Friday, January 22, 2010

Joy Comes In the Morning

2 Corinthians 12:8-9
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

I've created this blog mostly because of my love of writing. However, lately God has been teaching me some things that I just never dreamed of. Things that I consider need to be shared to show how amazing He truly is.

At the age of 15, my mother passed away after many years of suffering with and illness. At that time, and for many years to follow, I felt as if my heart had been ripped into pieces. The pain and grief were more than I could bear on my own. I don't remember being angry at God, but it was a very dark time, so it could be something I've blocked from my memory. (My children block things from their memory all the time. For example, when someone leaves crayons in the back seat of the car on a warm sunny day. Amazingly enough, when I discover the crayons, no one recalls having taken the crayons into the car. I just was not aware until I had children that Crayola made magical crayons that are able to transport themselves to my vehicle.) Anyhow, I remember many sorrow filled days. Hearing others talk of the time they spent shopping or at the hair salon with their mother was like taking a knife through the heart. I knew others didn't intend to cause hurt - I just wished I was having those special times. Looking back, when mom was so sick, I began to cut myself off from her. Guilt came with that realization - thinking about how I had probably broken her heart. Lots of healing had to take place. God carefully place several people in my life as he slowly began to mend my heart that was broken into so many pieces. My aunt and cousin, Katrina, were always there - even when I acted like a complete idiot and treated my family mean and horrible. Dad played the role of both parents while working a stressful job. Ladies like Vicky Brown, Betty Gorham, and Ira Dean Newman had major roles in setting me on the right path. Then God placed the most godly man in my life, my husband. He held my hand through some very scary and emotional times as I dealt with fear, sorrow, anger, guilt, and a million other horrific emotions. I had a pretty happy life. Finally, a peace began to settle in my spirit. God was preparing my heart for some moments I never expected.
I've heard the song Joy Comes in the Morning so many times. I've always liked it, but now have a new appreciation for the words of that song.
Although I had a peace, I can now say that there was a little joy missing. Whoever heard of being joyful because your mom suffered a horrible illness and died when you were a teenager. I was glad she was in heaven and all, but joy? Come on, seriously??? About a year and a half ago, I encountered a young girl whose mom had been diagnosed with a devestating illness. She spent a lot of time in hospitals and rehab facilities to due the disabling condition of her illness. I was able to minister to this young girl because of what I'd been through. Still no joy - beginning to see that God could use my trials to help someone, but no joy from my mom's death. Then 6 months later, I had the opportunity to work with a young lady whose mom had died suddenly. Meeting with this young lady on occassion, I've been able to listen and assure her that she's not crazy - just experiencing much of the same thoughts and feelings I did.  I was excited with the opportunity. Grateful God could use me, excited to be used, but still not the joy I now know that song speaks of.
Two weeks ago, I was called into the hall at work. One of my students had lost her mom over the weekend. As I learned more, this mom's illness was eerily similar to my mom's - not the same diagnosis, but very similar circumstances. The counselor informed the young lady of my story and let her know I was available. She soon after confronted me with the question, "What do you do when your mother dies? I don't know what I'm supposed to do." At that moment, the joy came. Not because my mom had died. Not because the young girl's mother had died. I saw myself (that is my 1991 self - the old self.) My mind raced through the journey that God had carried me on. It was that day that God opened my eyes to the what all He had done. The joy was because I saw the whole picture of how my heavenly Father had carefully ordered my steps so that He could work through me. I always thought the joy would come when I finally finished "dealing" with the death of my mom. I learned that the joy and the morning were when I stepped back and let Him full control to use my struggles and help someone else.

Psalm 30:1-3
I will exalt you, O Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and di not let my enemies gloat over me.
O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me,
O Lord , you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from going down into the pit
Sing to the Lord, you saints of his; praise his holy name.


  1. These girls are blessed to have you in their life. I know that God will use you to minister to them in ways that no one else would be able to. You have become an amazing woman, and a strong witness of His glory. Your mom would be proud.
    I love you!

  2. Tracey, I am glad you started a blog.

    This brought tears to my eyes. I CAN NOT imagine losing my Mother. As you know, I lost my Dad after going through an illness but I believe it is totally different than losing your Mom. It is amazing how the Lord has worked out these circumstances in your life to bring people your way that you can minister to. I pray for more opportunities for you to be a TRUE LIGHT in the darkness...
    With Love,