Thursday, March 1, 2012

Joy and a Thankful Heart – Part 3 of 3

All believers are meant to have the joy of the Lord consistently operating through them, but this is often not the case. After taking a quick look at regular Sunday morning churchgoers, we might conclude that this joy is present, but if we were to look closer we might be surprised to find that many are just doing a good job of role playing. All the smiles and nice clothes hide the turmoil, the depression, and the loneliness. God’s joy doesn’t hide these things, but acknowledges them.

I chose to marry in my husband’s country of South Africa and settle there. Moving to a new country didn’t bother me much because I had lived a good part of my childhood outside of the United States. Once I started having children, though, I became more housebound and isolated. It was during those long, lonely hours that I often didn’t feel like being thankful. I’m an extrovert, so I get energized by being with other people.

I missed having a decent conversation with another female. When I did get the chance, those conversations were few and far between. I did try building some new relationships, but for the most part the ladies I met were busy enough with their own friends and families. Cultural differences also made it harder to connect. Missing out on meaningful relationships made raising children that much more stressful.

We may not always be able to change our circumstances, but whatever our disappointments, there is still one thing that we can change and that is ourselves. It’s usually during the tough times that we grow most. As long as we maintain the right attitude, we’ll continue moving forward; however, if we have a bad attitude, we’ll just get stuck in the situation we’re in and never pass the test.

One lesson that I’ve been learning over the past sixteen years, no matter if I’m socializing or not, is that God is enough. I’m thankful for my relationship with God, which is good. Also, my relationship with myself is good. I’m happy to be who God made me and I don’t pretend to be someone else for other people.

I recommend you also read my poem, "I See You" at Consider the Lilies, my poetry blog.

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