An Amazing Thing

    Feb 16, 2020 | by Nancy Newbrough

    The past few months had been rough for me mentally and emotionally. I think it was a combination of the holidays, expectations of me from my volunteer positions, back-to-back illnesses in our household, and ongoing efforts to deal with some past grief.  Then our sweet 11-year-old family dog got an injury. The tough decision about whether to do surgery or not was on my plate.  Complaining about all of that would be easy to do – but certainly not beneficial.  We all have things going on in our lives that are problematic and challenging.

    I was exhausted and cranky and run down.  It seemed that tiredness weighed me down as I was rushing my way through each day.  No longer did I have the energy to work out -- or play with my children like I have always enjoyed, and they have come to expect.  It felt like I was letting my kids down and letting my husband down.  Where had their happy, positive, encouraging mother and wife gone? Who had I become? The weight of the world was just too much!  I was short-tempered with my children and then later would feel terrible about it – therefore, beat myself up over it.  It was a vicious cycle!  At last, I could not take it anymore!

    One night I finally broke down and cried out to God for help, realizing I could no longer do this alone!  I desperately wanted to feel joy again!  Lying awake in bed praying, I begged God to help me through this.  My deep desire was to wake up happy and joyful again, ready to take on the day!

    Because I am not good at sharing my feelings and do not like to feel vulnerable, I had kept most of this struggle inside and to myself.  The answer to my prayers did not happen in an instant.  But after several days of crying out to God, asking for forgiveness and begging for guidance and inner peace, I started to see a change within myself.

    My long-time habit every morning is to sit down with my daily devotional book and a hot cup of coffee and begin reading.  This day it felt different.  The words were exactly what I needed to read!  The entry that day quoted the Bible verse, Habakkuk 3:17-18: Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.

    Wow! Talk about speaking directly to my heart!  The realization came that I was trying to take on all of life’s struggles by myself.  This verse helped me understand that even when life is not going as planned, I can still have joy in the midst of the chaos.  If anything, those are the times I need to hold onto my joy and my faith in the Lord!  I began to thank God for this entry in my devotional book -- and for opening my heart to be receptive to the message.

    I have decided to wake up every morning and to be happy and thankful.  No matter the circumstance, I can still rejoice!  My Lord has poured out on me untold blessings!  I have an amazing husband and two precious little girls that I love more than anything in this world.  I want to enjoy every single day with them. The devil will not be allowed to steal my joy because of negative thoughts!

    I am so thankful to God for answering my prayers and hearing my cry!  He cares and is a loving God!  I know my joy and peace come from Him.  This has been a wonderful reminder to me that I can always count on Him to help me when I ask.  He is holding my hand and guiding me.  It is an amazing thing to feel happy again!                                                                                                       

    N.T.

    Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 
    Philippians 4:4

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