Sundays: 9 & 11am LATEST MESSAGE

True Joy

by Lauren Jonker

"We had plans. I had plans this year. A 20th-anniversary trip was locked in the calendar, the kids were headed to school after a 10-year journey of homeschooling, and family visits were on the horizon. After a few difficult years, 2020 was (in my mind) the year we were going to experience JOY and have some fun! Then, slowly one by one, the things we were looking forward to, like everyone else — canceled. Then borders to home and family closed. School became virtual. 

The Lord has faithfully walked us through some very hard seasons. Over the years, I have learned to give hard things over to his care, but my first reaction is always to plan, solve, and fix. When I became a mom, my desire for control came out in all its glorious display, and it is still that thing I wrestle with. Loosening our grip is not natural. 

Although this season has been difficult, and weariness has set in at times, I started to see a gift when we began to lean into the interference. We have a senior this year, and the feeling of “time is fleeting” has been fierce. We have all been so busy that connecting and time together was getting more difficult. This time has brought us an abundance of family meals, game nights, and movie marathons, which has led to deep and beautiful conversations. The borders to home are still closed, but this trial has made me think deeply about heaven and where our true citizenship resides, and that what we are facing is not what eternity holds. 

All of these things have humbled me and turned my eyes upward, calling me to daily dig deep and immerse myself in His truth. Remembering his provisions and faithfulness and the hope I have in him shifts my heart from a place of worry and tiredness to a feeling of being deeply held and thankful. Although our 2020 plans didn’t come to fruition as we planned, our prayer for family time and fun has been answered, and we have experienced true joy hidden in the unchanging love of our Heavenly Father."