassured me of God’s loving character and how He is involved in every detail of my life. Daily reminders of this gave me hope for each new day, and for my uncertain future. When we have hope we can overcome almost every obstacle, and it gives us strength and joy returns.

Family and Friends: These people gave me back my life. When I was sick and lonely they came and fed me, prayed with me or just held me and sat with me. In the springtime family came and helped me ready the house for summer. They fired up the barbecue and reminded me of sweet summer days ahead. Family and friends jostled for cutting boards in the kitchen, played cards, watched movies, took me hiking and made me the driver for winery tours. In the summer my house was filled with contagious laughter that reached deep into my soul. I love to laugh. I love being joyful. I love loving life. Slowly this was all coming back to me.

My personality seeks out double rainbows, a family game of Apples to Apples or the smile on a baby’s face. In these magnificent but simple things in life I see the beautiful hand of God and it gives me such joy. My heart overflows with gratitude for my steadfast faith in God; the One who has helped me find hope and healing through His word and family and friends. Gratitude doesn’t just bring me fleeting happiness; it fills me with pure joy.

The last year of walking through the Valley of the Shadow death has again shown me that when my heart is broken, only my God of Hope can heal it. But it was my family and friends that come alongside and awakened my joy. My last year is a testimony that we cannot do life alone. God made us for one another to fuel our faith and to help us laugh again. Once again, my soul been strengthened so that I can experience unshakable joy.

Jack and I didn’t dance very often, but when we did it was sweet.  One day we will dance again, then my JOY will be complete.

Posted in: Faith, Families, friends, happiness, healing, Hope, joy, laughter, love, pain, pray

2 responses to “Finding Unshakeable Joy”

  1. hmclaughlin says:

    Thank you for reading my blog and leaving your comment. Blessings on you!

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