It happened in the middle of a parking lot.
I was about to get out of my vehicle when I suddenly realized it was true. The weather wasn’t different. The town had not changed. But without a doubt, there was something new. I was happy. At that very moment, I could say there was joy in my life. You might wonder why this is so significant, why it was worth me pausing in my day, and why it would now be worth me staying up into the night to write this. It’s very simple. Many of you watch me on TV every day. You see me smile, laugh, and maybe even glow as I read scripture and pray for you. You see the genuine me. But you don’t see the Band-Aids.
Thank God for the Band-Aids.
One of those Band-Aids is my precious husband and for the past few years, he has heard me lament that I felt no joy in my life. If I wanted to take up a lot of your time, I could explain about the past years of my life. I could explain about when I had to fill a role that wasn’t “me,” and how that slowly chipped away at my joy. I could tell you about the struggles with self-worth and belonging, and how that took more of my joy. I could tell you about the people who’d hurt me, abused me, and taken advantage of me, and how all of those things had chiseled me down to a person simply trying to make it another breath, another day, another week. A chance at joy? Not in my life. Or so I feared.
“Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28.
I have truly felt what it is like to be weary. I wish I could say I did not know. Some of you may look at me and say, “Her? No way! How can she really know pain?” But I do, and I venture to guess that so do you.
God does not desire us to be violated: mentally, emotionally, or physically.
But it happens, all. the. time. Sometimes it’s due to our own bad choices. Other times it is due to unfair things that have been bestowed upon us. Either way, it’s not a permanent sentence no matter how bad it may seem at the moment.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6.
It is important to ponder the phrase “do not be anxious.” Too often we live within the moment, even when we think we are not doing so. It has been several years since I was hurt to a point where I thought there was no recovery. And while it took just a short time to be hurt, it has taken years to heal. Through that time, my husband has been an awesome support. My kids have loved me. My job has been great. My life has been fulfilling. But my “at the moment” inner emotions have tried to tell me there was no hope for joy to return.
The enemy is a liar. Tell yourself that right now. The enemy is a liar, and no matter how long it takes for you to reclaim inner, deep, true, joy, you must keep going forward in Christ.
If you remember nothing of this post, please remember this: in Christ.
In Christ, I can do all things.
In Christ, I can mount up on eagles wings.
(Song by Big Daddy Weave)
But it’s not a fast food fix. God’s healing can take time, and often you can’t see the finish line.
“Oh you afflicted one,” says God, in Isaiah 54:11. “Tossed with storm and not comforted, I will rebuild your city with precious stones. I will reset your foundations with sapphires.”
Yes, healing is possible. Not only possible but beautiful, like a sapphire.
I’ve done a lot of my own work in the past few years as I sought out a return to joy. I have read the Bible every single day, sometimes several chapters, sometimes only a few verses. I have prayed continually, creating an ongoing conversation with God. I spent a week at a church in Thomaston, GA, which was a huge springboard for me. But through it all, I was still seeking to reclaim joy.
I have doubted and then repented. I have yelled at my husband (though I should not have) and repented. I have thrown a few things here and there and repented. I’ve asked myself what I did to deserve this. And I have hated others who have hurt me, and yes, I have repented.
I never knew when the Band-Aids would come off. I never knew if the joy would return. Several times I was convinced it would not and I made the decision that even if it never did, I would continue to worship and praise my Heavenly Father, so that is what I did. And guess what? I found myself in a parking lot with the incredible, tearful, amazing discovery that my life was joyful. The Band-Aids were gone.
I. Was. Healed. In Jesus name.
“Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Matthew 10:8
God truly transforms.
As I write this today I know I am a different person than I was a few years ago. I don’t hate anymore. In the world’s eyes, I could hold on to bitterness that would “justify” me to hate forever. But none of us should. That means you. You shouldn’t hate either, even if you truly have been hurt in ways you did not deserve.
“Do not make God’s Holy Spirit have sorrow for the way you live. The Holy Spirit has put a mark on you for the day you will be set free. Put out of your life all these things: bad feelings about other people, anger, temper, loud talk, bad talk which hurts other people, and bad feelings which hurt other people.” Ephesians 4:30-31
Two years ago, God called me back into the world of television, and many times I have wondered why. I was hurting. I was lost. I felt worthless. Without realizing it, many of you watched God heal me.
Today I want you to know that God wants to heal you too. He wants to cure you of your burdens. He wants to rid you of your painful memories. He wants you to be free of anger and regret.
“As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:12
You are special.
You are worthy. You are worth more than rubies. You matter to God, to me, and to many others. Don’t give up. Stay close to God. Tell the enemy to get out of your life and commit to reading a portion of your Bible every day. God really does have sapphires selected just for you. Band-aids are temporary. God’s healing is forever.
Need prayer? Email: email@example.com. Questions about your walk with God? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Written by Jennifer Beck, Faith & Friends TV Producer and Co-Host
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