Fighting for one’s joy is not an easy task, I’m learning. I’ve never really been one that isn’t happy, positive and usually rather chipper. The past few weeks, though, life has taken its tole on me and I find that I am having to fight for my joy more than I have in the past. I also know that Satan is not happy with many things I have been working through the past month or so, which is probably why the Good Fight hasn’t always felt so good these days.
A month or so ago, I attended a women’s conference that’s focus was on the book of Ruth. The conference speaker, Kelly Minter went verse-by-verse (exegesis is always my favorite type of Bible study) through the book of Ruth, one of my favorites. The Lord used these familiar scriptures to teach me many things about myself, my relationship with Him and with my husband. It was also nice to actually attend a women’s conference instead of being the headline speaker. Actually, it was my first conference as an attendee and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. I almost didn’t even go. As soon as I heard about it, I felt like I was supposed to go but used the excuse of it being too much time away from John as a reason for not signing-up. Once the Lord cleared out that excuse by having John be needed elsewhere that weekend, I had but one choice – obey and go or stay home and miss out on God’s blessing. I’m glad I chose obedience.
Once I discussed it with John (he never really knew I was debating whether or not to go) and was granted my husband’s permission but then also made the conscious effort to sign-up and financially commit, every day before the two-day conference, my life (and marriage) was full of spiritual warfare. I wasn’t really surprised and was prepared for the weekend to be full of applicable Truth and wasn’t disappointed when, like always, on the other side of the battle God was very near. He never fails. He is always faithful.
Since that weekend, we’ve had 2 weddings (one he was in, one I was in) and a visit from my in-laws, as well as many nights of working over. It has been been a whirlwind. I’m not sure where the month of March went, let alone the first part of April. This weekend’s the first time in a month I’ve felt like I could stop long enough to catch my breath and actually enjoy not doing much of anything, except what I love most, spending time with my husband. There weren’t places we had to be at certain times, questions of how I was going to do my hair for a wedding, or brainstorming for how to entertain company. It was just time for us, time to go back to the simplicity that I have grown to love…though as I said in my last post, sometimes simplicity does have its challenges, at least for one like me who is used to live in the fast lane.
I am praying that tomorrow during my drive to Columbus I can take time to reflect once more on what I learned at the conference four weeks ago. I have been meaning to stop and meditate on those Scriptures again, but my good intentions haven’t gotten much further than that – good intentions and not much action. I know that God still has much to teach me from Kelly’s exegesis of the book of Ruth. I am very thankful that God doesn’t tell us, “Well, that weekend is over. Hope you got what you needed out of it.”…No, He continues to be readily open to teaching us the same things, albeit in a new way, every single day if we are willing to listen.
I am trying to listen, Lord. Please do not stop speaking to me.