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Choose Joy


Our surroundings haven’t changed. Circumstances remain the same. Vince and I continue to feel like sailboats sitting out on the open ocean…… with no wind to blow our sails and move us forward in this place. And yet, in this time, God’s recent word to me has been to choose joy. Looking around, God isn’t promising things will change anytime soon. I hope they will. I pray they will. But, that’s not the issue. God wants me to choose joy and contentment with Him right here, right now, regardless of what I see. On my own, that is practically impossible. Through Him, however, it is becoming my reality.


I don’t like this season. I would be lying if I said otherwise. But, I LOVE what God is doing in and through it. God is changing me. He is changing Vince. He is changing us as a couple. We are growing and learning to sit with God in the discomfort. We are reminded that, although we certainly have choices and decisions that can make a difference, we are NOT in control. God is fully in control.


James 1:5 (NLT) tells us “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” I must confess, it’s easy to steal the credit for success in life that only God deserves. Although it’s not something any of us would typically admit, it is easy to think that the good things in our lives come from all of our own hard work and wise choices. Walking through hard times in life, where we clearly are not smart enough or capable enough to fix things, reminds us that all of life’s blessings and accomplishments come from God alone. When human efforts fail, that truth shines bright.


More and more, I can see this is such a great season. Notice, I did not say fun. Each day, with God’s help, I can see that it is good. I can see that He is doing a good work in us. One day, Vince and I will write a book about this long wilderness season and all of the amazing lessons we have learned from it. For now, we keep trusting Him for our next steps.


A couple of weeks ago I started a college class that I need to complete in order to obtain my Florida license in Marriage and Family Therapy. Although most of our belongings remain unpacked and stuffed into side rooms because we have not yet done the renovations, I asked Vince to set up a table in my office so I would have a place to study. I was amazed by how excited I felt when I sat in my office chair, with a make-shift desk, and looked out across the canal. It was a glimpse of what is to come. It felt amazing and provided hope for the future. As I write this blog this morning, I am again sitting in my office and looking out over the canal. I am choosing joy and believing God for good things the future holds.



I cannot begin to fathom the challenges you may be facing today. I see so much suffering all around me. Our current challenges cannot compare to the hardships so many of you are enduring. My heart and prayers go out to you right now. I pray that God will provide all you need and help you choose joy wherever you find yourself.


God bless you,


Julie

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