This year I wrote a lot about getting unstuck from the past and from the labels that threaten our victory. I wrote about overcoming the hard things in life and of shedding the shame that keeps us distant from Christ. And I wrote about the hope and joy we can find in the one and only Jesus.
This month as I focus on joy, I’ve reflected on the unique parallel track on which both joy and sorrow run.
They coexist. Without one, we simply cannot fully grasp the other. To feel the fullness of joy, we must know the depths of emptiness and depravity. In our humanity, we would become numb to joy if it was our only experience. We would take it for granted and, sadly, become bored.To know the fullness of joy, we must also know the depths of emptiness and depravity #hope #joy… Click To Tweet
For this reason, Jesus was born on Christmas night. We needed a savior to deliver us from the pain and the sorrow. The depravity and emptiness. We needed joy to shine out from our darkness and to rise above all else.
Finding Joy Podcast
Not too long ago I was given the gift of sitting down and sharing my story of joy with Lauren Gaskill. Lauren is an author, speaker and host of the Finding Joy podcast. But more than that, she’s a girl who loves big and follows after Jesus with all her heart!
In our talk, I shared parts of my story. The not-so-pretty parts of the girl who didn’t know Jesus well enough to grasp His unfailing love for me. The girl who was searching for her worth in the things and people of the world, but coming up short every time.It's a story of a girl searching for worth in the things & people of the world,yet coming up… Click To Tweet
But after that, I got to share about the joy and hope I found in Jesus. About how life changed and what that journey looked like. I’d love it if you would follow me over there to listen to my story or find Lauren’s Finding Joy Podcast on iTunes! I pray that if your holiday is tinged with sadness, grief, or regret, the story God wrote of my life gives you hope to know that His joy is always present and always possible.
More Favorite Things Giveaways
In the meantime, don’t forget about the giveaways I am hosting here this month with each Holding onto Joy During the Holidays post! Our first and second giveaways have come to an end with friend and reader Sherry winning The Star from Afar and Fibi winning Rad Joy’s Surrender Cross! Congratulations, friends!
But don’t give up yet because there are still more giveaways to enter!
My last post, 10 Ways to Bring Joy to Someone Who is Grieving was a guest post written by dear friend and author Kathe Wunnenberg. She is giving away a 3 of her hope-filled books as a set! Enter here.
Since this bracelet is gorgeous and comes from a fantastic company that encourages women to be overcomers, I know you will want to enter to win! How? Just enter the Rafflecopter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And finally, come back Thursday for the final giveaway! I can’t wait!
Library of Hope
Need a reminder to stop by for the final giveaway of the month? Just sign up here! Plus you will get special access to the Library of Hope where you will find resources (like the printable set of my favorite hope-filled Bible verse cards) to help you live a more hope-filled life!
Joy that lasts comes from the Father, yet it’s not something that simply falls into our laps. It’s something we have to choose to work at. One of those things is choosing to embrace new seasons of life. Part of the story I shared in the Finding Joy Podcast was learning to embrace the difficult during our family’s adoption process. There were dreams I had to let go of in order to embrace reality and find the joys I didn’t realize were right in the middle of that reality.
When I read Karrilee’s post When New Traditions Take Root, I was reminded of that powerful act of letting go in order to embrace the new. I was reminded of the bittersweet of saying good-bye while welcoming a new kind of joy. Karrilee blogs at Abiding Love Abounding Grace and is one of my favorite spirit-filled encouragers. Make sure to give her some extra love when you stop by her place!
Finally, I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! This is my final #MomentsofHope Link-Up for 2016 (but I’ll be back Thursday with my regular post and final giveaway)! I am so thankful for each of you. I am thankful you have come alongside me to share the hope of Jesus with the world. Your words are making a difference and your kindness has been such an encouragement and gift to me.
When I began this blog, it was with a message God had given me to share. I didn’t know the incredible gifts of encouragement, love, and friendship I would be given in return. Gulp! No words, my friends. Just my ♥ and my deepest feelings of gratitude for each and every one of you.
Note: You can now link 2 posts that resonate with HOPE each week. My heart desires to visit each of you every week, however I pray you will extend grace and still know how much you matter even when I run short on time!
What I ask of you:
1. Share up to 2 URLs (to a blog post, not the actual blog) that resonates with the topic of HOPE. Anything that gives us hope for tomorrow. Hope for victory. The little things and the big. Anything that inspires us to lean into Jesus and let Him carry us through.
2. Important: If you don’t have a blog post or podcast that resonates with HOPE, join in other ways as you pray and encourage others with a comment or a prayer.
3. Please leave a comment on the link just before each of your links. Would you love on them well? Encourage them in their efforts to share the hope of Jesus. If you have time, stop by more than one sweet writer’s little corner of the blog world!
4. Of course, I would love it if you would follow me via my blog and/or social media channels! Signing up to join the Searching for Moments Community gets you access to the Library of Hope along with post updates and freebies!
5. If this gives you hope, would you consider sharing it with others to give them hope, too?
6. Please either grab the #MomentsofHope button found here or link back to me to encourage new linkers.