Where Lost Joy Goes & Link Up
I lose my keys, my glasses, my phone,
my temper, control of my schedule,
the thread of a thought.
I’ve lost story-keepers
who grew me, knew me,
loved me before I knew who
I was to Him.
On a daily basis, I lose
hold of my humor and zest,
the determination, the confidence
I’ve lost friends,
some due to
distance and time.
. . . and there are days I lose
the Joy God gave me
one day long ago,
and I sit as though the sun
had turned dark as night
inside my soul.
Lostness and Abandonment
so I cannot remember
why. . .
Where does lost Joy go?
to the one
who gave it to me,
who gave it to me
when I became His,
and He holds it safe
until I remember
who holds it
Lost your Joy?
Look to find God,
and there you will find
Sometimes we lose our joy because of circumstances, like the ones listed above in the poem. Maybe money’s tight and jobs are precarious. Maybe you’re in an untenable work environment. Maybe Maybe someone you love is making hard choices for reasons you understand or reasons you don’t understand – you just know your heart hurts in the fall-out. Maybe you feel burned out, worn out, torn about for reasons only you understand.
Sometimes we lose our joy because of guilt.
“God will give him [her] more than Satan has taken,” Claudette said in response to my question as we sat over sandwiches at a woman’s retreat last August.
I’d asked how do you live joy – or maybe rather give yourself permission to live joy when people God gave you face challenges. These God-Gave-You people could be your kiddos, little or big, the family you came from, the family found in your community, whether it is your church, your neighborhood, where you work, the soccer field sidelines. How do you live joy when all you can do is hands off and hands up? Or when tornadoes, hurricanes and health crisis come and people are left hurting? “God will give more him [her] more than Satan has taken” – and I have to lean into that, trust that somehow God never leaves a deficit, not when his children cry out to Him, lean into Him, trust in Him! In the leaning into that, trusting means living like I believe – and that means living God’s kind of Joy.
You will show me the path of life:
in your presence is fullness of joy;
at your right hand there are pleasures forever more”
I rejoice, Father,
On the day I called, You answered me; You emboldened me and strengthened my soul.(Psalm 138:3). You Lord are my strength and my shield. My heart trusts in You, and I am helped; Therefore, my heart rejoices, and with my song I shall thank You (Psalm 28:7). Because I trust in the Lord, my loving Father who fights for me, I do not fear bad news; my heart is faithful, loyal, devoted (Psalm 112:7). Your word tells me to “Count it all joy: when I “meet with trials of various kinds because that testing of my faith produces steadfastness (faithfulness, loyalty, devotion), to let that faithfulness, loyalty and devotion have its full effect that I may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1: 2-4). I’m remembering, Father, other trials where you stood with me, carried me, held me, helped me, saved me, redeemed me. I’m remembering, Father, how when I met with you, you restored my joy during the journey through the challenge. I praise you for being a Father who is always faithful, who always loves, who always brings joy to the hard while you answer prayers, solve problems in ways beyond my imagination, often in ways outside my expectations. You are a mighty God, a protective, loving Father. Thank you for the joy you’ve given me – and for keeping it for me when I’ve lost it. I love you, Father,
Remember Me Monday: #36 & Linky
“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter.
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all the day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord”
~ Psalm 71:15-16.
Let us delight in Him by telling the stories of what He’s done! If you wrote a blog post remembering what He’s done for you, join the linky. If you didn’t but still want to praise Him for what He’s done – write it in the comment section. Then visit a comment before or after yours! One of the beautiful things about the blogging community is the relationships it builds!
Rules? Write long or short, a list or a story, include photos or not. Just Remember Him and what He has done, and let the gratitude of your heart guide you. Let’s make Monday so Rejoice, that the goodness of God spills into the rest of the week!
Places I’m Linking at This Week:
Inspire Me Monday, Instaencouragements
Welcome Heart Blog, Worth Beyond Rubies,
Share a Link Wednesday, Legacy Link-Up
Grace and Truth, Faith on Fire, Tell His Story
***All photos marked with Muddy Photography or © Blue Cotton Memory or used within Blue Cotton Memory blog(s) belong Blue Cotton Memory. Going forward, photos will be marked with Muddy Photography.
Great post & beautiful poem Maryleigh! I find the Joy of the Lord is my strength & His strength is my Joy.
The Joy of the Lord is my strength! Yes,Jennifer! What a good good Father we have! Shalom ~ Maryleigh
Oh, Maryleigh, with tears welling up, I SO needed this this very day, this very morning. I forgot where my joy comes from and Who has it still. I forgot. (Those wells are beginning to overflow, my friend). Thank you for the beautiful poem, your words, your prayer, and for God’s precious Words embedded in your prayer. I want to read this again and again and copy those Scriptures into my journal.
I love you so, ~ linda
PS…I have no new post today so will not be linking up.
