Joy is a wonderful character quality of a person. As a person gets older they are able to distinguish between the emotion of happiness and the contentment of joy. Joy is a deeply rooted part of your heart that is closely partnered with peace. Joy is a wonderful gift from God and something that you should be intentional about and steward. As I entered my season of waiting I had no idea how long it would be. In usual fashion I placed all my focus and hopes into the desires of my heart. After all this is what I had done before and with great success. But God was redirecting me, revealing to me the wisdom of Jesus in Matthew  6:33- But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. I was unaware at the time that I was approaching the desires of my heart out of order and selfishly. God is merciful and gracious to redirect me and show me what was really valuable. I wish I could tell you I had the spiritual insight at the time to identify that I was seeking what I wanted and telling everyone else: God, my husband to hurry up and follow me. Since this time I have repented for my sinful nature and I am awed in a sense that God is such a teacher and loving to us all in our shortcomings. As time passed on and a lot of time for most people my hope, my joy, my excitement for life, slowly started to diminish. I found myself messy in my attempts to pursue my desire. I did  not notice the season my husband and I were in, our financial situation, or for me personally the maturing and surrendering that needed to happen to become a mom. I wanted so much to have a child to call my own, the little family that I really wanted once I married my husband. Growing up children were not a big interest to me, I wasn’t your typical girl who dreamed about her wedding day and having kids. It wasn’t until I just turned 30 that I “decided,” its time for us to have kids and we are doing this. Let me tell you that my expectation to just “get,” what I wanted was an indication that God needed to do a mighty work in my heart. The gifts of God given to us are not for us just to have and enjoy. Those gifts are given to us to fulfill God given desires in us that He birthed and to honor and glorify Him through our surrendered/submissive heart and stewarding. I was heartbroken to find month after month after month I continued to take a test to no avail. My hope was gone and I was looking at God saying “what gives, why will you not bless us and why is this not happening?” I sought counsel and answers of everyone else and found myself distancing myself from God, on purpose. There I said it, I was so angry, again the self-pity rolls in, thinking how could He do this to me?  You know the heartache and the pain that I have endured and you are withholding a blessing from me. It is for that very heartache and pain that I had, that the grace of God was holding our blessing for His special timing. I was not able to steward and handle the gift and difficulty of raising a child yet. I could not see this at the time, but as my husband and I did the work in our marriage and started to grow up that there was a bigger picture in place. Another thing to be revealed in my was my massive insecurity about myself. I was a master at hiding behind accomplishments, people pleasing, perfectionism, and getting what life should give me. But it wouldn’t be a benefit to any child to have a parent who pursues fulfillment in them as opposed to pursing fulfillment in God and understanding my true identity. I cant even say that God did two things during this time. I have lost count in the amount of work and maturing He has done in me and my husband over this season. I did not protect my heart (I had no idea what this meant, yet alone how to do this), nor take the time out to invest in myself and my soul to give it the tender care it needed to enjoy life! I was that person surrounded around the beautiful world with a dark cloud lingering over me. I skipped this for a long time thinking joy could be found in my next pursuit. I had to get off this cycle of pursuing. Otherwise I would be facing this once the children were here in my next pursuit to find identity, fulfillment and confidence. So today I look over all this and I understand the invaluable importance of not only having joy in Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit but JOY in your life, the simple things. Watching your dog sleeping and making barking noises, enjoying a sunset and feeling the warm sun on your face. Laughter, a good glass of wine and great dinner with my husband and friends. The nights of quiet and peace to enjoy and hear the voice of God more clearly. I wanted to skip it all, I wanted what I wanted and as the days passed it wasn’t here yet. Thank you God for allowing me to wait, I now understand the value of joy and where it is really found. I don’t just kind of enjoy my life, I am joyful! I have hard days as we all do, BUT I stand in the completion of Jesus knowing that I am beloved daughter who is priceless, worthy, beautiful and much more than just a woman in pursuit of her dreams. So here’s to you joy you bring an anchor facet of Christ that keeps me grounded during seasons of waiting. I now know how to properly pursue and nurture this amazing gift from God. Psalm 32:7 – you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. But godliness with contentment is great gain – I Timothy 6:6; When anxiety was great within me, Your consolation brought me joy Psalm 94:19

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