Posted by: Kris Lindsey | April 27, 2013

My Joy Quest’s Rough Start

At first, it appeared I picked a bad week to start practicing joy. After announcing my “quest for joy” in my last blog post, my husband had a significant health scare. The technician for his resulting ultrasound took many more pictures than we expected. The next day they called and scheduled a CT scan for the following morning. We wondered why the rush? Did they find something? For the first time in my life I came face to face with the possibility of a future without Bob.

Then came news of the bombing in Boston, the ricin-poisoned letter to the President, and the explosion in Texas. The foundations of my personal life and my country were shaking like an earthquake. My stomach responded by going into ache mode.

In the midst of all this, I felt God’s nudge. Remember, you said you would rejoice in the Lord always.

Yes, but now I didn’t feel like rejoicing—I just wanted to wrap myself in a blanket and curl up in bed. Maybe I should put off my joy quest until later. Wouldn’t it be easier to start when times were better, and then work up to a crisis like this?

Again I felt God’s nudge.

Reluctantly, I decided to give it a try. “God, I do trust you with our lives. I know you’ll be with me working for our good no matter what happens. I’ll try to feel happy about that.”

As soon as I prayed those words, my decent into depression stopped and I felt my mood lift up a notch. It was nowhere near joy, but it was a start. Still, my stomach ached.

I snuggled-up to a pillow on my sofa and opened my Bible. “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while” (1 Peter 1:6).

I did believe God had good things in store for me in the future, and thanked God for trying to console me now. But no matter how hard I tried to trust in God’s plans, my mind kept imagining how empty our house would be with only me here, and my stomach continued to ache.

“Dear God, I’m not ready to lose Bob yet.”

Remember, you don’t get to keep anything here on earth forever.

A switch in my head flipped as a similar conversation I’d had with God came to mind. “Oh yeah, everything here is temporary, and change is the norm. I get to enjoy all the good things you’ve given me, but there’s no guarantee I’ll have them tomorrow.”

So instead of fretting the future, I decided to enjoy every minute with Bob now. The colors in the room seemed to brighten and I felt a weight lift. Living each day to the full—this was good.

Iris Kitchen 2But still, my stomach didn’t seem to get the message.

It wasn’t until Bible study the night before Bob’s follow-up appointment that my stomach finally relaxed. At last—my mind and body were in agreement.

I felt God’s peace and strength as Bob and I sat in the examining room waiting for the test results. When the doctor finally arrived, he said they hadn’t found anything life-threatening, and explained that the tests had just been precautionary. He wasn’t at all concerned.

A final bit of tension left my body as I realized Bob’s problem was most likely kidney stones, and I get to enjoy my husband for awhile more.

Now, every time Bob enters the room, I notice how handsome he is. I appreciate the sparkle in his eye and his easy laugh.

As for joy—God seemed to honor my attempt by lifting my depression. I’m glad I had this faith testing and growing experience because it brought me even closer to my husband. I do feel a little more appreciation for everything around me, too. I’m still a long way from finding true joy, but with God’s help I’m ready to press on.

What are your thoughts on joy in the midst of trials?

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Responses

  1. How many of us can relate to this statement. “I just wanted to wrap myself in a blanket and curl up in bed.” I loved the spiritual and physical progression that you experienced amidst your trial. Sometimes life is just too big for us. But it isn’t for God, and how I praise Him for that! Thanks for sharing your journey.

    • Yes, I’m so thankful to have a Big God who is always there to walk alongside me during hard situations like this. Thanks for commenting.

  2. I really enjoyed this, Kris. I love the line “At last, my mind and body were in agreement”. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. You are very real in your writing. Thanks.

    • Thanks for your encouraging words, and for taking the time to comment. Yes, it sometimes takes awhile for my whole self to receive God’s assurances and trust Him completely. Thanks for letting me know this struck a chord with you, too.


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