Choose Joy

Seeking Jesus in this crazy journey

A garment of praise.

A garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. (Isaiah 61:3)

I could say the last few weeks have been marked by a spirit of despair.

This chemo is taking a toll, physically and emotionally. I feel exhausted – from the trips to the Cross, from the symptoms, from the unending meds, from the challenges of doing life while sick. My heart has felt heavy; my tears have come easily. I feel like my body is failing me and I am simultaneously failing everything else.

A spirit of despair.

Oh, how I don’t want to dwell in despair. We have prayed for 6 years that this cancer wouldn’t dictate our lives. We have strived to live fully and meaningfully and to choose joy during heartache. But in honestly, that is especially hard right now.

Last night, I had a big cry with Carey. Today, my dad babysat and I went to work; three friends took time to listen and pray. My sweet friend dropped by with ice cream and her kids picked me out flowers. I texted another friend who also did chemo Monday and we exchanged sad, sick selfies and cared about each other. Yet another friend from our girls’ small group texted out a “how’s everyone’s week?” as a reminder for us to be in our Bibles, listening to the Holy Spirit, and spending time with Jesus.

(Have I mentioned that I have the best people?)

So I (hypothetically) opened my ( Bible. I read a favourite passage, Isaiah 61.  “He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”

I am the brokenhearted. But he promises beauty. Joy. And a garment of praise. I don’t think I can get there all on my own, but I have the Spirit of the Sovereign Lord.

Tonight I am thankful for the people who walk these hard days with me. I am thankful for the many who lift me up in prayer when I feel too weary to do that for myself. And I am thankful for a faithful God who hears these petitions and gently draws me back into his presence where I can receive the things he wants to give me, where I can put on the garments of praise, where I can say (Isaiah 61:10): I delight greatly in the Lordmy soul rejoices in my God.”