Finding Joy in the Midst of a Storm

For some people, this time of the year can be the worst and most depressing time of the year.  There was a study that showed Christmas was the most depressing and suicidal time of the year for many people.  There are different reasons why this year could be hard for them: divorce, child loss, parent loss, family issues, etc.  It can be hard seeing families be joyous or even getting out of the house because of the sadness weighing on people's shoulders.
Years ago I went through a rough patch in my life.  About 7 years ago I experienced divorce, one of the absolute hardest things you could face because although people seem happy about it, there is true heartache deep inside.
Joy is defined as a feeling of great pleasure and happiness

I couldn't even begin to think about joy during the holidays because I thought of my separation and everything that came with it.  I was a Christian, read my Word, and prayed, but the hurt still weighed on me during the "happiest" time of the year.  I stopped and maybe a few days before Christmas, I prayed and asked God to show me what joy truly means.  This is the verse He showed me:
You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11)

In Christ alone, I could have this incredible joy fulfillment in my life once I allowed Him to fill the void I felt.  It is known that man does not like giving control to anyone or anything because we are controlling beings.  The moment I let God take control of my entire life, a joy filled my heart and my Christmas became night and day.

Are you feeling like there is no need to have joy in your life?  Do you feel alone because around you there are people celebrating while you are mourning?  Here are three things that helped me learn about this word called joy:

1. Let God take control of your life.  As I have previously stated, we do not like letting God have any kind of control in our life.  Why?  Because how could He fix something that seems impossible to repair.  He is able!  He is all powerful!  He knows you better than you know yourself.  Don't be afraid to ask Him for help and direction.

2. Talk to a close friend, spouse or relative about your situation.  Talking about your problems with someone you confide in is like a fresh of breath air.  You feel a weight coming off your shoulders because you are not holding everything in but finding someone you can trust to cry on their shoulders.  Let go by talking and being vulnerable with someone.

3. Don't dwell on things you cannot change for too long.  I believe that it is truly ok to dwell on some things, but it is not ok to dwell on them too long.  Many times we are told not to be angry at God, but God had this emotion so why would we ever feel like we cannot be angry?  Be angry but do not sin (Ephesians 4:26), it is there for a reason.

And finally, PRAY. PRAY. PRAY!  This gives you some sort of peace because the Lord is true to His Word when He says to call upon His name and He shall be there (Jeremiah 33:3).

If you need prayer of any sort, please comment below and I will add you to my prayer journal.

For His Glory,
Liz Graham

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