Friday, September 25, 2015

Finding Hope and Joy

I honestly don’t know what happened last Monday, but I was a mess.

To put a bit of context on that statement, I cried when I heard the sound of my neighbors ‘choo choo’ sprinkler—because it reminded me of going to the park and running through the sprinklers with my friends. (I don’t know what those sprinklers are actually called. I just know they sound kind of like a train.)

Maybe it was my music choice for the day—it’s possible.
Perhaps it was the lack of coffee in my system. (That is entirely an option…) (Speaking of coffee… One moment.)

Maybe it was the fact that my parents where signing for The Country Oasis. (Yes. The Country Oasis is now property of the Joy family. God is so good!)  

Maybe it was the bag worm that fell on me. (It landed on me.  I don’t like that.)

I just know that on Monday, September 21, 2015 the only thing stopping me from going back to Washington was that it was 2000 miles away and I wasn’t feeling up to walking that far.

“Change is a lot like the Ocean.
It starts out calm and peaceful. The waves are just little wakes that crash artfully around your feet. As time goes on, sometimes it gets a little crazy. The wind might pick-up and you might find salty water crashing right in your ears. The waves grow higher and higher and the sand begins blowing more forcefully. It might even hurt a little bit.
Change is a lot like that.”

People say “Oh Rach! You’re adapting to the move so well! *pat on the back*”


Sometimes I’m doing amazing, and I’m like “Oh yeah! I could live here for the rest of my life!” other days I’m like, “I’m going to crawl in a hole and drink coffee until the world comes to an end. Don’t try to talk me out of it.

I miss my ‘home.’ Three months later, I still miss Washington.

Something that I’ve been trying to remember is that there is always hope. There is hope.

There is hope when you are feeling lost and alone.
There is hope when you are tired of all the ‘new’ things that life keeps throwing at you.
There is hope when you are tired of being unsettled.
There is hope.
There is hope.

It’s so hard to find joy through it all. (The irony of that statement is overwhelming.)  

But there is joy.

Before the bag worm fell on me, (*Ahem* scaring moment. Just saying.) I went on a little walk through the humpdinks of Oklahoma and there where these little glimpses of hope. Places where God’s beautiful creation and overwhelming love had just popped out of the ground, and where dancing right where I could see them.

The blue butterfly. So fragile and beautiful.
The flitting yellow butterflies. So young, happy and dancing in the warm sunshine.
The glowing green field—where I’m going to go stand to watch the sunrise.
The crunching of autumn leaves under my flowered rain boots.
The golden sun shining through the lace on my shirt onto my back.

Little bits of joy peaking through the clouds.

We have to keep seeking the face of Jesus through the despondent and overwhelming darkness. We have to keep seeking Jesus, before we seek our old lives.

When we seek Jesus first, so much comes with that. Jesus gives you joy. He gives you life when you are weak and tired. He gives you hope when you are hopeless. He is the one who created the flitting butterflies, the glowing pastures and the golden sun.

Through it all, there is always hope. He’s always waiting for us, saying “Come here my Child. Give me your wearies, and I will give you my peace. I have a plan for you, don’t worry anymore. I’m right here.”

He’s right here.
He’s bigger than your fears.
He’s your friend when no one else will be.
He’s your strong tower when you feel like crumbling.

Call out to him in the storm. For he is there.

Then Jesus got up and gave a command to the wind and the waves, and it became completely calm. The men were amazed and said, “What kind of man is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
 ~Matthew 8:26-27

--Rachel Joy 

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