The other day, I started thinking about my time in Virginia--how more than a year ago, I had spent a week there, and now I have just spent over a week there. I started thinking about what last year’s trip entailed. It was a week of God--God whispering, God speaking, God teaching, God renewing, God stirring. However, the last 2 days of my trip felt like it cancelled out my week of God. I won’t go into details, but the last 2 days of my trip was the beginning of the enemy stealing my joy.
The enemy loves to steal our joy. Sometimes, he takes huge chunks of joy, and those times are recognizable and painful. Other times, he slowly steals our joy. He comes in the darkness of night, or flies under our radar, and over time we hardly notice how far we’ve fallen into his pit. During my week in VA last year, a huge chunk of joy was ripped away from me. It hurt. It stung. I tried hard to move on, to regain what was lost, but I began to slowly slip into the pit of darkness, lies and complacency. Some of you might have taken notice, and you might not have known it at the time, but this was the during the darkest hour.
I started to feel better and life started to improve. But, I knew that I didn’t feel right inside. I was tired, frustrated, hurt and just trying to keep my head above the water. I knew that I needed His joy back! I would taste joy, or see joy in others. I struggled and wondered what was wrong with me. I wanted something so badly, and didn’t quite understand why it was no where to be found.
Then, I went to Virginia last week. God moved. God spoke in new and fresh ways. God gave me a dream. God put others into my path. God provided time and space to be with Him intimately.
I had multiple people pray for me, and specifically for joy. Nope, I hadn’t told any of them (heck, I didn’t even know them) about my stolen joy, but I’m pretty sure that some people have just seen it in my eyes. One person shared with me that they saw me scanning scripture over and over again, and that this was where my joy would come from. WOW! That took me a minute, or a few days, to really think about. It’s true, though. I’ve been scanning and scanning and searching and praying and listening. Not because someone looked into a crystal ball and told me to, but because God has given me His joy and the desire to draw closer to Him. I have new eyes and a new mind and a new heart. I feel good, and feel like I have a bounce in my step. I don’t feel tired, beat-up and broken down. I feel thirsty, and that my thirst is being quenched, but I also just want more.
You can pray for me, that I would continually be filled with His joy, so that I might overflow into the lives of others. And also, that the joy would just get packed inside in preparation for returning to Liberia. I’m not sure where this will all lead, but I pray that God would fill you with His joy today!