Getting to Joy

tumblr_nqczuc7VWg1qbj4ugo1_500One of my favorite verses that I turn to when I’m feeling overwhelmed and frustrated is Jeremiah 29:11.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I’m constantly repeating this verse to myself. He didn’t give me Henry to harm me or to ruin my future. He promises to PROSPER us. To give us hope and a future. And our children are part of that plan for our lives. But it’s not just OUR lives, either. This applies to those same children as well! This verse always makes me feel better and gives me strength and confidence to keep going.

Another verse is one we chose as part of our Henry’s name. We’ve given each of our children a Bible verse as part of their name – sort of claiming that verse for that child’s life. Before Henry was born – and long before we knew he had Down Syndrome – we chose Joshua 1:5 for him.

No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.

Claim this verse. Hold it to your heart and claim it. Because God is PROMISING this here. He will never leave us. He will never forsake us. He didn’t dump these special children in our laps and run away, leaving us to fend for ourselves. For crying out loud, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you.” We couldn’t ask for anything more. And I LOVE the first sentence. “No one will be able to stand up against you.”  Y’all, that is HUGE. No one. Will stand. Against us. Because of Him. I absolutely love how God gave us this verse, knowing long before we did who Henry would be, to make sure we understood His promises to us about Henry.

Of course, these are just two examples of how God can get us through the desert. We CAN get to joy. When we realize the plans God has for the lives of our children (and our own lives in conjunction), it’s truly awesome. It doesn’t make the day-to-day frustrations and struggles go away, but it can make them easier to bear. I pray that you will take these verses (or others that speak to your struggles) this month and maybe write them down on Post-its and stick them in places where you’re sure to see them daily. Help yourself to etch His words into your heart so you can draw on them when you need. That’s how we get to joy.