Don’t Let Anyone or Anything Steal the Joy of Jesus

This last couple of weeks I have known that I was missing something but I couldn’t figure out what.  I always miss having family and friends around but lately, it has been so much more than that. Then yesterday, while sitting in the pew at church, the minister said, “There are people in this room that have lost their joy, and God wants them to have it back.”  It was basically the only statement he made in that regard and it wasn’t even the topic of the service. Just a quiet spoken word, to me.

As soon as he said it, I started to cry.  I knew it was me.  I had lost my joy. I had been searching for weeks, asking my husband to do things with me, being more frustrated then ever at my kids, and in one simple statement God summed up why there had been so many trials to overcome.  As the tears fell there was a burden that was lifted from me.  God, once again, just met me where I was and wrapped me up in His big papa embrace.

As the day continued, I finally realized what it was that had caused me to not have joy.  I should have just prayed about it and God would have shown me earlier … but some of us have to try and fail before we do things the right way.  I had missed my mentors, my Christian mentors.  The people who I wanted to BE when I grow up.

I had four women that really captured my heart that were not family.  The first amazing woman is Wendy.  She is married to a church minister and has become a great friend over the past couple years. She has experienced many trials and burdens but taught me to always resort to prayer first.  (As I said, I’m learning slowly)  She is a true woman of faith who puts her trust in God daily.  She searches His Word and praises Him in all the things she does. In fact, I’ve always said that I wanted to attend her Sunday school classes because she is amazing at teaching the Bible.

The second amazing woman is named Yoka.  She doesn’t even realize how amazing she is or the wisdom she has taught me since I met her.  As I would listen to her speak in her soft voice, I knew she spoke wisdom.  She understood what I went through with my kids being close together because she had hers close, including a set of twins.  She prays faithfully every single day for her husband.  Where Wendy taught me the need for praying first, Yoka taught me the diligence in praying and seeking guidance.

The third amazing lady, is my BFF Nancy.  She is awesome!  She has seen me at my best and my worst and yet she still loves me.  She is the one I run to when I feel the world is closing in because she gives me a great big hug and then straightens me around.  Her kitchen table was made for serious-get-your-butt-in-motion talks.  She has the best “mommy voice” and you can see how much she loves her kids.  There are very few people in this world that I open up to fully but Nancy is the best confidante. Plus, she’s Christian, which means she will let you know when something is right or wrong.

The fourth woman is the one I think I miss the most.  Wendy, Yoka and Nancy can still guide me even from 5,000 km away but Dianne… she is the lady that teaches me by doing.  She is the most modest, smart, caring, kind, patient, and loving person one could ever meet.  She doesn’t even see how valuable she has been to my life but God has used her in mighty ways.  She is a stay at home mom of five boys. Imagine, FIVE BOYS!  She is a woman, a wife, and a mom but she is also a child of God.  I would go to Dianne’s and love every moment of my time spent there.  She has a welcoming heart.  We text back and forth or facebook message.  She always feels guilty for not being able to stay in touch with everyone, the way she would like.  I just remind her that she has FIVE BOYS!!!  Often, as regular readers already know, I go insane with my three.

These women collectively — each with their own God designed purpose — is what I am missing.  I am missing my Christian mentors. The Christian women who have gone before me and are willing to help me along the way, because they had women who helped them along the way.  Titus 2:3-5 states: “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live. Not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the Word of God.”

For me, these four women are a direct example of the women described in Titus for me. And what I am discovering is that my walk with God is harder in many ways for not having them close by.  So, here is my counsel for this day. If you are a young Christian woman, I encourage you to find older Christian women to guide you and help you in the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord God and Saviour.  If you are an older Christian woman, then take your God given rightful place in teaching and helping the younger generation walk a virtuous path.  Oh and if you are an older Christian woman who lives in Grande Prairie, looking to mentor a younger Christian woman, then PLEASE look me up!   I was blessed to have stumbled upon these women before and through God’s guidance and direction, I am praying for God to bless me again… VERY SOON!

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