This past weekend, our church hosted a mini marriage retreat at one of my all time favorite locations. So of course we signed up. They kept sending us away to chew on marriage stuff about every half hour, but Adrain and I are (thankfully) in a very good place in our marriage and had some bigger things to chew on at the moment, so we got a little distracted during our open sessions and quickly moved to the topic(s) at hand. His job.
Over the past two+ years, those of you long time readers have watched as we decided to downsize our mortgage payment, and move to another town, thirty minutes north of our current home. After many months, you rejoiced as our home sold and we began to pack. Then you cried with me as the buyer fell through (thinking she had won the Publisher's Clearing House Sweepstakes offer in order to buy our home, which of course she hadn't. True story.) You sympathized as we unpacked, assuring us God had a plan.
is the flag that flies above the castle of our hearts indicating that
the King reigns within.” If that is true, then why are so many women
living lives with little or no joy? I’m afraid that we have bought the
lies of the enemy, allowing him to steal our joy. Discouragement,
weariness, disillusionment, shattered dreams and unrealized goals are
some of his favorite weapons, but the truth is that the enemy can only
use what we allow him to use. It is time for us to reclaim surrendered ground. Do you sometimes think
you are fighting the same old battles you have been fighting for years?
I do. Clinging to familiar pain, we find our identity there. Consumed
with our own agenda, joy is buried under a mountain of self. Joy is not the result of outward circumstances. Joy is an inside job, a deeply rooted confidence that God is in control..." Mary Southerland
Somehow, my searching led me to something amazing that I'd never seen before. I was reading the book of Jeremiah for our couples bible study, and there's a very well known verse all about God knowing the plans for you, yada, yada, yada, and to be honest, I was putting off getting to that part because of where I was at emotionally. This time, I read the back story for that verse. Basically, God kept trying to get the Israelites to quit worshiping idols, etc, and he gave them warning, after warning to no avail. He was finally like "Okay guys, if you insist on crossing every line, I'm gonna have to let the Babylonians carry you off into slavery to get your attention, but I'll only keep you there for seventy years." (That was my paraphrase.) God spoke up; "This is what the Lord says: 'When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the 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. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,' declares the Lord..." Jeremiah 29: 10-14a
So basically... there was a set time period of misery. He didn't make them wallow in it for eternity. That comforted me massively.
In the mean-time, I'm going to seek Him with my whole heart and I'm going to choose the knowledge that God is firmly in control. And I'm taking back my joy!! How about you? Can you relate to this place at all?