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Saturday, September 17, 2016

When Life is Going All Awry

In a dry and dreary land,
I search desperately for Your face,
Nothing is going as planned,
Why did You bring me to this place?

I can’t seem to hear You here,
This storm amplifies all my fears,
I just wish I felt You near,
At least until the dust clears. 

But the wind rises up all around me,
And the tumbleweeds roll,
I clinch my eyes so I can’t see,
But this sandblasting has taken its toll.

You say You’re the well that won’t run dry,
But the only water here are from the tears that I cry,
I settle in and let out a sigh,
I hope my end is nigh.

I bury my head down in the sand,
Avoiding life and stop making plans,
But on my shoulder I feel a hand,
I look up and there He stands.

I see His lips move but I can’t make it out,
His hands reach towards my face and I back out,
He slowly steps forward and reaches round my ear,
With the headphones off, I can suddenly hear clear.

“You traded My voice for headphones of lies,
They sneaked in at first under disguise,
They repeated so much you took them for truth,
It’s been drowning out My voice since your youth.

I AM the well that won’t run dry,
I invite you to come and abide,
When life is going all awry,
If you let Me, I’ll be your Guide.”

This realization did not change my location,
This is indeed a weary nation,
But now I know when faced with complication,
Jesus truly is my salvation.

Salvation that paid the penalty of sin,
Salvation that is Light when the world is dim,
Salvation to sooth the pain within,
Salvation as a promise of eternal life with Him.

So though this world is dark,
He is the Light,
Lord, reignite the spark,
And help me to shine bright.   

Joy Lynn 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Brick by Brick (8-14-2016)

Brick by brick
Lay them straight
Edge to edge
So nothing escapes.

Piece by piece
Building a wall
Slather the mortar
So the wall don’t fall.

No windows or doors
Each wall is bare
No moat is needed
For there’s no access there.

Layer by layer
Built strong and tall
In a tight circle
Only space to crawl.

At the bottom of this tower
Is where I laid sprawled
Guarded by brick
A hundred feet tall.

No one can find me
No one let in
I can barely breathe
In this chimney I’m in.

I breathe in the ashes
I exhale the soot
I feel the fire round me
I don’t bother to move.

Let it consume me
I’m ready to go
White flag surrounds me
I’ve lost all my hope.

From the distance a shout
It echoes down in
Pierces my ears
That have been silenced by sin.

“I’ve not given up now
I’ve not given in
I’m here to rescue you
But you’ve got to get a grip…

A grip on the life Savior
I’ve tossed down below
He’s there to save you
But you’ve got to take hold!”

So what shall I do now?
Burn by fire for sin?
Or turn to the Savior
Who desires to live within?

The question is one
We all must answer
For we can’t forever live
Trying to serve two masters. 

So I will surrender,
Confess my sin,
Embrace His forgiveness,

And seek to live for Him.

Joy Lynn

Sunday, August 14, 2016

If You Could See

I sit alone on this wooden bridge
Thinking of what could have been
Things I wish you could taste and see
Wish you could see what’s become of me

Years have passed and I sit amiss
All these big events your presence has missed
Highlight achievements and bitter ends
The lessons I’ve learned while I make amends

You’re no longer here now
But your memory lives on
With each puddle in life I make
You are part of the waves wake

So I hold on to what’s left
Gather what’s new
Hope to make you proud
In all that I do

I stand up abruptly
The bridge lets out a sigh
At least I know

It’s not a final goodbye

-Joy Lynn

Sunday, August 7, 2016

New Life in Thee

My heart is wicked beyond belief,
My spirit is weakened and headed towards defeat,
My soul is heavy and in disrepair,
My strength is drained and I’m gasping for air.

I need You, Lord, to make me whole,
Inwardly dying, I’m losing control,
I need a transplant to make it through,
You’re the only Surgeon who can make my heart new.

In order for me to live, something must die, (Romans 6:23)
Lucky for me, You laid down your life, (Romans 5:8)
On the cross You paid for my sin and shame, (Romans 4:25)
To offer reconciliation to all is why you came.  (1 Peter 3:18)

So I’m asking You, Lord, to take this broken heart,
Exchange it for one with a brand new start,
One in Your likeness and strong in grace,
One that shows faith no matter what I face. 

Give a new heart and a new spirit, I plea, (Ezekiel 36:26)
Not only to me, but to others I see,
For we all wander aimlessly without reprieve,
Until Your salvation, it sets us free.  (Romans 8: 1-3)

Please grant us, Lord, new life in Thee.

Joy Lynn

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Never Going to be the Same

I think I have come to the conclusion that some things will just never be the same. For years growing up, my mother and I would go see play productions put on at the Tower Theater in the next town over. I only recall a few times actually knowing someone involved, but most of the time, it was just for the entertainment of community theater. Sometimes others would join my mom and I, but many times it was just us and a crowd of strangers soaking up the show and I loved it.

Seeing productions has never been the same and I am not sure why. The majority of the shows I attend these days are because I know someone involved in the play either on stage or behind. I certainly enjoy watching the people I care about doing something they love and cheering them on.

But still, there is a hole. I feel it in museums too. My mother was a museum soaker, and could spend hours reading each placard and oooing and awing over the most abstract pieces. I miss her zeal for life. It’s like some of my zeal died with her.