Linda, I’d been on a quest on how to live joy when those you love aren’t – and Claudette’s answer was balm to my soul. One of my boys stopped by and he seemed so bereft of joy – I’d started this post then with the things I’d wanted to say – and then this last week I was blue-deviled by little foxes tearing hard at the vine of my soul – in pressing in to God, he brought me back to what I’d started. I ended up writing to find my joy, too! Praying we both find and keep our joy this week! Love you sweet sister! ~ Maryleigh
Maryleigh, I saw your IG post & had to stop by to read about where lost joy goes. Joy is my word for 2021, and Psalm 16:11 is one of my anchor verses. I have had to hold tight to the promise that joy is in God’s presence, and I must seek Him to find my “lost” joy. I, too, am walking a hard road with 2 of my three children that pains my mother’s heart and often challenges or steals my joy. Your post today and the sentence, “God will give him [her] more than Satan has taken,” is a balm to my soul, thank you for this encouragement today!
Donna, I had been on a quest to find how to live joy when those you love face hard challenges – Claudette’s answer was balm to my soul, too! Praying we both find our lost joy this week! May we not lose it! ~ Maryleigh
The thoughts in your poem are so beautiful. And a great reminder.
Thanks so much for stopping by Lauren! Praying you find much joy in your week! ~ Maryleigh
Oh, I needed this tonight, Maryleigh. I sacrificed my joy over a situation this weekend. Granted, it was a disturbing circumstance, but God didn’t abandon all joy even in the midst of it. I need to reclaim my joy through it all and be grateful for the good that was in it!
Lisa, God always manages to redeem worthwhile things out of hard circumstances – and even allow us to walk joy out of it. What an amazing Father we have! Praying we live immersed in His joy this week – even in the hard!
Maryleigh- What beautiful words to end my day with. Thank you. The joy of hte Lord is amazing. Thank you for sharing with Grace & Truth Link-Up. Maree
So glad you came by Maree! Joy and Shalom to your week! ~ Maryleigh
Last week, I lost my joy and this poem made so much sense to me, Maryleigh. I had to spend time in reflection, before I could rediscover it in the love of an all-embracing God.
Corinne, for some reason, last week seemed so hard for so many! It was for me. I leaned, leaned, leaned in to Him. I just wanted to curl beneath His wing and not come out! He’s such a good, good Father! He restored my joy! Praying Shalom and Joy in your week! ~ Maryleigh
It always amazes me when I realize I am experiencing joy in the midst of a hard time. Beautiful post!
Yes! It is amazing – and I have had to make myself stop feeling guilty about it! Shalom and Joy, Joanne! ~ Maryleigh
Your title pulled me here to find the answer. Because we do lose our joy. I love that God is holding it for us, keeping it safe so he can return it to us. We can always find and have it again. (Love the photos)
Theresa – I have a picture of God standing there holding it, watching me, waiting patiently, compassionately for me to turn to Him, calling me quietly through my chaos until I hear Him. Sometimes, I think He’s exasperated amused. Sometimes, like His heart hurts realizing I have to learn, but He watches waiting! He’s such a good! good Father! Glad you love the butterflies! Capturing them on camera was a bucket list goal! Shalom and Joy! ~ Maryleigh
Maryleigh, I loved your poem, and the truths you shared. You’re so right. God can always restore more than Satan takes. I’m so thankful for that. I love the word picture that God never leaves a deficit, even with joy. Thank goodness He holds our joy when we forget where we’ve left it. You’ve given me much to think on this week. Thank you!
I am so very thankful, too! What a merciful God we have who holds our joy for us when we misplace it! I love that visual! Shalom and Joy to you this week Jeanne! ~ Maryleigh
I’m very much focused on joy this year because many of us have trouble finding it and living in it, and that’s something Christians may have a hard time admitting. Your poem is touching. Thanks for sharing your thoughtful and lovely words.
Realizing God wants me to live joy even in the hard gave me permission to try: “in your presence is fullness of joy.” It’s not always easy but it’s like running, the more I go to Him, spend time with Him, the easier it gets. The heart aches get easier to bear! Thanks for coming by Suzettte – praying we both find more joy in time spent with him in 2021!
What a beautiful poem :). I’m glad God gently holds our joy until he can give it back to us. He holds, us, too, even if we don’t feel his presence.
Oh, Yes, Anita! He holds us, too, though we don’t feel it! Shalom and Peace in your week! ~ Maryleigh
At first I was held by your exquisite photos of the butterflies. You are such a gifted photographer, writer, mama of boys, and baker. Then I came back and read your words when I had time to drink them in. OH! So beautiful and refreshing. You’ve captured the anguish our souls endure when those we love or ourselves are lacking joy. Your poem, so personal yet all-embracing. Your readers could relate to what you were experiencing and their own personal loss of joy.
Thank you for pointing us once again to the source of joy, our Lord, in the midst of even hard circumstances.
I loved this piece!