Embracing Joy...being changed...
I responded with my post below:
When God moved us (19 years ago) to a small town in SW MO, I KNEW that we needed to make that move...His hand was there...but our time there was miserable for me personally. There were good things that came from it, lessons learned, a safe place to raise our family, and we became more dependent on God - but I jokingly called it "my 40 years in the wilderness" and wondered what lesson I had to learn before He would release us from that area. Well, it only took 19 years, LOL, but God released us from that area last spring, and moved us to NW KY, and we are BLOOMING where we are planted!!
It would have been very easy to have stayed indoors, pulled drapes, and shied away from life in general, but He THREW OPEN WINDOWS in my soul that I never knew were there! He not only moved us to a job full of blessings for my husband (still hard work, but a new attitude in the workplace), but preceded us in prayer at his job and at our church - and there's tons of work for me to do (volunteering) there.
The local writing job I had at the "old" place, was willing to move with me to the "new" place; and that's opened doors for writing here too. I'm blogging with new enthusiasm, up to my eyeballs in missions stuff that I love, and to top it off, one of our kids that was living 1/2 way around the world ended up moving 2 hours from us, AND we're half way closer to another child and our grandkids!
Had I not had His JOY planted in me from the start, I never would have found courage to be changed. I was so good at hanging on to the burdens from the "old" place, no one would have wanted to put me to work here! Only because of His assurances of love, protection, joy, new mercies every morning, and a "new song", could I come up with the courage it took to allow Him to change me.
In fact, a prayer that I find myself praying often, in all sorts of difficult times is this: "Change this circumstance, change this other person, or change me..." and guess what?! HE CHANGES ME MOST OFTEN!!"
I hope that you find courage to face the changes in life today, and a willingness to ask God to "change me" in the circumstances that scare you most. Life tomorrow may not look anything like today's life, but if you trust Him, and muster up a little joy for the journey, that's not really a problem, is it??