Friday, September 26, 2014

{Guest Post} Finding Joy During Tough Times

Hey friends!  I'm getting back from Hawaii today!  I'm thrilled to have Caroline on the blog today.  If you don't already know her, I know you'll love her as much as I do! I know Caroline in person too and have loved getting to know her through our blogs as well!  She is always so encouraging and I learn so much from her!  Go for it, Caroline...


I’m Caroline and I blog over at In Due Time, which I started back in April of 2012. In 2011 my life changed for the better when I got married to my sweet husband, Colby. Besides working as a financial analyst, I enjoy spending time with Colby, friends, watching football, and attending various small groups and bible studies. I'm a health nut, who enjoys working out and eating healthy. I take every chance I can get to travel with my husband. I have a passion for those who are going through trials, especially those who feel like they are waiting on God to answer their prayers. I was overjoyed when Kelli asked me to post and hope you find it encouraging to read. Thanks Kelli for the opportunity to share about how I find joy during tough times. 


You can follow Caroline here:

Kelli and I met years ago at a friend's party, but lost contact until this past year when we found each other's blogs! I am so thankful we have reconnected and have been so blessed by her friendship. I love the title of her blog: A Deeper Joy.

Colby and I have waiting to expand our family now for 2.5 years and finding joy and contentment in the hard times is a topic I'm passionate about sharing with others. I love Nehemiah 8:10, which says, "the joy of the Lord is your strength." This verse really summarizes the past few years for us. We desire children so strongly and haven't had them yet and are in a place where ALL of our friends are parents already (or so it seems), but we still are full with joy.

But, how? Jesus! We know that Jesus is the only person who can solve what we are longing for. It won't be babies, a job, a husband, or money. It's God alone. I believe when we truly realize how blessed we are, we find contentment. Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of what you already have. There is purpose to every trial and every waiting period and God's purpose isn't for us to grow bitter, angry, or jealous. He wants to use the trial to refine us. He wants us to be content in ALL circumstances. Even though you might not understand the why or understand the what, continue to trust Him. Let His strength be your joy. Allow your trial to be used for God's glory. Let it be a time where you find hope and joy from Him, not from what you are waiting for.

So what are ways to find a deeper joy while struggling? Read the word. Spend time with Him. Instead of focusing on what you want, but don't have, celebrate and thank God for all the blessings that you do have. You will find that when you shift your perspective, you will be renewed with a new joy that only the Lord can give!


11 comments:

  1. Praying for you, sweet girl. We've dealt with secondary infertility for 3+ years after it took us a year to conceive our daughter. Its SO hard. But you have such a beautiful perspective, one I wish I carried more often. Have you ever read the book 1,000 gifts by ann voskamp? It's a hard read but it's such a good one, it completely changed my unthankfulness tune and made me truly count all of blessings instead- even infertility.

    Thank you for being so open and sharing!

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  2. AMEN! I struggle with contentment A LOT and constantly have to remind myself of this truth.

    Kelli- I can't wait to hear about your trip, friend!

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  3. I've definitely been struggling with contentment SO MUCH lately. Another great reminder Caroline. Thanks for sharing with us on Kellie blog! Happy Friday!

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  4. Love this and I couldn't agree more Caroline. You nail it on the head with - Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of what you already have. There is purpose to every trial and every waiting period and God's purpose isn't for us to grow bitter, angry, or jealous. Love your heart and I'm so glad that I have got to know you too, can't wait to meet you! And Kelli :) Welcome home Kelli!!

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  5. This is such a wonderful post and something I need to remind myself daily. I'm currently studying the book of Nehemiah so when that verse was quoted, I couldn't help but smile at the coincidence of it. Definitely going to check out Caroline's blog now! Welcome home Kelli!!

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  6. Honored to post here Kelli! Thanks for letting me share your blog-space with you :) Can't wait to hear about your trip! Love you girl

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  7. Love this! A perfect reminder for all stages of life

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  8. Caroline, everything you write is so wise. Thank you for reminding us to celebrate what we have rather than focusing on what we don't.

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  9. Such beautiful, precious words, Caroline! So thankful for your contented, joyful spirit right in the midst of your pain. You are a shining light, my friend. :)

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  10. I love your words, your spirit, and your faithfulness Caroline. So very fabulous.

    Wishing you a lovely day.
    xoxo

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Thank you for taking the time to comment! I absolutely LOVE reading your comments and try my hardest to reply via email! Make sure you're not a no-reply commenter so I can do that. If I can't email you, I'll try to reply on here :-) Have a wonderful day, friends!