It’s easy to let things go and get stuck in a rut like the groves on a spinning record.
We live in Mississippi and because of the “Yazoo Clay” or shifting soil the foundation of homes slightly move over time. This can cause cracks in the walls, and doors that no longer close with ease.
I am in the process of contacting the company who originally repaired the foundation of our home a few years prior to our purchase of it. Thank goodness for life time warranties.
In between now and then I have not fixed the cracks in the walls that have occurred recently. Why make repairs only to make more repairs when everything shifts in the right direction as the house is leveled again?
The simple answer boils all the way down, to joy.
Okay, that sounds crazy I know. But let’s just go there. The scripture says in Nehemiah 8 that, “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” So joy is a big deal to you and I. We all need hope and joy to thrive, not just survive!
During this season of COVID-19 so much is changing in the world as a whole, in stores, businesses, restaurants, churches and our communities daily.
Then there’s what’s happening in our personal lives. Last year my Dad’s health began to decline in a greater way, the first of this year I left one job of seven years for another, within weeks my pastor retires and the church where we serve merges with a mega church to become one of their campuses. What?
Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up.
Everything feels like it is transitioning which can send ones emotions zigging and zagging all over the place.
Can anyone relate?
God reminded me recently how I surrendered to something he was asking of me back in the fall of 2019. Then He basically asked me to let go of my angst right now over what is, or is not going to happen when, and just trust Him FULLY.
Not partially, but completely. ALL. THE. WAY. IN. Kind of trust.
Like jumping into the air as a kid and KNOWING your Dad or Mom were going to catch you – kind of trust. That is so much easier said than done and yet, God can be trusted.
We say we trust God, and then we find ourselves stressed and not acting like someone who is relaxed in the knowledge of knowing God will catch us if we fall.
Y’all, in that moment I began to feel a release in my spirit.
I can’t explain it sufficiently, or why it didn’t happen earlier, but I felt such a sense of freedom break open within me. Some things are a process, and there isn’t always one defining moment, but a series of them that add up and spring forward like a flower opening up for the first time. I think that’s what it takes when we’re a bit hard headed. And more often than not, I’m that girl.
We can know all kinds of things we should do, or feel, or walk out by faith and not do them – right? It’s the living it out, day by day, that is sometimes the hardest of all.
But there I was soaking in the knowledge that I CAN trust God in BIG ways once again. With this experience came a freedom that I’m not sure I can put into words, but I’ll try.
A Freedom to rest, a freedom to make different choices, and a freedom to believe at a new level that no matter how things appear, or disappear, or transpire differently than I thought—God’s plans for me are strong and stable and have not changed.
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
Breathe in and out my friend. We can do this!
Nothing stops God’s plans for you or I.
That is, besides us.
We have a choice to move forward with God in new ways, staying flexible in His leading, or staying stuck in our own expectations.
We are not promised tomorrow, even though we plan as though we are. Planning is great and even wise and good, but worrying about our plans for tomorrow-not so much!
”Be sure to stay busy and plant a variety of crops, for you never know which will grow—perhaps they all will” (Ecclesiastes 11:6).
It’s okay to let go mentally and physically; to unclench our fist of what we can’t control anyway.
I don’t know if partial trust with God counts, though I’m sure it does as we’re all in different points along our own unique faith journey. But, I know He so desires for us to FULLY trust His heart, will, and way for us because it leads to freedom.
Yes, we may have to learn new things, bend in new ways, and come to terms with a reality we didn’t sign up for, but even there God is amazing at taking what looks a mess and molding and shaping it for our good.
He won’t lead us where He won’t provide for us in EVERY way.
So, I put plaster in the cracks on our walls, sanded, and painted over them. Will they crack again as the foundation is adjusted in the near future? I’m sure they will. And we’ll deal with that when the time comes.
Will my house look good between now and then, so maybe I will take a step forward and invite some friends to come over? Yes! And that brings me joy. Stepping out of the groove where you’ve kept spinning and choosing a different path is worth it friend.
I’m weird, but I love preparing for company to come over.
No, I don’t like cleaning per say, even though I love a clean house. But, there is nothing like the pressure of a deadline to get me motivated to do all kinds of creative things around my house, namely decorate and organize things created a cozy and efficient atmosphere. The company may never know, but it brings me joy.
And then when the chaos of preparing has simmered down in the seconds before friends arrive, I get to enjoy their company and make new memories. It’s a win, win situation in the end for us all.
Your gifting’s and what brings you joy may have nothing whatsoever to do with preparing for guests. And that is perfectly okay.
However, you know what lights you up. Make a choice towards doing that thing today.
Something to look forward to, something to plan for. Something simple, or something that takes effort – whatever it is it’s worth it.
While I know you may roll your eyes at this, cause I’ve been there and I’ve rolled mine too, we all have a choice when it comes to experiencing joy.
Joy is a series of choices we have to make every single day if we want to experience it.
It’s a choice in the hard times, in the good times and in the in between times. Often it’s the simplest of choices repeated daily that reap the greatest benefits in our lives. Being open to new things, choosing what we think about, and continuing to be flexible and step out by faith as NOTHING stays the same.
Circumstances can knock us down and propel our lives in directions we never expected, yet God has given us the gift of joy if we choose it.
No, it doesn’t right wrongs, or remove the pain or loss that circumstances bring. And yet, if we learn to embrace the joy He gives, along with the heartache, somehow it brings small doses of hope our way.
It whispers of tomorrows that will be filled with more joy than today, if we keep choosing it.
For me, on this past Memorial Day weekend, joy looked like inviting friends over for a meal after weeks of sheltering in place plus minute or two before that. Well that’s a whole other story that we won’t even go into for now, except to say that is a rut I refuse to stay wedged in. Life is complicated and layered and we’ll just leave that right there.
For me, joy looks like choosing to believe that this new season of life will be better than ever before.
For me, joy is choosing, today, to trust that God knows my heart, my dreams and desires, and is working on my behalf to do what I cannot, while I do what I can.
This is what God specializes in, doing what we cannot.
I’m tired of the wrestling. I’m ready to jump all in, all over again for the 456th time, feet first, trusting God will catch me. Are you with me?
I opened the guest book I once used back in the day and put it out by the front door in this house. It’s a new season. It’s time for intentional decisions towards joy.
With much love and grace,
If you enjoyed this blog, you may love this post, from a few years back when my son was learning to drive, Shut Your Eyes To Chaos and Fear.