Remember the old Sunday School song that was sang years ago. It goes something like this:

“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
Down in my heart
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy
Down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay
I have the peace that passes understanding
Down in my heart
Down in my heart………”

As most of you are aware Eric and I have been in a sifting process where we have found ourselves in a valley.  Not everyone is aware of the seriousness of what was going on with his health. Unless you physically were there in those hours and days of the “unknown,” one is unaware that the situation could have gone either way. Sometimes the situations were very intense. Now, my past reactions in such intense times, anxiety and fear, would have overwhelmed me resulting in thoughts that were not of God. In the past these thoughts would leave me so paralyzed emotionally that it would lead to physical weakness and a deep pit in my stomach. I would struggle immensely to gain peace and hope in the situation. However, over the last couple of years I have been working on fear in my life. I have gotten emotional healing sessions and have had to proactively work on this area. I am hear to say that God truly, and I mean truly gave me such hope and peace even in the most direst of times. During the walk in the “valley” I had to choose joy over peace. I had to draw from the well of joy. I listened to songs about the joy of the Lord. Because of the healing that I have received it wasn’t a laborious process.

When I shared that I drew from the well of joy I can’t help but think of a well that one draws water from. The definition of a well is “an excavation or structure created in the ground by digging, driving and/or drilling to access groundwater in an underground aquifer. The well water is drawn by a pump or using containers, such as buckets etc.” Wells are built to prepare and provide something that we cannot live without, water. The same goes for our personal joy wells. Have you built and prepared a structure within yourself that holds the joy? I promise you that there will times in your life that you will find yourself in a valley and you will be in a deep need of joy. We can’t live without joy in those valleys. Since receiving emotional healing and actively pursuing joy and peace I have prepared for the valleys.

Other ways I have prepared the structure is through scripture. I have several of my “go to” scriptures. Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” To look at the health of Eric, my flesh and heart said to be afraid. But I knew God was my truth.

Romans 15:13. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”

Sometimes in those valleys that is all you can do is pull from your “go to’s”. I also intentionally listened to worship songs about joy. Two that I purposely listened to daily on my way back and forth to Muncie was “Joy of the Lord” (spontaneous) by Jenn Johnson & Bethel, and a short song “The Joy of the Lord” by Kristene DiMarco. Both can be found on YouTube.

We are starting to walk out of the valley concerning Eric’s health. But just because we are in that process doesn’t mean I can neglect filling that well of joy within me. God is so good to Eric and I. Even when our worlds get rocked He is the rock that we stand on. I pray this post encourages you and know that God loves you tenderly and wants you to be filled with His joy and peace.

Karen Haler
Children’s Ministry Director

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