"Restore to me the joy of my salvation and uphold me with a willing spirit." Psalm 51:12
I've been clinging to this verse for weeks now. Most days, I repeat it at least a couple dozen times. As we venture into this holiday season I think it's one that I'll continue to tattoo on my heart every single day. I've had such mixed emotions about the holidays. On the one hand I'm so excited to really dig deep into advent and make it a season unlike any other that I've experienced. I'm excited for the Christmas music, the parties with friends, and the sweet traditions we have in our marriage.
But on the other hand I want to avoid everything holiday related. I don't want to think about it. Because when I think about it I think about how I thought I would have a newborn to cuddle. Or at least a belly to rest my hands on. I thought this year would be so different. But, it's not. And sometimes I have a hard time knowing what to do with that.
But I've started to learn over the past few months that it doesn't do me any good to hide myself from the Lord. He knows every single thought, every single fear, every single moment of hurt or anger. Why would I pretend like it's not an issue? I'm learning to call an issue and issue and deal with it. So there might be many days these next several weeks that I just have to deal with my issues. And that's okay. Ultimately it's not about me being okay. It's not about me having my life all put together and a smile plastered on my face every moment of every day. It's about allowing myself to be completely wrecked by the Jesus who left the right hand of God, put on flesh, and saved my soul. It's about knowing that Jesus and resting in His grace and mercy.
I don't have the perfect life. I deal with bitterness and jealousy. I deal with anger and frustration. I react out of selfishness to my husband. I don't extend grace to those around me. Dishes are piled in the sink, my email inbox often feels never-ending, and some days just end with me feeling plain weary. I'm messy. But, I have a Jesus who is stepping right into it all and showing me how fierce His love is. Showing me how faithful He is, even now. Even when the longing takes my breath away and the desire is unmet. He fulfills me. And I can be abundantly thankful all the days of my life.
I can be thankful because my joy at the very core is rooted in salvation. No matter what's going on in my life I can have joy because I have Jesus. This gives me so much hope. I never have to be without deep, true joy because I never have to be without Jesus. He is always, always faithful and constant. I can be thankful because I have a husband who loves Jesus and serves me in ways that I never even knew I would need to be served. He's carried me through so many things already and I could cry thinking about all the life we have left to live together. This year has been dang hard. But, it's been one of the sweetest years of my life and in our marriage. I'm abundantly thankful for the covenant of marriage and the bond that we have because of Christ.
I'm thankful that through some of the hardest days of my life thus far we've been able to laugh. He is so often my comic relief. He loves me so well and my heart overflows with gladness because I get to laugh with him. We get to play together. We get to be silly. We have this incredible privilege to walk through this season of life soaking in every moment of our marriage. Our marriage is better because of the wait and the struggle. I'd do it ten times over if it meant that we would walk closer to Jesus and love each other deeper. It's so worth it.
This Thanksgiving, I'm begging the Lord to restore to me the joy of my salvation.
I want to be nothing but joyful because the Lord has been so good to me, to us.