"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.