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Joy Restored

Happy Saturday! If I could use one word to describe my week it would be the word eventful. I found that my week was more active than I expected for it to be even though I could visibly see what I had to do. In the course of the week being eventful I could feel a shift in my thoughts and emotions. Towards the end of 2023 and even the first few days of this year I've had extreme joy. I'm talking about joy so great that I was going to bed cheesing real wide. I felt this peace and excitement that I hadn't felt in a while. It was pure as it was God reminding me that He sees me.

As the days progressed I began to feel like I was being robbed of my joy. I found myself in my head and thinking about all the what if's of everything that I'm believing God for. I can say that I've grown a lot in the area of trusting God with my desires and with the unknown, but if I'm being honest there's still some growing in this area that needs to be done. I'm proud of the fact that I handle these moments differently than I would have in the past. If anyone knows me I can be a bit emotional sometimes and tend to feel things in a greater capacity than others. In result I have found myself in the past moving off of my emotions instead of facts or moving off of negative facts instead of choosing to change my perspective of the situation. I now have grown to immediately pray and talk to God more in depth about how I'm feeling and reminding God of what His word says regarding whatever it may be that I'm concerned about.

I remember finding myself upset at the tactics that the enemy was using to get me in doubt, unbelief, worry, and lack of trusting God. I became frustrated that it felt as if my joy that I've longed for was being snatched from me. I of course quickly realized that I can still choose to pick up joy even if it doesn't feel authentic thanks to the encouragement of my friend. That's not to say that I'm faking or pretending to be joyful instead I'm simply rebuilding my faith. What I was experiencing was very much a John 10:10 moment where Jesus talks about how the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy. In these moments I notice how my joy was being stolen. One thing I had a revelation and reminder of is how God will give me back what's taken from me. I had to make a choice to either stand in faith and trust God or continue to let my joy be snuffed out.

In choosing to go to God first I've seen how God has taught me that a lot of things aren't always tangible. I may not be able to feel it, in this case "it" being joy all the time but that doesn't mean that I don't have it. I believe in that, personally for me God was and is teaching me how to trust him and believe without the tangible confirmations, or even the tangibility of physically feeling joy, contentment, faith, or whatever it may be. I'm learning that it's about my decision to keep my faith and to trust in God no matter what it looks like, no matter what I see or don't see, feel or don't feel. It's knowing that God will not fail concerning His plans for me, and that's what I have to know. I was also encouraged and reminded by a friend to just be fully honest with God about how I feel knowing that He cares.

Today I want to challenge you to pick back up whatever it is that you feel has been stolen from you, whether it's joy, peace, happiness, trust, whatever it is pick it back up. Be authentic with God about what's on your heart and mind. Let Him know, because He truly does care.

My prayer today is that our hope, joy, peace, happiness or whatever we feel like has been stolen from us be restored and renewed. I pray that we trust God no matter what and that we will keep our faith. I pray that we will choose to find joy, happiness, and peace in everything.

With love,

-Yours Truly, Eb

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