Friday, January 18, 2013

Feeling Joy

   Joy has been elusive in my life. Growing up as I did, victimized by abuse, I can't ever remember feeling lighthearted or carefree. Sexual abuse is a heavy load for a child to carry and I was bent down under the weight of it.
   Then I grew up, and God healed me from much of that shame. But still, feeling joy was as foreign to me as feeling pure. Until this past year. Along with that pinching nerve pain in my back came a new understanding of grace. One I could live with. It doesn't matter how good I am. What matters is how good my Jesus is.
   After a lifetime of fear, negative thinking, and beating myself up, I've learned to be fully present in the simple moments of my day. And that is where, unexpectedly, joy shows up: in the sunbeams dancing across the tile floor; in the beautiful redness of the Northern Cardinal as he lands on my feeder; in my little dog seeking out the best spot to sunbathe; even in the bleating of the cows next door.
   This professed city girl has embraced fully this country life that I moved into back before Christmas. I've been feeling so good that I start to feel guilty. I've been feeling so good that I start looking for the next bad thing. Then I remember my new understanding of grace. I don't have to fear being punished because I'm not good enough. I don't have to try doing enough good things so that I won't be punished. Jesus' goodness forgives my sins and loves me just as I am. And when I remember that, then I can feel joy.

"I pray that God, the source of hopr, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit", Romans 15:13. NLT 


  1. H Peggy...sexual abuse or any abuse is a terrible load for a child to carry. Thank God He heals the broken hearted...Thank God He binds up our wounds. Thank God He carries us in gentle arms. Hugs to you....tons of them.

  2. Ja, I know/understand where you're talking about. It's such a great wonder that God makes an opening in our dark life and His light shines inside. I put the dark places of my life in his hands. And try to count the blessings He gives me.

  3. Hi Peggy,

    In His presence is fulness of joy...This is what I must remember when the darness threatens to invade. Jesus is the shining, ever present lighthouse when I am lost in the black waves of depression/oppression. JOY is what we feel when in His shining presence!!

  4. Hi Peggy,
    A few years back I experienced a peace and joy which surpasses all understanding while I was going through the toughest time of my life. I was laid off from work and two days later my first wife passed away. I hurt more than I can express in words. During this time I held tightly onto the Lord crying out to Him for His strength and peace. Like Never Forsaken said in her comment above, "In His presence is the fullness of joy," this is so true no matter what one may go through.
    I pray that the Lord bless you today,

  5. Stay strong Peggy because often the truth is that for many of us, even though we belong to God through faith in Christ, we still seem to experience doubt and confusion when releasing our depression, cares and concerns to Him and receiving His outstretched hand. But it's really not hard at all, because He is able and willing to take them all!

    Blessings and lots of love; praying for you!