On Finding Joy

 

minion-hats-3-245x184

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve done anything crafty.  Recently I found some joy in picking up my crochet hook and making some fun crafts:  hats for my three-year old nephews (triplets!) and for my son.  I haven’t done anything fun like this in a long time, and it reminded me how much I used to love creating things.

Now, please understand that I am not crafty, regardless of what these pictures convey.  I did not learn to crochet or knit until I was almost 40.  But in those few years, I have found knitting and crocheting to be a form of therapy.  I loved losing myself in a project; dreaming about the next project; wearing my own creations; and buying yet more yarn for projects to come.

Even though I haven’t stopped knitting or crocheting, the weight of living with hidden disabilities has caused me to lose joy in my craft.  I have dutifully continued with simple projects, yet my heart has not been in any of them.  I have been aware only of my challenges.  I have lost my joy.

The same is true with my Christian faith.  I haven’t stopped doing the things I’ve always done.  I go to church.  I pray.  I attend small group (when I’m not too exhausted and worn out from work).  I read the Bible and Christian books.  But the joy has been lost.  I have been more aware of my difficult circumstances than I have of my wonderful, loving God.  Viking Hat 1

This past month, God has restored some of my joy.  I have begun really crafting again…just in time for costume season.  I have occasionally been playing piano.  I’ve initiated times of fellowship with friends.  And, most importantly, I’ve been finding joy in the Lord.

I can’t say why this change has taken place.  Circumstances continue to be difficult.  Most days I feel like I’m fighting an uphill battle.  I still find myself crying at times as I fear for the future.  The government shutdown has impacted my work for a government contracting company.  But in the midst of the ups and downs of living with so much uncertainty, I feel as though God has restored my faith.  I have done nothing to warrant this change.  I know without a shadow of a doubt that my faith rests not on what I have done, but on what God has done for me.  And I am so thankful for the promise of Philippians 1:6:  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

I give thanks to God that it is not up to me to sustain my relationship with Him.  I am so thankful that He loves me more than I ever could possibly love Him.  And I am thankful that He does not give up on me when I am at my lowest.  He walks with us in the midst of challenges, uncertainties, and times of doubt.  He is the anchor for our souls, even when we feel rudderless.

Tomorrow I may wake up depressed.  Tomorrow I may wake with less hope.  But I know that my faith is secure.  It doesn’t rest on my feelings.  And so I’ll continue to go through the motions.  Because I can be certain that God is knitting me into the person He wants me to be.  And He will not fail.

Knowing that He is faithful,

–nancy

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