Surrendered to Joy

There are a lot of transitions in life that are desired—transitions that we ask for—that we are excited about. You know what I mean—transitions like getting married and having children—in so many ways these transitions are something we may have prayed for and yearned for and deeply desired. By no means, does that mean these transitions are somehow easy—I mean hello…
One minute you are dancing at your reception having the time of your life and the next you are washing someones laundry other than your own and learning what it means to do life together.
— Or what about this one—one minute you are planning your gender reveal announcement and the next you are covered in baby puke while the toddler is screaming about a freaking commercial on the tv, all while the dog has puked up something disgusting and oh yeah—you haven’t showered in days.

Even the transitions we ask for are hard—even the transitions we pray earnestly about stretch us and challenge us.

My family is in the midst of experiencing a transition we did not ask for—a transition we have prayed against in many, many ways. Don’t get me wrong, its not like we are being forced against our will in this circumstance, but even in all the complexities that are a part of it, this transition is still one of the most difficult I have ever experienced.

I have spent much of the last few months fighting—fighting against this transition—fighting against the politics that created it—fighting against all the feelings I was feeling and fighting against feeling as though I had no voice. In many ways, I have felt voiceless, helpless, even hopeless.

I have spent much of the last few weeks bitter. Bitterness and anger have risen within me with every box packed. Every time I thought about how my kids might experience this move—bitterness and anger rose within me.

Feeling voiceless, helpless, angry and bitter have been eating away at me. I wonder if you have ever been there? Have you ever found yourself in a place where you have been so angry that you have lost sight of everything else around you? I wonder if you have ever felt so helpless, so bitter that you have lost the ability to see the joy around you?  I even wonder, tonight, if you have been so enraged, so disappointed in those you trusted, so sad that you have turned into a crappy mom, or a crummy dad, an impatient husband or wife?

I have.
I have missed joy.
I have missed the beauty.
I have forgotten the strength, the courage and voice that God has empowered me with.

Today I am making the decision to choose joy.
Today I am making the decision to live surrendered—not surrendered to the bitterness or the anger—but to surrender to God’s ultimate call on my life—the call to live in Christ—and to proclaim Christ to a broken world. But also to use my voice. God has given me a voice—God has given me beauty and courage, and I am making the decision today to stand up for what is right—to choose life, laughter, joy and grace.

Will it be easy? Nope! But even those transitions that we pray for, that we deeply desire aren’t easy—that are hard, they stretch us, challenge us, but will not break us.

This will not break me.

And it will not break you either. 

And I get it–this sounds super cliche, but it is the truth–Those transitions that threaten to break us–those are the transitions, those are the moments in our lives that will make us stronger, braver–those are the moments that will light a fire inside of us, and help us to to once again see what truly matters.  

Friend, no matter what you are facing, no matter what kind of transition you are in the midst of, do not fear—God is with you, and you will not break. You will survive—and ya know what? You are going to do more that survive—you will thrive!

You will experience joy once again.

Tonight, friends, I invite you to find peace and rest in Psalm 30:1-5, for indeed, “Weeping may last through the night, but JOY comes with the morning.”

I will exalt you, Lord, for you rescued me.
You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
and you restored my health.
You brought me up from the grave,[a] O Lord.
You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
Sing to the Lord, all you godly ones!
Praise his holy name.
For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
but joy comes with the morning. (NLT)

2 thoughts on “Surrendered to Joy

  1. Hang in there kiddo.weve got to trust God. There are so many times its very difficult. I have to remember in Jermiah how God says He has a plan for us. Not to harm us. But by golly there have been so many times I have drug my feet leaving furrows, to realize down the road it really was better for me. There are still somethings I have questions about and when I get to Heaven I understand that I’ll have Gods knowledge but those issues won’t matter anymore. I also have to remind myself this body is only for a lifetime not eternity. I’m glad you’ve chosen joy. Someday I have to work hard to count my blessings. God bless and take care of you and your family.

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  2. We all hate change. It seems my frown and my close proximity to tears is constant. The balance between good things/bad is pretty wobbly. Tomorrow we will put down our beautiful, beloved sheltie. Two days later we leave for a cruise.

    Yesterday I had the privilege of helping clean a parsonage for a new pastor at St. Luke. As I think about that time cleaning on my hands and knees I am praying for all the families who are transitioning. While I remember scrubbing a sink I pray that God will scrub our hearts using something sweet smelling to refresh us. Pastor Ben and his family will never know all the prep and prayer for their arrival. Next I’ll pray for a new principal who will be my boss… so much hange.

    I am tempted to put up a shield to protect myself from further hurt. But it would be my loss, my detriment. I too am choosing joy, thanking God for the blessings that I have taken for granted.

    As I type TWO old dogs stare at me,begging for love in this moment. I will cry. I will wait. But I will smile too.

    God is still King,

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