I know it’s been years and I promise not every day is hard. Just continuously learning how to walk and dance again.

“You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly – that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”
–Anne Lamott

Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Vision of Provision

As most of you know, this summer, I got a seasonal job that pays well and gives great consistent hours.  I am very very thankful for the job’s provision, I like its responsibilities and most of all, I enjoy the co-workers I get to work with weekly.  The reason I went after a job this summer in the first place was financially minded.  I’d like to think of myself as a financially responsible person and prompted by a question from a friend, I sat down with a legal pad yesterday and worked out some money math. 

First, I calculated approximately how much take home money I will make this summer.
On the flip side, I also number crunched for some future expenses.  You see, since I moved up here to NH, I have had no debt and Lord willing, I’d like to keep it that way.  I try to save what I can and think ahead and budget for future known cost.  Within this next year, I have what I approximate to be at least $4,000 in dental expenses/procedures to look forward to.  Besides that, next summer, my passport (any opinions on card vs. booklet?), driver’s license and NH teacher certification expire and will require renewal.  These are infrequent or one-time cost that aren’t accounted in my normal budgeting for groceries, rent, gas, insurance, car inspection/registration….you know, normal adulting expenses. 
So just like that, on a single sheet of paper, I saw every single dollar I make this summer get allocated.

Kind of depressing, ain’t it?  With visions of having extra cash to splurge a little, I was brought back to the real world and tightening my belt up again.

Faith is complicated, you know?  At the exact same time as feeling a little bitter for working so hard with “nothing” to show for it in the end, I also felt so incredibly thankful for God’s provision.  What a contrast of feelings to cohabitate within me, eh?    I can look ahead and know I’ve got a lot of bills coming my way here soon, but those bills have “already been paid”.  God has granted provision ahead of time so that I don’t have to worry in the midst on how I will make ends meet.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

I am so thankful for God’s faithful provision and how He always provides at the right time, and to my hearts relief, often ahead of time.  I am not always at this place of sincere gratitude though….actually, honestly, I’m often not.  I’m often bound up in anxiety and enslaved to the idol of financial security.  Instead of seeing His faithful and full hands in providing, I am looking at my empty hands in longing….not necessarily for more things, but for more funds to feel more secure. 

But for now, I stand in awe and am incredibly grateful for how He so perfectly has provided ahead and behind me.  It truly leads me to the cross where His provision ahead of us is perfectly on display, as He paid of our sins and provided atonement for a debt we could never pay no matter how many righteous deeds we do or penance we paid. 

Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So much to be thankful for and yet always a reminder to continue trusting and growing in faith that He knows, cares and provides for it all. 

“Fear is the glue that keeps you stuck. Faith is the solvent that sets you free.”  ― Shannon L. Alder

We must cease striving and trust God to provide what He thinks is best and in whatever time He chooses to make it available. But this kind of trusting doesn't come naturally. It's a spiritual crisis of the will in which we must choose to exercise faith.” ― Charles R. Swindoll

Here’s to continually striving to choose faith over fear.  Who’s with me?

Until next time,
In Christ,
Joy Lynn

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Free to be me (Joy)

It’s almost March and I haven’t published a single thing in my blog this year and I am perfectly ok with that.  It’s a different season, and as seasons go, sometimes I write and sometimes I simply grow.  One of the last posts I wrote was titled “Help me to find Joy.”  I wrote it as a desperate prayer as I was grappling with a season of depression but I also wrote it out of angst, that for 28 years, my name has been Joy but often enough, I am accused of not fitting that description.  To be depressed is one demon, but to have others who don’t really know me accuse me of being joy-less adds a whole other enemy to fight because I already am fighting the lies in my mind and when others suggest, I take it as Truth and my mind begins to execute, judgment and fear, failure and tears, and it takes awhile before the smoke clears. 

But what if…..what if all along, Joy was right here?  I would certainly agree that I am quiet, maybe even aloof, but I promise you I am not shatterproof.  I can count on two hands the ones that truly know the deepest sides of me, but in all reality, that’s not the worst place to be.  I’d like to think that I am loyal, pretty faithful to the end, would drop everything if I could to be there for a friend.  I am a bit like Eeyore, quietly getting by, with a pessimistic yet realistic spirit and arguably pretty shy.  But once you get to know me, I can crack a joke or two, spout off a random fact, and draw out a life story too. 

So maybe you won’t see my face next to “joy” in the dictionary and let’s be honest, that would be kind of scary…….maybe I don’t fit the world’s vision of “merry” but if I may be quite contrary…….you don’t know the burdens I carry….the things I’ve been through, the hurdles I’ve crossed, the bridges I’ve burned, the people I’ve lost, so if I’m not the “Joy” that you seek, I’m sorry but I can’t continue to be enslaved to these chains of what people think I ought, be forced and trampled into a box, to be a slave to your opinion has left my heart locked in the stocks. 

So today, I declare, by the mercies of God, that I am free to be me, because it’s that freedom that He bought, the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, He simply took me as I am.  So from now on, I hope to be, no longer found in slavery, to others opinion of me, and just hope and pray they see, that though I am a quiet wall I may be worth getting to know if you are in it for the long haul. 

Until next time,
In Christ,

Joy Lynn