For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 KJV
“I’ve got that joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart, where? Down in my heart to stay……” one of my favorite children’s songs growing up.
As a child I lived on a street with about nine boys and I was the only girl who lived around. I learned to be tough and like the games that boys played… riding bikes and jumping ramps, football, throwing pretty much anything, wrestling and yes even shooting guns and bow and arrows. I was a true tomboy. I could spit with the best of them and probably at some point tried to pee outside standing up. A true tomboy. I lived a childhood of pure joy.
At 13, I fell in love with my future husband, my neighbor. He was smart, hard working and had a motorcycle – a tomboy’s dream come true. More joy. At 19 we got married and life came hard and fast for the next four years. My childhood love, turned husband, died of a brain tumor. I lost my joy. Life sucked the joy from my soul. The pieces were broken and I couldn’t put them back together again. I tried lots of things – men, drinking, partying, even a version of church that I hadn’t experienced before. I lived in sin and tried to find my joy there. I couldn’t.
In my current Sunday school class, one of our favorite sayings from the Bible is, “But God”. When you see that, you always know that God is going to do something good.
But God, rescued me. He helped my find my joy again. He gave me back a reason to live. He is teaching me that I am his beloved. Deeply loved by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They love me not because I am lovable, sometimes I’m not, but because they are love. They have no choice but to love me. They created me in their image. They created me for the purpose of receiving love. Receiving God’s love and Romans 8:38-39 tell me that nothing can separate me from that love. NOTHING!!!!!! Guess what comes with that love - you guessed it…JOY! My Joy has been restored because I can see again that God loves me. “I’ve got that joy, joy, joy down in my heart, down in my heart, where? Down in my heart to stay.”
Dear Lord, Thank You for helping me find my misplaced joy. Thank You for helping me see I am Your beloved, deeply loved by my father and nothing can ever separate me from that love. Father, help my sisters receive that same love in their hearts and find their misplaced joy. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.