Saturday, January 18, 2014


Yesterday a situation arose in my life, and instead of choosing joy, I chose to be sad.  I even cried, over something that might have seemed minor to some, but as for me, it held great meaning, and in the end I was left in tears, and trying to pick up the pieces of my shattered heart.

As the tears began to fall I felt such a deep sadness in my heart, as the judgment that was being placed upon me was unfair, and made me feel unworthy.  HIS Daily Teachings today was to let me know that in order to survive those types of attacks, I must allow my heart to be conditioned.

As I struggled to understand how something as minor as that could have wreaked havoc on my whole world for moments yesterday, HE called upon me early this morning at 3:45 a.m. by saying, "Come to me, and I will show you the JOY that is to be found."  So rather than refusing to get up, I got up journaled a quick prayer telling HIM, "Lord oh how I need YOU!"  As always HE has been with me every single step of the way.

HE is wanting me to know that if ever I am wondering where JOY comes from, all I need to do is look to HIM.  HE is telling me that the laughter that I have in my life, is all a gift from HIM.  Just as HIS JOY is HIS gift to me.

"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy." Job 8:21

"Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional, we cannot avoid pain, but we can avoid joy." Tim Hansel

How true those words are for me.  When I think back on the times in my life, where I have been in so much pain, I realize that even then there was JOY to be found.  However, due to the circumstances in my life, I was unable to understand and grasp that HIS JOY has always been there for the taking.

HE is wanting me to know and understand that in order to live a JOY filled life, I must first allow my heart to be conditioned into seeking and then receiving HIS JOY.  This for me is such a foreign concept, and as I struggle with understanding, and I am comforted by Kay Warrens words in the book "Choosing JOY"

"Joy does not come easily to me; I'm definitely more of a glass-half empty kind of gal.  In fact, I've struggled with low level depression as far back as I can remember."

It is comforting to me when GOD shows me that I am not alone in my struggles, that even a wife of a Pastor, and very well know Pastor (Rick Warren, Saddleback Church) that she too struggles with choosing JOY.  In reading this very book that I bought with clenched teeth, HE is teaching me that even though I am a writer, and seek HIM daily, I really need help in the JOY department.  HE is wanting me to know that in order for me to be able to seek HIS JOY and choose HIS JOY amidst the storms of my life, I must first allow my heart to be taught and conditioned.

HE is wanting me to know that the moment when I "choose" to forgo making sure my heart is conditioned for HIS JOY, that is when the darkness "bites at my heels."  Today HE is wanting me to know that in order to prevail over the darkness that threatens my very existence, I must choose to follow HIM, and HIS teachings for my life.  I must let go of what the world tells me to do, and I must obey HIS commands, and let go..... and let HIM show me the JOY, HIS JOY that is there for me to delight in.

Though I didn't journal that word "delight" HE had me type it, and as I am sitting here thinking about it, I am feeling overwhelmed, as I am hearing from HIM, "Hey Heather, I know life is tough and all, but just remember this, even in, or especially in your times of trouble I want you to seek ME, and you will find my JOY and I want you to delight in my JOY."  My response is goes something like this, "Gee GOD that's great and all that you want me to delight in YOU, but do YOU not see what pain I am in?  How badly I am struggling right now?  Why me LORD, why must I always be the bigger person?  Why must I always be the person to take the first step in letting go and forgiving someone for wronging me?  Why must I always be the one to grow and learn YOUR ways, why not them LORD?  Why can't someone else do it for a change?  Don't YOU see how weary I have become in doing everything that is right, when all around me, everywhere I go it is all going wrong?"

HE is teaching me that even in the midst of my pain, suffering, and grief there is JOY to be found.  This has proven to be a HUGE challenge for me, as my whole life has been centered around many moments of tremendous pain, suffering, and grief.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds,  because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. " James 1:2-3

As I read HIS words I felt like saying, and well I journaled "WHAT?",thinking that some days I am just hanging on by the skin of my teeth, and I am thrilled to having been able to just "survive" the hellacious day I have just endured.

HIS Daily Teachings today is all about teaching me how to let HIM transform and renew my heart, to allow it to be conditioned so that I will then be able to choose to seek HIM in the midst of my sorrow and ultimately choose to declare HIS JOY.  HE is wanting me to know that HE knows when everything around me is falling apart and it is when my whole world is caving in, that HE wants me to know HE can, will, and does find me every single time.  HE is wanting me to know that just in recognizing that HE is always there, that is my opening my self up to having my heart be conditioned by HIM. 

This morning I am being reminded of how HE finds me when I fall apart, by a song by Josh Wilson "Fall Apart"   This morning the lyrics are really making sense to me, and are bringing me so much comfort that HE is there, and HE can, will, and does find me every single time I fall apart.

"Cause my whole world is caving in,  But I feel You now more than I did then,  How can I come to the end of me,  And somehow still have all I need? God, I want to know You more, Maybe this is how it starts,  I find You when I fall apart" 

HE is wanting me to know that HE knows and HE sees when my whole world is falling apart, and today HE is teaching me that it is in those moments that I must choose to seek HIM, and HIS will, HIS plan, and HIS purpose for my life, as they are all filled with HIS JOY!  

"Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." Romans 5:3-5

Even as I read this for the third time, I am still struggling with the concept that I am supposed to choose JOY even in pain.  That especially in pain, as I know that none of my pain and suffering is for naught, that it is all for HIS plan and HIS purpose for my life, to grow me, and strengthen my faith in HIM.  That it is through all these moments of pain, suffering, and grief that HE finds me, and HIS JOY is to be found by me.  That I am to delight in HIS JOY, as it is the rainbow to my darkened world, and it is the sunshine to my cloudy days. Wow, just WOW, I am overwhelmed by this very thought, and I am thankful that HE will stop at nothing to make sure that I get it, and write it on my heart, and not only that I choose to BELIEVE it, but that I choose to LIVE it!

I am learning that JOY is a choice, therefore I must choose to be JOYFUL so that I will be open to HIS blessings that HE wants and desires to shower me with.  HE is telling me that when I choose to forgo seeking HIS JOY, that is when I miss out on HIS blessings, and that saddens HIM, as I am HIS daughter and HE loves me. WHO I am, is HIS, and HE loves me, and wants and knows what is best for me, and it is because I know that I know that I must choose to seek HIS JOY daily.

HE is telling me that even when my life seems unbearable, I, Heather can allow my heart to be conditioned to seek, recognize, and declare HIS JOY.  Therefore, I must choose HIS JOY daily for my life!

"The story of your life is the story of a long brutal assault on your heart by the one who knows what you could be and fears it." John Eldredge

A while ago, HE revealed to me that Satan is threatened so much by my very existence that he has been trying to wipe me off the face of this earth, since the very moment of my conception.  HE is wanting me to know that the enemy knows that I am a force to fear and that I am warrior of the KINGS army, and that all the attempts to wipe me off the face of the earth have only brought me even closer to GOD, my CREATOR, my SAVIOR, my HEALER, my REDEEMER, my PROTECTOR, my PRINCE OF PEACE,  WHO is my BEST FRIEND JESUS.

HE is teaching me that Satan doesn't want me to allow my heart to be conditioned by HIM, and the enemies plans are to keep me trapped in my own prison of despair.  This morning I am understanding why GOD placed conversations in my path these past few days.  Once of which was about suicide.

If you haven't read in my blog in the past, I struggled for many years with suicidal thoughts, and the very thought of breathing another moment seemed  painfully unbearable.  I was truly in the "darkest hours" of my life, and it was then, right there where HE found me.  HE began to condition my heart, and began to show me that in the midst of my tremendous, pain and suffering there was JOY to be found.  That JOY was my two daughters who were at the time ages 1 & 2.  

Though it has taken me many years to overcome those dark moments in my past, I truly believe that I have been able to overcome them because I have allowed my heart to be conditioned.    I know that it is because I choose to follow HIM daily, and ask HIM to teach, lead, and guide me, that even in my "darkest hours" I can see right where HE was, is, and always will be.

HE is wanting me to know that I, Heather am destined to live a life that is full of HIS JOY.  HE is wanting me to know that I have been called to wake up every morning and seek HIM, and be filled by HIS word, so that my heart will be conditioned to seek HIS JOY.  I am learning that it has been through HIS Daily Teachings that I am able to understand the reason why I am to be choosing HIS JOY so that I will be able to live a truly blessed and peaceful  life.

I pray today that if you are experiencing pain and suffering, that you will turn to the one WHO loves you and allow your heart to be conditioned to HIS love, HIS grace, and HIS mercy.   I pray that HE will turn your mess, into HIS message, and that it will all be revealed to you in a way that you will know that it is HIS gift to you.  I pray for HIS blessings, and peace to be poured over your lives, as you choose HIS JOY in your life, and make JESUS the center of your life.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you Heather for sharing your times of pain and explaining how we can find joy in-spite of our pain. You are an amazing writer and I am so blessed to call you my friend.