Today’s post is by a very special friend. One that smiled her way into my life and made it so much brighter. She is an encourager by heart and if you read last week’s post, you saw I called her irresistible! Sommer isn’t a blogger, but she gently plants the Word of God into the hearts of many through the way she lives her life and through the meaningful God-appointed relationships she encounters on a daily basis. She serves with an open heart, loves others fully, and is never shortcoming with her hugs or her warm smiles.
When you meet Sommer, you would never know, not too long ago she lived deep heartache. But she did. She was hurt and she was betrayed. And she built tall walls of protection around herself. She could have stayed stuck behind those walls and remained in that pain. But she chose something different.
This is her story of how, when everything fell apart, she found herself choosing joy. Please welcome Sommer!Can you still choose joy even when everything falls apart? #somethingbetter #choosejoy #hope Click To Tweet
Life has a way of taking us on detours.
My life took a detour not so long ago. I had met a boy, fell in love, and thought life would be lived happily ever after. I dreamed of babies, family vacations, retiring, and growing old with my husband. Everything in my life was “on track” for my happily ever after.
Or at least I thought so.
Little did I know, my marriage was full of lies, hurt, and unfortunate deceit. My husband was not who I thought he was, and my marriage was not really a marriage at all.
I found myself without a husband or the family of which I had dreamed. My ideals were completely shattered in what felt like seconds, but God was waiting to pick up the pieces.
I have to admit, while I was chasing what I thought was a happily ever after, there was one thing I did not chase.
But the beautiful thing about God is no matter where we go or what we do, when we are ready, He is there, faithfully and patiently awaiting us.
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart. – Jeremiah 29:13
He is a God that seeks the lost, even when we are unaware or unable to admit it. This is the ultimate blessing for a girl like me, who takes a little time to catch on to what God is doing in her life!
This was the love I knew I had been waiting for my whole life. It is in this love I found the saving grace of joy. Once I chose to live in His joy, I found the life He was writing for me.
I found myself as God intended. In His image.
Despite my circumstances, I choose joy because that is where God is. He is always working, even when we don’t see it or Him. God chooses to shine through my brokenness showing who He is to those around me. Time and time again, what He is doing in my story overwhelms me with a fullness of joy. I choose to believe that God is always working and redeeming our story, in such a way, the beauty of it unfolds through each person we are brave enough to share it with.
By choosing joy, I intentionally lean on God.
I wake up and know HE is at work in me and through me, despite me. By choosing joy despite my circumstances I am able to see God at work. More importantly, my story, or your story, does not have to be a story of shame, but a story of redemption.
During my time of not knowing God and his joy, I chose my grief. God desires honesty with ourselves and with Him, therefore grieving is good. But the difference now is that I don’t stay there anymore.
Staying there kept me prisoner to my circumstances. I wasn’t able to see what God was doing in and around me. I wasn’t moving forward. My problems and my life became more important than anything or anyone else.Moments,opportunities,and all together life was passing me by #somethingbetterseries #hope #choosingjoy Click To Tweet
I no longer want life to pass me by, and I don’t. Choosing to have God’s Joy is bigger than my circumstances or my grief, because he is at work.
I know this part of my story is not the last challenging season I will experience. God will provide some seasons where choosing joy is easier than others.
I recently was living in one of those not so easy seasons. At 33 years old, I found myself learning I had complicated health issues that could inhibit any opportunities of having children someday. Even now, knowing what God has done this far in my story, the news still hurt the same and grief crept in.
But I have the choice of grief or joy. I had to ask myself some tough questions.
- Will I trust God’s plan when it doesn’t align with my own?
- Do I trust God to provide for me the family He wants?
- Do I trust it will be even better than the ideals I have for a family?
- Will I trust that God is truly in this grief and loss with me?
- Will I chose joy even when I feel something has been stolen from me?
The answer is “yes”.Getting stuck in grief?Ask yourself these 5 questions! #thesomethingbetterseries #hope #joy Click To Tweet
I don’t want to live stuck in my ideals, grief, and pain. I want to recognize them, but then choose God and His joy.
That is when I am reminded of what faith really is and what it is not. Faith is not meant to be circumstantial, its’ meant to be unfailing. I have learned through my story and others’ stories. This world is a thief, but God is never-failing.
When we choose joy we are choosing God and His freedom. We are no longer prisoners to our circumstances; we are testimonies of his love in a world so desperate to hear and see.
Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. -1 John 4:4
We never know exactly where God is taking our stories, but I know he is the author and the story is HIS.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future -Jeremiah 29:11.
We all have stories and we all have a choice; Staying stuck or choosing God and choosing joy. May we all choose joy and lean on an unfailing love, a love that allows the world to no longer have a hold on our stories.
The Something Better Series
Over the last 5 weeks, we have been exploring the stepping up and stepping out toward our something better in life. Each week courageous women have bravely shared their stories. Each one leaving me humbled by the transforming work of Christ in our lives when we simply choose to surrender to Him.
I hope you have been humbled, too. And convicted. Convicted that no matter what your situation, God will step right into the depths of it with you and hold your hand as you walk out together. Out into your something better.
Next week is the final week. It’s the summary. It’s where I share my own story of stepping into something better. Right into the depths of where God taught me all about the power of His unfailing love. The power of His redemption. And the power of His grace.
By the way, don’t forget to come back Monday for #MomentsofHope! My heart skips a little beat each time I open that page and see the hope of Jesus splattered everywhere! ♥
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