"Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." John 16:24b
Last week, I spent 24 hours "retreating" with three wonderful women who have lovingly spoken truth into my life many times over the past 5 months. We spent a considerable amount of time simply praying for each other. My prayer request? Joy. I felt like the joy had been sucked out of my life. And, so they prayed - for God to restore my joy and re-awaken my passion for life and ministry. Thank you, Lord, for hearing us when we call to You. Thank you for women who continue to bless and nurture me as I walk this road. Give me a teachable spirit and time to "be" for You and not just "do" for You. Restore my joy and direct me.
The night I got home from my time with the girls, Shaun and I sat in our living room, me at the piano and Shaun with guitar, and music - worship - filled the room. It was as if the songs were bubbling up from the depths of my soul and pouring out of our brokenness, confusion, and, more than anything, thankfulness. Psalm 16:11 says, "You fill me with joy in Your presence." Just like Asaph in Psalm 73, we entered into God's presence and found joy in shifting our focus from ourselves to Him. Thank you, Lord, for meeting us...as we filled that room with music, You filled it with Your Spirit. May our home be filled with worship daily - worship that is a sweet sound to your ears. Please re-focus my heart and my ministry.
On Saturday, I sat in Starbucks with a new friend who shares the common bond of loss. She shared with me God's providence through her and her husband's journey through miscarriage, unemployment, and questioning God's plan. I was greatly impacted by her unshakeable trust in a God who loves us and knows exactly what He's doing. She reminded me of the promise in Scripture that God never gives us more than we can handle. She also shared how our story had changed her. Thank you, Lord, for beautiful people who praise You through trials! It's truly humbling that You would use our story to challenge and comfort those around us. Please continue to bring people into my life who need Your comfort, and help me to be faithful to share honestly with those people who You are.
And the past four days have been spent in California with a dear friend who blessed me tremendously - with love, prayers, humor, and even a day at the spa. She has refreshed me and reminded me that God's not done with me, there is purpose in the wilderness, and that, while I don't get to be a mom right now, I have the opportunity to be an awesome wife. Thank you, Lord, for renewal and for speaking to me through your Word and through Angie. Help me to trust Your leadership in my life.
And, while I don't necessarily feel joyful, I'm trusting that as I walk obediently through the wilderness to what God has called me to, joy and blessings will follow.