Reaching for the Joy


     It’s been a long time coming. This urge to write. To write through the pain. To write while hoping for change. What to write? How to write it? What could I say that would bless others?
     My fists clenched tightly crushing the beautiful petal I wanted to preserve. The pain so raw, I could not touch it with words. The grasping to control that which was slipping through my fingers.
     When and where would I begin? I tried once before but before the words were on paper, the hope and life were torn away.
     Gradually, the Lord has been putting hope back into my life. Through friends who hug and pray and love and give Godly counsel. Through Hubby, my ever-faithful support. Through God’s Word. Through prayer. And through the Presence of the Lord Himself.
     Yesterday, a friend gifted me with a journal titled “Joy Within.” She had copied Ann Voskamp’s “Take the JOY DARE” for January onto slick glossy photo paper, pasted it on the first page of the book, and wrapped it in cheerful yellow burlap tied with printed ribbon. I could feel the hope and joy begin to soothe the pain. I knew it was time to write~and to write of Joy and Thanksgiving in the midst of trial. Oh, I’ll talk of the pain, the change, the Lord’s work in me. But I’ll focus on His Joy.

     “Praise the Lord, my soul;
     all my inmost being, praise His holy name.
     Praise the Lord, my soul;
     and forget not all his benefits–
     who forgives all your sins
     and heals all your diseases,
     who redeems your life from the pit
     and crowns you with love and compassion,
     who satisfies your desires with good things
     so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”
Psalm 103:1-5 NIV
     Thank you Lord:
     736) for the gift of writing and for those who read it
     737) for friends who support, encourage, pray, and strengthen
     738) for the friend who gifted me with a journal for the JOY DARE
     739) for a husband who stands by and loves me through the tears and fears
     740) for the full yellow moon in tonight’s dark sky, a bright light
     741) for eyes that see Your beautiful blue skies again
     742) for cousins who bless me with love 
     743) for Your compassion that desires to deliver each of us from our distress
     744) for everyone and every way that You, Lord, reach out to touch my life with healing and hope
     745) for oldest’s temporary job going so well and the joy he feels
     746) for youngest’s phone call
     747) for the call to dig for JOY, to lift up heart and my prayers with Thanksgiving to You, Oh Lord, who heals, and forgives, and delivers from the pit.
     All Praise to You, Mighty Lord

     Thank you to all who stopped by with encouraging words even while I was taking a break. You brighten my day.

     Check out Ann Voskamp’s site, “A Holy Experience,” to learn more about the JOY DARE and how giving thanks can change your life. Click here.

From My Heart to Yours,
Linking with Word-Filled Wednesday and Multitude Monday (a little late 🙂



22 thoughts on “Reaching for the Joy

  1. Dearest Janis, I am beyond delighted to see this post. I know how difficult it was for you to put “pen to paper.” But the final product is beautiful. You captured so well the deep-seated feelings of a heart in pain – but a heart turned toward and tuned into the Lord.

    I continue to support you in prayer, friend.

    Even in the deepest pits in life, I am finding that God’s love is deeper still…


  2. I don’t know what you went through but I can relate to life changing pain. It is beautiful to see the Lord begin to get into those areas and how this gift from a sweet friend was part of it. blessing to you as you journey on.

  3. I am thankful you are reading through the pain to write again. With the thanksgiving comes a prayer that God will continue to heal and give you all you need to live for him.

  4. Janis!! You’ve been missed and in a year committed to living intentionally, finding JOY is one of the paramounts on my list. It’s so easy to miss…it’s wonderful to have your words back out here! peace,

  5. Praising God for bringing joy and hope back into your life Janis; His source is our source of strength, and we can all call upon Him to renew it. How blessed you are to have loving family and friends that have been there for you; glad to have you back!

    Blessings and love,

  6. What a beautiful gift to receive from a friend! I have also started to write this year…and it is healing.

    joy & blessings,

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