What if we could start over again? What would it look like to wipe the slate clean, rewind time and take out the flaws and failings of our lives?
Sadly, we would soon discover that the fault lies within. A flawed heart means faulty choices and actions. An unredeemed mind leads us into toxic thinking and bad behaviour.
And only God can fully address humanity’s needs and offer us a fresh start when we place our faith in Jesus Christ. We can begin again by God’s grace.
Then each day becomes opportunity for starting over. Each hour breathes out potential of the barely begun.
When I reflected on this season, it became clear that I’ve been stuck in a ditch of discouragement for several weeks. Led by my feelings and fast losing any joy I had before.
I wondered why joy was so elusive, where God was in the midst of my distress, why I couldn’t seem to get out of this cycle.
There were no pat answers. But God gently urged me to write a bit about joy, little snippets He whispered during my prayer times.
It seems joy is like a bright light glimpsed in the distance and we often miss the fact it’s also shining in us.
It felt elusive until I realised it doesn’t depend on my feelings at all. Because joy is a gift of grace weaving through our painful circumstances and giving us hope in dark places.
Once we realise how joy is always hovering close by, then we can start to discover it in numerous ways, such as: a slow unfolding realisation of its presence, a heart’s gratitude, an attitude of praise, a smile from a loved one, laughter bubbling up, a beautiful view, hearing God speak comfort into our weary souls.
How have you discovered or rediscovered joy hiding in plain sight? I’d love you to share in the comments below.
I’ve found that joy is a choice. As we read God’s word, receive and believe it, we start to notice how the life of faith is a series of conscious decisions we make every day. And we can waken to that hope with each new dawn.
Friends, I’m sorry for being missing here for a while. Too much life slowed me to a standstill. Thank you for your grace and patience. ❤
22 thoughts on “When you need help starting over again”
Joy has come in so many ways in our new mountain home! You are right, we have to look for it and then are often surprised that it was right with us all along ❤️
Michael, I’m not surprised to hear that. A lovely mountain view is a magnificent thing! Our surroundings have quite a strong influence on our feelings. Being largely housebound can make me a bit miserable sometimes, but I fight against it. 🙂
Reblogged this on Michael Moore's Blog and commented:
Well said, Joy ❤️
Thank you, Michael! You are a generous, sharing friend. Bless you. 🙂
So happy you are back and I could visit your blog today. JOY is my one word for this year. This blog is particularly special to me. One think I know – nothing in life is wasted. There is joy is knowing that God is always at work and never absent. Blessings today my friend – Angela Craig from #tellhisstory
Hello Angela! I’m so happy to see you here. How amazing to think I would be writing on the very topic that is your word for the year at the time when you have stopped by. I agree that nothing in life is ever wasted. God works it all together for our ultimate good and for His plans and purposes. Yes, there is definitely joy in “knowing that God is always at work and never absent.” I’ve been blessed to have visited your blog and connected with you, my friend. 🙂
“Joy is a choice.” It’s a vital reminder, and I’m grateful to be reading it today, ‘cuz I need it. I’m glad to see you back in the “sphere” and trust you are recovering well. Wishing you great peace and at least three reasons to laugh before your day is over.
Hi Laurie. I’m glad to be back to blogging here again. It’s been a while since God required me to lay down my pen as such. Recovery is much slower than I would like it to be but I am grateful for small mercies and to be back in the writing sphere, even if I currently lack the wherewithal to read as much of other people’s work as I want to. Thank you for your good wishes. I am becoming more peaceful as I surrender to God, and laughter tends to bubble up when we relax and choose joy. Blessings and hugs to you, my friend!
This is beautiful, Joy. How true it is that joy is shining right on us and yet we often miss it. I love how you describe it as “a gift of grace weaving through our painful circumstances and giving us hope in dark places.” Love this! I hope you are feeling stronger in body and soul. Blessings and hugs to you!
Hi Trudy. Thank you for your sweet encouragement. The words I received speak to me as well. God so often gives us insights to share that we need to pay attention to, doesn’t He? Strength is slow to return and I’m having to work through the frustration and pace myself carefully. However, being able to write and connect with others brings me joy! Blessings and hugs to you. ❤
His mercies are new every morning. Praise God!
Amen! Thank you for that great reminder. I’m blessed to see you here, Kelly! Hope you are gaining strength and energy more each day. Blessings of deeper rest, recovery and healing to you. Xx
These words moved me especially tonight. I pray every morning that God ‘wipe my slate clean’ and with that grace, I go on trying to keep my feet on the path of righteousness and find myself asking again. Thankful am I that God’s mercies are new every darn morning!
Oh Sally, how we need to rest in knowing God not only hears all our prayers, He also answers them, even when we don’t see it yet. And none more so than granting us the sweet relief and encouragement of our sins being forgiven and each new day being a clean slate to start again. Yes, His grace is new every morning. Great is His faithfulness! May you rest in the finished work of Christ and be at peace, my friend. God loves you so very much. Blessings.
I’ve found joy in journaling at least three blessings every day. Noticing God’s loving care, faithfulness, and gifts in my life has definitely made me a more joy filled person.
Hi Elizabeth. Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to open our eyes to the gifts in each day. Our joy and thankfulness increase when we read and reflect on God’s goodness, mercy and grace. Thank you for reminding me of its worth. I realise I have neglected this practice for a while. No wonder joy left the building! Bless you, friend. 🙂 x
Joy IS a choice, and often not an easy one to make. I know I’ve gone through seasons where I felt like I needed to manufacture joy, rather than simply lean in and find it in God – not me. It’s amazing where it shows up when we take the time to look for it. It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant – God most often bring joy in the most subtle ways that make me aware that He moves that way too. Loved your words, friend – glad to see strength rising.
Tiffany, I love what you say here: “It’s amazing where it shows up when we take the time to look for it.” Oh yes! No wonder C.S Lewis wrote ‘Surprised by Joy’ to record his faith journey. It is a slow awakening to wonder, an opening of previously blind eyes and a heart’s turning in God’s direction. He shows up everywhere. All of life is open invitation to encounter of the holy kind. Thank you for sharing your insights here, my friend. I’m grateful to be in a little bit of a stronger place than before, even if resting and pacing are still the order of the day! Blessings and hugs. Xx
Joy, such a beautiful post. You’re so right. Joy is a choice. It’s always in us when we belong to Jesus, but sometimes it’s hard to recognize it in our days.
I loved this: “Because joy is a gift of grace weaving through our painful circumstances and giving us hope in dark places.” I hadn’t really thought bout joy this way before. Thank you for sharing your insights. I appreciate you.
Jeanne, it’s precisely because of my recent tendency toward being discouraged that I’m learning to deliberately seek out the joy in my days. It’s quite hard to do right now but I hope it gets easier over time! I’m grateful to have been given words to share and so pleased they spoke to you. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment. I appreciate you, friend! 🙂 x
I try to remember – but sometimes fail – to look for that joy at all times and all costs. But even when I fail, God gently reminds be in His beautiful grace. You are a gem and I love your words. 🙂
Hello Heather. It’s a joy to see you here, my friend! How thankful I am for God’s beautiful grace. And for sweet encouragers like you. Blessed to have you stop by. Xx 😊💟