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Aug 5, 2015

I Want Joy.


I feel the need to warn you right off the bat...this may not be my usual cheery, hope-filled post.  Today, this blog's purpose is for processing and working through the things I've been feeling.  It's for finding the hope again and for working towards healing.

Many of you know about my father's battle with cancer.  Lung cancer, to be exact.  The mere diagnosis has always puzzled us...how did a healthy 49-year-old, someone who has always been active and never hesitated to help another, someone who never touched a cigarette, end up with stage IV lung cancer?  I've asked God "why?" so many times, and so many times have been reminded that He is good.  No matter what, He is good.  Even when I don't know the answer to my question, He is good.

This summer has been a difficult one to say the least.  Between the accident involving our pastor at church and my dad's health concerns, it's been hard to find joy in this summer.

You see, joy is difficult to come by when there's an underlying feeling of worry.  When you do find it, it's often fleeting...a brief break from reality until the details of real life creep back in.

With the wedding just over three weeks away, there should be nothing but elation flowing through my mind.  Instead, this week has been filled with stressful worry.  The reality is that my dad hasn't been feeling good.  After having whole brain radiation in June, he felt pretty good for a few weeks, and then his energy levels started to go down.  He's been battling some serious fatigue and dizzy spells since the beginning of July and it's steadily been taking a toll on him.  I guess a year of chemo plus radiation will do that to a person.

And honestly, friends, we're all tired.  Tired of my dad not feeling good, tired of never being able to fully enter into joy.

I've always dreamed that the time spent planning my wedding would be full of joy, but then again I guess life is never fully what we hope or dream.  Sometimes, it's so much more, and sometimes, it just looks different.  That's life, right?

I long for joy that isn't undermined by worry or fear.  I long for time with my family where we aren't anxious about what's to come.  Facing a serious illness has made me, for the first time in probably my entire life, long for Heaven.  Not because I don't have hope that my dad will be fully healed and not because I don't trust in God, but because this world is not our home, and thank goodness for that.

This earth is broken and fallen.  War, disease, accidents that cut a life too short.  All of those things could absolutely leave a person in total despair.  But thank goodness for a God who restores, who redeems, and who brings joy.

There is so much in life to look forward to and find joy in, even when life is hard, joy can still be found.  But nothing will ever compare to the joy we find when praising our King at His throne.  I can't wait to experience that joy someday!

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