During difficult seasons, it is often challenging to trust in God's unfailing love. When troubles hit, it is easy to slip into the habit of focusing on our pain rather than on the Lord. When we do that, we risk the real possibility of continuing in a downward spiral.

Most of you who are reading this are aware of the difficult few months my family has had. But now, even though we are on the other side of the valley we travelled, I know it would be easy to let the shadow that lingers in the sidelines overtake me. Yes, much of that shadow is a result of grief, which I will go through with the help of our Lord. But, I also think that if I didn’t remember my joy in Him, I would sink. You see, true joy is a gift from God and will fade when we take our eyes off of Him. So, I am choosing to trust the Lord and look to Him for my strength.

"But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy" (Psalm 5:11). 

The enemy would like nothing more than to render a servant of the Lord useless. And, if we allow ourselves to take our focus off of the Lord, we become vulnerable to the enemy’s schemes. But I also know, that we can choose to look to the Lord and be strengthened…and find our joy once more.

“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With Him at my right hand, I will not be shaken” (Psalm 16:8). 

Looking up, 


"Happiness is dependent upon our circumstances, but joy happens in spite of them." JD

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  1. this choosing joy. difficult at times, but the only way we make it....

  2. Debbie PetrasAugust 12, 2012

    It's so difficult while going through the grieving process Joan.  Yes, you know that your dad is with the Lord. But you still miss him.  May you be comforted by family and friends.  I'm praying for you.

    Blessings and love,

  3. Ah, Joan! You've described perfectly what you're going through and I can relate to everything you've said. I am one who has walked through the valley of the shadow of death not just once. But in the midst of the pain and suffering, my strength, my joy, my hope, my light...is no One but the Lord Jesus Christ!

  4. The beauty in the answered prayer - especially when the journey challenge has been exceptionally long or difficult - words cannot express it. So glad you are doing well!

  5. Kathy SchwankeAugust 12, 2012

    So sorry for your loss Joan. Indeed, the sorrows on our journey serve to strengthen our bond with Jesus and our faith. Some of my closest times with the Lord are those in the valleys I have walked through. His sweetness is boundless and our hearts are held...God bless you as He heals your heart and fills the void left by your daddy. <3

  6. Wendy @ E1AAugust 12, 2012

    The beauty in His grip is evident in this post. 

    Sending you love from Scotland.

  7. friskychileAugust 13, 2012

    So true Joan; during times of sorrow and grief, it would be so easy to pull away from our worship time with God, but his shoulders are big enough for tears and sadness and we must always take the time to reflect on the comfort He offers us. Praying the love of God enfolds you during your journey through this time of grief my friend!

    Blessings and hugs,

  8. And God makes it possible, doesn't He?  =)

  9. Thank you, Debbie.  I am so thankful that God brings hope and strength...and joy!

  10. With the strength of Jesus each day gets brighter and brighter.  My joy is in Him!

  11. Thank you!  With God all things are possible, including the healing from loss.  Blessings to you!

  12. I agree.  Some of my closest times with the Lord have also been in difficult times.  I am so glad that during those times I looked to Him for he carried me through!

  13. Thank you, Denise!  I can feel His healing hand each day!  Blessings!

  14. Thank you, Wendy.  There is no where else I'd rather be than in the grip of my Savior!  Blessings!

  15. Laurie CollettAugust 13, 2012

    Praying for you, Joan. Difficult times bring us closer to Him, even though the pain is not something we would choose. Yet His ways are not our ways, and He works all things together for our good. Thanks for the touching post and for hosting the linkup, and God bless,


  16. Ron GravittAugust 13, 2012

    Thanks for hosting! I'm
    your newest follower. Hope you'll return
    the favor and follow my blog and/or FB fan page! Love your blog hop.




  17. You are so right! Praise God, He is the remedy for those weak links...We need to remember to keep our eyes on Him!

  18. Thanks for stopping by! Blessings to you.

  19. It is always such a blessing to see the good that comes through all situations...Becoming closer with the Lord is a huge blessing!

  20. Kathy SchwankeAugust 15, 2012

    Thanks for investigating our move story. The buyers are believers and have still not filled out the paperwork. We are on our way home to WI from MT since Dale got a job back home (yay!) and are hoping that we will be able to get the paperwork going (and praying they are not going to back out. They gave us their word and a check, but no written offer yet...we trust God's will and timing) So I will let you know where we land. Probably closer to Minneapolis where Dale works, so his commute will be under an hour instead of over an hour. :)


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