Sunday, December 30, 2012

jennie allen study continued - sad

source unknown (if you know do share so I can give credit) 

this week we have been studying chapter 6 in jennie allen's study, stuck.
our chapter was titled sad. 
after 2 tragic deaths in our circle of friends this past week, honestly it wasn't a chapter i was eager to jump into. we've had our share of "sad" and reality in these parts.
the past day or so i was really in quite the rut and emotionally just kinda wiped. 
the holidays and then the cold hard reality that we are never promised one more day was making me a little weary and cranky. have you been there? please say yes?

tonight with an ache in my spirit i sat down with my study materials, a candle and my tea and set out to conquer what jennie had to share... and my Heavenly Father had for me in his word. 
my heart still aches for the pains of this world but there is a new peace. 

we start with this promise from our Father
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the Glory that will be revealed in us"
romans 8:18

how's that for a promise? 
how's that for, "hey I got this, love God"

i read this over and over and over letting it be written across my heart and soul. 
i want to shout this promise, revel in it's goodness.
these sufferings, this "stuff", all this world has to throw at me and at you, 
it is not even worth comparing with the Glory that will be revealed in us!
that is such exciting news.
this is so exciting to me because my God, my Heavenly Father, when He creates He creates big and bold and beautiful ~ for goodness sakes we are told that when breathes stars were spoke
psalm 33:6 says "the Lord merely spoke and the heavens were created. 
He breathed the word and all the stars were born". 
that there my friends, that is my God. 
so if when he merely breathes a word our vast heavens with the sparkling stars in all their glory were created... can you even imagine, can you even consider, because I can't fathom it, what the Glory will be revealed in us when He intentionally creates that Glory? 
be still my heart.
in awe.

we are sad because we live in a fallen world. 
there is sin, and yuck and sadness.
when we focus on the things of this world, we come up sad and depressed every time. 
but what would happen if we focused on the things that were unseen? 

in 2 corinthians 4:18 we are charged "dont look at the troubles we can see now, 
rather we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. 
For the things we see now will soon be gone but the things we cannot see will last forever."

what if we did just that? 
what if you and i took our focus off what is seen and switched our view to the things we can't?
what would happen?

you know perspective is a powerful tool...
when i think about how awesome my God is, it is so often coupled with what a sinner i am and how awesome is He that he would even find favor me? how magnificent is it that He would call me His child?
my perspective is affected as i know i don't deserve the greatness and goodness that is all He is. 
my heart is overwhelmed time and time again that the God of the universe would call me unto Himself. 

what if i changed my perspective as i viewed the lens of my life?
would there still be sadness? yes i know there will be...
but what if i lived my life with the knowledge that no weapon formed against me will remain.
God is my victory, He is here and He is doing a great work in me.

this pursuit of happiness we're all on, i don't think it's bad.
it's wonderful!
our God made this planet with some of the most extraordinary creations my feeble mind can barely fathom.
we should experience all those things, we are created to feel love, enjoy relationships with others and community within our families and friends. those are some of lifes greatest blessings.

but what if in the midst of all of that we also focused on the things that were unseen? 
what would happen?

a few years ago i was faced with some tough mountains.
God got my attention in some pretty real ways.
what i learned is that happiness, true happiness, isn't in anything i can see.
what i learned is that what i desire is joy.

happiness we all experience, a baby playing peek a boo, a surprise party with friends.
those are happy times.
but joy, true joy, is choosing to be joyful even when the world around me may be falling down.
every day, every day i have found something to be grateful for.
there have been days, hours honestly when being grateful was reduced down to a single breath my son took.
each time his chest rose and fell in an hour, no matter what else was happening inside him made me grateful because it was one more hour i could behold his sweet little face, touch his tissue paper thin skin....

the best definition i have ever read is credited to the "gitzen girl" who sadly passed away in Sept of 2011.
but sara, the girl behind the blog was such an inspiration... and in her blog she defines what she believes is joy... and i have to share:
Joy: the unwavering trust that God knows what He’s doing and has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it… not despite what’s happening in my life but because of it. When everything earthly feels heavy He gives me an internal lightness that can’t be touched.
if you have never been to her site, please take some time, get to know her, and i promise in getting to know her, you will see Him. 

How do you define joy? 


  1. Hi Rachel, it's Amy! I found this blog from Mallory's post on fb. This entry was incredibly powerful and inspiring! Often times I find myself focusing on all the things in my life that I find unfavorable rather than focusing on all that I have to be grateful for. Perspective can really change everything and we are able to change our perspective at any time in any circumstance. Thank you for the encouragement :)

  2. Hi Amy! I am so glad you liked it! This study was an amazing look at perspective... and how powerful perspective can be... I often find myself in the same situation but wow just taking a step back sometimes and focusing on the goodness of God really changes me. Love you friend!