Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Source of Our Joy

Image Courtesy of Evgeni Dinev/
 You always show me the path that leads to life.
 You will fill me with joy when I am with you. 
Acts 2:28 NIRV

New school pencils, new markers, new crayons.  New teachers, new schedules, and maybe new shoes. 
Sounds great, doesn't it?
But then there's also:  new worries, new challenges, new fears of new unknowns.
New locker combinations.
A new flu strain so we have to get a new shot.

A fresh start, like the one my family and I have experienced in moving to Nevada, can be exciting and invigorating.  But I look at my daughter and realize that the newness of it all isn't quite as pleasant for her.  The start of a new school year for any child can be overwhelming and stressful with all the changes and new things to which one must become accustomed.  So, tack on to that stress the fact that my daughter has nothing old and familiar (except maybe us), and I think, "Oh my does one process it all?"
To put it simply, I have to teach her that God has not changed.  Despite her anxious chatter, and her busy body I have to remind her that there will come a day in a few weeks when this seems like our "normal."  I have to teach her that the source of our joy is not found in other people.  Being "new" in town does not mean we have no joy.  We find our joy in God, and he is just as present with us here in our new home as he was in our old. 
Even as I stood outside of school with a dozen other parents and grandparents today I thought about how, had I been standing outside in our old hometown, I would have been talking to about four people at once.  Today, however, I stood and looked at the mountains, felt the sun on my face, and listened to the clanking chain on the flagpole.  I enjoyed the silence of that solitude...that place of feeling that I didn't have to talk or wave or smile.  It was me, my thoughts, and God.

That takes years of learning, though.  I know she won't get it right away.  I know that making friends and having sleep-overs and playing with someone at recess is where her mind feels happiness at 10 years of age.  But, hopefully with prayer and love and devotional times together, I'll be able to pass on to her the appreciation of solitude, and the true understanding of the source of all our joy.  

Pray:  Heavenly Father, so many of us long for a fresh start; a chance to shed off the old skin and begin again.  Grant peace to those who find fear in the new-beginnings, and give wisdom to those who are seeking earthly happiness when what they really need is the holy joy found only in you.  

~Tammie Hefty

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