My Journey to Joy

January 16, 2013

The Junkins on Waiting

Filed under: Shared Findings — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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John Junkin and his wife Jennifer know the joy and pain of waiting for a child.  As pioneers for Lifeline’s Ethiopia program, they…began their adoption process in January of 2011.  During the course of their twenty-month journey, the family’s experience included immense difficulty, as well as overwhelming triumph…   “We prayed.  We cried.  We longed for Micah before we know who he was.”

As tough as that was, John and Jennifer committed to seeing the beauty in their wait. We realized that we were doing something for him that had never been done before.”  The reality was that Micah never had someone grieve his absence, approach the Father on his behalf, and be desperate to hold him.  “That is the glory of the waiting…”

Taken from Birmingham Christian Family, December 2012

Italics mine

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January 9, 2013

Stasi Eldredge on Joy & Sorrow

Filed under: Notable Quotables,Shared Findings — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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“Living in true beauty can require much waiting, much time, much tenacity of spirit.  We must constantly direct our gazes toward the face of God, even in the presence of longing and sorrow.  It is in the waiting that our hearts are enlarged…

God does not always rescue us out of a painful season.  You know that He does not always give us what we so desperately want when we want it.  He is after something much more valuable than our happiness…He is restoring and growing in us an eternal weight of glory.  And sometimes…it hurts.

But the experience of sorrow in no way diminishes the joy of living.  Rather, it enhances it…

…A heart awakened to its sorrow…is more aware, more present, and more alive, to all of the facets of life.”

~Stasi Eldredge

February 18, 2012

Emily Freeman on Surrender

Filed under: Notable Quotables — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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As we surrender to Christ’s power (knowing He is bigger than I am) and to His love (knowing He has my best interests in mind), we are able to experience strength from weakness, beauty from ashes, and freedom even in the midst of failure.  ~Emily Freeman

November 1, 2011

Songs for the Journey

Filed under: Songs for the Journey — aunthoddy @ 5:00 AM
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Lily of the Valley, let your sweet aroma fill my life
Rose of Sharon show me how to grow in beauty in God’s sight
Fairest of ten thousand make me a reflection of your light
Daystar shine down on me let your love shine through me in the night

This has been a dark time for us, but oh, Jesus’ love has shone through it, again and again!  I want to reflect Him!

Lead me Lord, I’ll follow. Anywhere you open up the door
Let your word speak to me, show me what I’ve never seen before
Lord I want to be your witness,
you can take what’s wrong and make it right
Daystar shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night

We’re trusting God, that He has a perfect plan.  He is teaching us so many things…and we will follow.

Lord I’ve seen a world that’s dying wounded by the master of deceit
Groping in the darkness, haunted by the years of past defeat
But when I see you standing near me
shining with compassion in your eyes
I pray Jesus shine down on me
let your love shine through me in the night

Suffering has opened my eyes and my heart to the hurt around me.  I want to introduce other to the Healer!

Lead me Lord, I’ll follow anywhere you open up the door
Let your word speak to me, show me what I’ve never seen before
Lord I want to be your witness,
you can take what’s wrong and make it right
Daystar shine down on me, let your love shine through me in the night

September 1, 2011

Plans

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 9:23 AM
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For many years, God and I saw eye-to-eye on how my life should unfold.  And this was good.  And this was calm.  And I was happy.  And this was shallow.

Then He decided to turn everything around, and switch tracks at the next junction.  And this was hard.  And this was painful.  And I was angry.  And this was better.

My plans made perfect sense.  There was nothing wrong with them…except that God had more in mind.  Take a moment and read how God rewrote this family’s plans-

Welcome to Holland

I had planned my “trip” carefully: college- check; marriage to great guy-check; work at a meaningful job that I enjoy for a few years-check; have two chubby babies with their daddy’s big brown eyes, 3 years apart, one boy and one girl, family completed by 28 or 29-…………………….

Instead, while my college friends have their 3rd and 4th children, I make calls to the FBI (never thought I’d do that!), read about attachment issues (what are those?!), and try to dream up ways to come up with thousands of dollars (way past looking for coins in the couch!).

And there is beauty here.  And there is joy here.  And there is Jesus here.  In this.  With us.

“Italy” still looks great, and I’m happy for the ones who got to go there.  But God’s shown us some truly awesome things here in our “Holland,” and I have a feeling we haven’t seen the best parts yet!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. 

“Plans to prosper and not to harm you. 

Plans to give you a future and a hope.” 

Jeremiah 29:11

November 12, 2010

Beauty

Filed under: Contemplations — aunthoddy @ 9:15 AM
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What is beauty?  I used to think that it was perfection, an absence of any defect, flawlessness.

I’m coming to see a new, richer kind of beauty.

True beauty is never generic, and seldom as expected!  It’s intricate, complicated…and marred.

That’s what makes it real.

Can a painting be unique without imperfections?  Can a relationship be rich without difficulties?  Can we truly appreciate happiness without experiencing grief?  We realize beauty when it is contrasted with ugliness.

Or is the ugliness part of the finished product?

My relationship with each of you has grown closer, deeper, and more intimate as we have shared the pain of my infertility.  My relationship with God has become more authentic, honest, and correct.  Daniel & I are closer than ever as we unite against this unseen enemy & unthinkable pain.

Either/or?  Or and/with?

Beautiful pain.  Exquisite sorrow.

I Corinthians 12:9-10 “And He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness’…for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Isaiah 61:3 “…to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness..that He might be glorified.”

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