Dec 15, 2019

Dear Wellspring Ohana & Friends,

“What brings you joy?” When asked this question a couple of weeks ago, I was befuddled, and then quietly retreated into the darkness of regret and lost time in my mind. “Joy” has always been difficult for me to define. Is it a feeling or a state of being? Is it momentary or enduring? Is all up to me and my mindset? What brings me joy? Especially since I’ve not been feeling it lately. The holidays can have that effect. Mostly though, relationships with some of my family are difficult right now, and joy feels out of reach at the moment. (Rest assured, Nathan and I are just fine and his absence the next three weeks are due to his being scheduled to work at his new post-retirement job). Low levels of joy are when I realize I need to be more aware and careful to ask for God’s way to help me hold tight to His Joy and not mine. So, in the meantime…..

While I hope for more joy, I am grateful for the joyful ‘moments’ that remind me that God is in the midst of my regrets and sorrows. To the man in line before me at the bakery last week who could’ve bought the last dozen ginger cookies, but saw my disappointment because I was dying to try just one, and so he only bought ten: he has no idea how much his kindness meant. To my daughter’s friend who called me to make sure I was alright after hearing I had slipped and fallen on my rear on a slick floor at Sam’s Club: she sparked joy because of her compassion. To the women who laid hands and prayed over Pastor Rebecca and I this week: I was able to feel a surge of living water help to replenish my joy reservoir. These ‘moments’ are reminders of God’s deep desire for each of us to experience His joy; the kind of joy that is pure, peaceful, and permanent. During the Advent season, we reflect on the joy of Our Savior’s birth and His return. Although we may not feel joyful all of the time, I’m reminded that there are people in this world who still value the importance of compassion, care and kindness, that can reach us when we are feeling little joy. I am also reminded that each of us can reach others in need of joy, this same way. So also, you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. John 16:22

God’s Joy to You,

Pastor Cheryl

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