Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Feeling overwhelmed, but finding joy.

It's been a crazy, busy and life-changing couple of days.

My heart is heavy for so many tonight as I write this, it's just hard to even have my thoughts come out. And to be quite honest, it would be easier to step back against the wall and just go to sleep right now. But I choose to be open, I choose to be honest...because through that, somehow through all my fog, God can be glorified.

The attacks from the enemy have been many......therefore I know I'm stepping in the right direction. But last night I looked at my husband and said, "Is it always going to be like this? Because I just don't know how much more I can take."

My heart has wondered when the ground that I plant my feet beneath will stop shaking, stop moving and just be still for awhile?

There is so much I want to say......but yet so much I still hold back.

Today I spent the morning with some friends at a park with a very special birthday girl and her mom. My sweet friend is about to lose her husband, her children are about to lose their daddy....any day, any moment from a sudden tragedy....Leukemia.

My heart aches for her. My soul longs to cry out to God a thousand times a day to save this man! And yet......as I sit here tonight....I question, I wonder and I ask God.......where is the joy in this?

So many things, none of which are blog appropriate material, have happened in the past few weeks, some in my life and yet some in other's lives. And it's been hard.....finding that deep down joy through it all.

You know the kind of joy where: "If the devil doesn't like it....he can sit on a tack! Ouch. Sit on a tack! Ouch! Sit on a tack...."

Deep down in my heart.

I asked the Lord last night this question: "What is joy Lord, I mean.....really, what is it?"

I began to think about the Sunday school answer to this, which would be : Jesus, Other's, You.

Yes, I agree. But, I needed more.

So I asked the Lord again, "What is.......joy?"

He answered me so loving and said this,

"It's......Jesus Overwhelming You. When Jesus overwhelms you, you cannot help but be joyful."

Today one of my friend's kept saying to me over and over, "You smell so good.....what is that smell??" I jokingly said to her, "Oh, it's the sweet fragrance of Jesus and no, Bath and Body works doesn't carry it!" We giggled over it and I didn't think much of it.

But the THIRD time she said this to me.....I knew God was using her and she didn't even know it, to show me something very personal.

As I was watching my friend, whose husband is about to pass away, I kept praying over her.....I kept asking God to just sustain her. I kept believing that God could do something to stop all this if He chose.

And then, it was almost as if the wind blew over me.....and I could smell Jesus for a moment.

In the darkest places, in the deepest pits, in the saddest situations......there is Joy. Because Jesus Overwhelms us by His love. His goodness. His mercies. His new days. His sustaining powers.

Psalm 16:11 "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."

I don't know about you, but I just took a deep breath, and breathed in the sweet fragrance of the King.......And I never want to forget what that smells like.

Dearest God in heaven,

I am so unworthy of your love and every day that is made perfectly clear to me. I mess up, I say things I shouldn't, I think things I shouldn't, I doubt, I fear and I walk in the way of a sinner. And Lord, sometimes, life just overwhelms me. I think I know where to turn and it ends up being all wrong.

And then that joy slips away, day by day, little by little.

God.....thank you for showing me today what joy really is. It's the sweet smell of Jesus all over our bodies, burning through our hearts to our eyes. It's the wind of the Holy Spirit constantly blowing over us and letting us smell you, even if it's just for a moment.

I'm sorry God.......I'm sorry for the lack of joy in my heart.

Lord, this world can steal so much from us....but it cannot steal our Jesus. It cannot steal the hope, the faith and the belief that we hold upon that cross. So Lord......tonight, here in this room.....I choose joy. Jesus to overwhelm me.

Not taking one step tomorrow, or the next day without my Lord,


The Patterson 5 said...

Oh Nicki... I will pray for your friend's husband....... and you are glorifying God through your "fog"! You glorify Him with your life by your willingness to share with us all...your weaknesses and yet your total dependence on God.

Steppen Out with the Lord along with you!

On Purpose said...

Praying that He makes His joy, cotentment, and peace very obvious to your heart. Love to you my friend. Praying for and with you!

Kay Martin said...

Your post today hits home. Palm Sunday last year was when my husband was admitted to the hospital and we realized he had lung cancer. He lived a month.

Joy of the Lord is our present and real hope. Your friend's observance of the sweet fragrance is wonderful.

The Bible is full of stories of people like all of us that God sustained with His joy in the middle of crisis and loss.

He keeps telling me He's Enough; no matter what. You asked if it will always be like this? You will grow stronger in the Lord if you keep your focus on Him; and you will have joy in proportion to your need. So, all is well...no matter what life gives you, right?

Wendy said...

What an honest and moving post. Thank you for being willing to share the true struggles of your heart and spirit. Praying for your friend in this time. And holding you up in prayer too...rest against the wall we'll help pray you through.

Joyful said...

Nicki, I am exactly where you are, and needing the Lord to overwhelm me with His joy...so that it's more than just my name.

Love ya and praying for you,

Rebecca Jo said...

Oh friend... your posts always speak to my heart at the right time!!! Praying for your friend & so many struggling with cancer.

LOVE what Joy means... writing that down right now!

Mommy Mary said...

This really struck a cord with me today.
Thank you so much for sharing this.

Sharon Brumfield said...

I think your heart is a sweet smell before our Father.
Keep walking girl....some of the most powerful truths are learn when our hearts are being squeezed the most. Of this I am certain.

I am thanking our Father that your friend has someone like you near by during this time....how tender He is.

Ginger said...

Hi my friend,
I've been walking in those same shoes lately. Your post is such a powerful one today and I'm sure is touching the hearts of many. My prayers are with your friend. God does sustain us. I believe this.

A good friend told me today that right now I need to be still and wait on God. "Listen to Him right now and not move or act", she told me. That's so hard for me. Great words of wisdom though from a co-worker and wife of a Pastor. God is leading you in a mighty way. He will show you. Blessings to you this day. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

nanatrish said...

Nicki, I so needed to read this post. Searching for JOY can be difficult. I love Jesus Overwhelming You. I was also taught the Jesus Others You and I find Jesus Overwhelming You really really neat. I feel so bad for your friend and her husband and the children. Spending the past days in a hospice has really helped me to look more at some issues to deal with. I deal with death everyday, but mostly it's on the phone and on paper. This was face to face and raw. He is out there loving us and never leaving us. It may seem that he's distant and we may wonder what is going on, but He is still there always loving us. Peace be with you.

Brenna said...

Nicki, I have been right where you are. I have been through that dark night of the soul, a time when I wondered if I would ever have joy again and sense God's presence. And through it all I found that my joy had always been right there. My joy - my Jesus. Love you sister, Brenna xoxo