I stayed up really late, feeling like such a failure that "date night" was ruined because of me. I went to bed asking GOD please, LORD, please help me find my JOY again. Even thought I was asking, I was doubtful that I would be able to find my JOY again.
I laughed this morning when I realized what HIS Daily Teachings would be about today. Today HE is wanting me to know that in all circumstances there is JOY to be found. HE has let me know that I have let the JOY robber, steal my JOY for far too long.
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." John 10:10
I wasn't sure at first what book I was to read, or what scripture HE wanted me to read, and after about 5 minutes of sitting and wondering, HE led me straight to Kendra Smiley's book titled: "Empowering Choices." I have had this book for roughly eh, four years. I bought it at one of the Hearts at Home National Conferences one year. I had intended on reading it right way, however due to my life's circumstances I had yet to read it. Well actually I read one chapter, and then tucked it away, stating, "this is NOT the book for me!"
I have come to the conclusion that surely I must humor GOD, as I am always making a fool of myself, and what HE is trying to tell me. I am forever "thinking" that I know what is best for me, and what I really "need." Once again, humble pie awaits for me. Once again, I have been brought to me knees in seeking HIM, and asking HIM to teach, lead, and guide me through every single step of my journey.
HE is wanting me to know that I will be able to choose JOY in HIM through my prayers. HE is telling me that though my life may be difficult, HE wants me to choose JOY so that I will NOT be overcome with sadness, hatred, anger, strife, or worry. HE is teaching me that I, Heather, a broken hott-mess can laugh, despite what has happened, is happening, and will happen to me. HE has reminded me once again, that when I seek HIM, HE answers my calls, and therefore I BELIEVE in miracles, and that with HIM there is always HOPE and always JOY to be found!
"And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:32
"That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet this is no cause for shame, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day." 2 Timothy 1:12
HE is wanting me to remember that even when I "feel" the JOY robber (Satan) creeping in on me, I must remember that HE is always there for me, and in HIM there is always HOPE and JOY to be found. HE is wanting me to remember that in all my times of trouble, trials, and storms of my life, HE has been there, is there, and will continue to be there. HE is wanting me to declare that when I chose HIM, I chose HIS JOY, HIS HOPE, HIS LOVE, HIS MERCY, HIS GRACE, HIS FORGIVENESS, and in knowing that I chose all of those things, I know that HE will never leave me, nor will HE ever forget about me.
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5
"I have held many things in my hands and have lost them all; But the things I have placed in GOD's hands those I always possess." Earline Steelburg
Once again, HE is teaching me that "my ways" are NOT "HIS ways," and for that I am thankful. I am comforted in knowing that HE truly is the perfect gift for me. I know that I can feel at peace, as HE is the reason that I am going to one day be able to live an eternal life in HEAVEN with HIM and HIS FATHER. I am grateful, and thankful that HE saved me right when HE did, and for giving me the courage to be at peace with my past, content with my present, and now because of choosing to be filled by HIS HOPE and HIS JOY I can be excited about my future. I know who holds my future, and I know that my future is being held in HIS more than capable hands.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord."
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
HE is teaching me once again that with HIM there is always hope. I do BELIEVE in miracles, as it is truly a miracle that I am still here living this life. I do BELIEVE in miracles, as it is truly a miracle that D and I are still married, despite of everything we have been through in our 18.5 years together. The other night D and I were talking, and I asked him, "If tonight were our last night together, what would you say to me." He took a moment, and then looked at me and said, "It's been amazing crazy ride!" Wow if that isn't the truth.
This morning HE has reminded me that D and I have been able to endure some really tough things in our marriage, and we have somehow been able to smile through it all. HE has shown me that even though our life's circumstances have been viewed as more than hopeless, we have found HOPE in HIM. I know that HE has taken me down memory lane once again to show me that my life's trials right now are nothing compared to what I have gone through in my past, therefore I must choose JOY, as that truly is HIS plan and HIS purpose for my life!
"Daily prayers will diminish your cares" Betty Mill
HE is wanting me to know that in choosing JOY there is no room for "what ifs and if onlys." HE is telling me that I must strike those two life-draining thoughts from my vocabulary. HE is wanting me to know that HIS plans have absolutely NO room for me looking back. HE is telling me that HE wants me to keep my eyes pointed forward, centered on HIM. I am learning that HE wants me to continue to seek HIM daily and ask HIM to teach, lead, and guide me through every single step of my journey.
HE is lovingly reminding me this morning that this is the reason HE died for me, for GOD's purpose and GOD's plans, for not only me, but for everyone who BELIEVES that JESUS CHRIST is the SON of GOD, and that HE was a gift, sent to EARTH, to teach us, how to live our lives, who was crucified, and died on the cross, for my sins, and the world's sins. HE WHO OVERCAME DEATH! WHO rose from the grave, all so that one day I, and the rest of HIS followers could join HIM and HIS FATHER in HEAVEN. IF that isn't enough to be JOYFUL about then, I don't know what is!
" For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
I am in awe, as I didn't even realize how much HIS Daily Teachings would affect me today. As I sit here typing, I am being overcome with emotions that I haven't had in so long. I am in awe that once again, I can look at my life's circumstances, and choose JOY as I know that HE is growing me, and stretching my FAITH in HIM even further. I am thankful that HE never wants to keep me at the same level of FAITH, that HE will continue to grow, and move me further in my commitment with HIM.
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds"
Today I am thankful as I am being reminded by another song of WHO HE is, and WHAT HE has done, is doing, and will continue to do in my life.
"Joy unspeakable that won't go away, Just enough strength to live for the day, So I never have to worry what tomorrow will bring, 'Cause my faith's on solid rock and I'm counting on God" "Counting on GOD" Phillips, Craig & Dean