"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philipians 3:13b,14

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Journey to Joy

There is a moment.

......for those of you that have had life-altering situations occur in your existence, you know what I'm talking about.

It's like standing on a cliff, standing as close as you can to the edge without taking your feet off the ground that appears solid. You recognize you're there. It is terrifying and loud, like a swirl of murmuring that eclipses all other thought.

Then, suddenly, you're aloft.

That happened to me this year. My marriage ended.

It hurt. A lot.

It was frightening, and shocking, and never what I planned, and holy-crap-what-am-I-going-to-do-now, and  any other medley of emotional cacophony that you can imagine.

It wasn't anything I had control over. It isn't what I invested in, or expected. 


.......it is ok. Not "ok"..... really, truly, ok.

Want to know why?

Because God is good.

I know that sounds simple, and fake and cheesy. Trite Christian banality at its worst.

But it isn't. It's the truth.

It's a goodness that exists as a quiet, consistent respite in the midst of chaos. It doesn't really clamor for the front spot. His goodness is more like that unchanging, loyal friend that is always there when you need her. Not always the life of the party, but there, waiting to catch you when you need help, or celebrate your successes, or think through a problem. 
God's goodness is reliable, and solid, and incredibly comforting in its predictability and unchanging  nature. This I have discovered over many years that have been filled with unexpected crisis, and loss, and change. Every time I have been at my worst, my emptiest, my lowest, at the point in which I can see nothing but fear and anxiety and overwhelming grief, He has been there, alongside me, providing tangible support. Making the truth known to me in a way I can hear. Loving me through other people. Giving me a path to walk that is narrow, and filled with integrity, and leads to a place with no regrets. Filling me with the desire to do what's right, and not just what feels good. 

...HE does that. 

Because of this truth, I am on a journey that, although started in pain and bewilderment, has been filled with success. And joy- real joy, not a joy that comes from delusional ignorance of reality. 

I am unspeakably grateful.

I stand now, below the cliff, looking up, recognizing that I am blessed to have survived. 

God is good, people. Not in a nothing-horrible-will-ever-befall-you kind of way...... in a "be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age"  kind of way.

I want to write more, soon. But more than anything, I wanted to recognize publicly that God is the source of all joy, all security, all peace, all contentment. 

For me, that's something I need to remind myself about daily, hourly, sometimes moment-by-moment. 

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know that plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

That is a good promise. 

Press on, friends. I will too.


  1. Thank you for sharing this. I know I've said it before, but you are such an amazing person. A true witness of the Lord. Always sharing so much and bringing a positive, uplifting attitude to everyone around you. Even at the lowest points, you are always looking up and finding something to be joyous and thankful for. Thank you for being such an uplifting, positive, loving force for all of us who have been fortunate to have been touched by you and your spirit.

  2. Wow, thank you for your inspiration and yes for your reminder that His love and consistency is not dependent on our feelings or situations, that He alone is faithful.

  3. I love you. You are so brave for sharing. Thanks for the reminder of just how truly good our God is.

  4. Shari, you amaze me in so many ways! Your brave honesty, admissions of imperfection and your raw truths really speak to me. I am sorry to hear that your marriage ended, I was truly shocked. I have struggled with many lows, disappointments and personal devastation and also have been able to look up to see God's grace raining down upon me. Thank you for sharing, my friend.

  5. This post is so encouraging. It shocks and saddens me to the core, but also shows you at your best. I wish this were an inspirational story, and not about someone I care about.

  6. I love you with all my heart Shari. Auntie Leasa

  7. Wow! so good! What a testimony of God's faithfulness. You are amazing and God is using you in a huge way! Thanks for sharing!

  8. I agree. God is good and faithful and never ending.......I'm still sorry you have to go through that with your marriage. You don't know me but I will pray for you. Pray for Gods peace, his hand in your life and how he wants to use you in this next season. Be blessed girl.

  9. You found a key to life in the midst of life-altering change and turmoil. What an anchor we have! You do not know me, but I read your posts and make some of your recipes often! Praying for your continued peace in this situation. God bless you! LOVE to you and your family.

  10. Thank you so much for sharing. Your words are so encouraging and uplifting. We do serve an amazing and wonderful God who will give us never-ending peace. Will keep you and your family in my prayers. Keep on sharing, you have a gift and that is worth more than anything this world can give to those who follow.


  11. I am so so sorry, Shari. I kept checking here and just thought you quit blogging, but you are still running (a LOT LOT LOT more than me!), so I knew you were kind-of OK. I felt like this when my marriage ended: I depended on God so much to carry me through my days, and He did. After some time, I remember going about my day and it suddenly dawned on me that I was no longer afraid or crying or sad. I was OK. Somewhere along the line, God put me back down gently. I don't know when or where, but He put me back down on my feet so that I could walk again. I don't walk on my own, but I walk with Him every step of the way.

  12. And every time I grab my skillet, I think of your Skittles! :)