Joy in Struggle

I have shared before about infertility being awkward. Even though infertility is no longer the most noteworthy aspect of our lives, it still creates awkwardness. In addition, we are struggling with a complicated foster care situation. Emotionally, we are completely drained. Physically, the anxiety is wreaking havoc. I find myself wanting to hide, just to escape, sleep, cry, and recover. Let me tell you, we are not much fun to be around right now. 

Last week, we left the boys in respite care with friends [what a blessing!] and met up with Caleb's family in NYC. Initially, we updated everyone on our current situation. Then, we burned out. I began feeling convicted about being too self-focused. Rather than celebrating wholeheartedly, I found myself feeling left out and sensing that awkwardness creep in again. We are those people who couldn't have kids that can't handle the kids they suddenly have. How is anyone supposed to interact well with people like that? They cannot fix our problems. We are downers. 

In the midst of feeling down about being a downer, I kept thinking, "The joy of the Lord is my strength." Is it? When I have nothing left to give, is the joy of the Lord my strength? The answer this weekend was no. Rather than finding joy in the Lord and His promises, I was focused on my empty tank. Trust me, that is a hopeless way to live. This week, I am echoing this prayer about anxiety and joy. I am going to remind myself repeatedly of the verses below. And may the joy of the Lord truly be my strength.

  • You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. - Psalm 16:11
  • Unless the LORD had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy. - Psalm 94:17-19 
  • This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
  • Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! - Psalm 126:5
  • "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” - John 16:33

How have you found joy in the Lord? Can you add any verses to the list?

This post was linked up with Grace at Home and more: