Hello my friends! I am so sorry that I have missed the last couple weeks of Five Minute Friday! It's been so busy! I hope that you are staying sane in the craziness of this time of year. We are looking forward to peaceful completion of the year, and we hope to finish the year with...joy.
The word JOY has a special meaning for me. As many of you are aware, my husband and I have had infertility issues for several years. When I experienced my second miscarriage (I've had four, including an ectopic), I was at a very low point. I was very bitter. I saw several unmarried young girls getting pregnant during that time, and went through the "why not me" stage. Then in the fall of 2012, I discovered I was pregnant after trying since January 2011. I was so happy and thankful. We went to Georgia to attend our annual week long Feast of Tabernacles--and on the evening before everything began, I started having a miscarriage. There I was away from home, celebrating one of my most favorite of God's feasts--more joyous and eager to celebrate thanks to our blessing that year--and then BAM. I have to start with a miscarriage. There was no joy. There was pain. There was sorrow. There was bitterness.
The next morning--for the sun always rises no matter what--I got up and I felt bitterness to my core. I was full of the "not fairs". So I decided I needed to have a long talk with God. I walked out onto the beach of Jekyll Island. As I climbed up onto the bridge that goes over the rocks to the beach, the golden sun hit the water and made it sparkle. The waves crashed on the shore. The sand stretched seemingly endless. And I felt so very small. The vastness of creation weighed down on me. But it was beautiful. Even in my bitterness, I was moved. So as I admired God's handiwork, I gave my heart to Him again. I asked that He remove the bitterness. That I needed to find...joy. I didn't even know what to pray.
So I simply asked Him: "Lord. I need You to help me find JOY every day."
"Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” ~ Nehemiah 8:10
Would you also believe that a few hours later, when we attended church that day--the very first of my friends that I saw was a darling beautiful woman...and when I saw her moving towards me, I just cried...because her name--is Joy. God brought me Joy--I had asked, He had answered in a way beyond what I had even prayed for. And as it turned out, Joy found me every day that week. She put her arms around me and together we praised God for His mercy and love.
God answers prayers. His joy is our strength. His joy is MY strength.
I continue to seek the Lord's JOY every day.
May you and yours have a most blessed weekend--and a most refreshing Sabbath day to those who keep it.