Surprised by Joy

April 29, 2020

“It is only when our lives are emptied that we’re surprised by how truly full our lives were.” –Ann Voscamp

Darkness surrounds, embraces, enfolds.

Silently we slip through sea grape and sand.

Moving without words, hunched over, an opening appears.

Light and beauty make me gasp.

Moon’s full orb lights water’s inky blackness, creates a mirror from wet sand.

Waves softly lap shore.

Without speaking, we sit absorbing the moment.

Without thought, I give thanks and praise.

In this moment, all is right with the world.


It is here where I’m learning to live – in the simple, unexpected places God provides.

This year, my life changed completely.

It feels chaotic and upside down.

I have grieved deeply, even despaired, asking God, “Why?”

“Why did you allow this?”

His joy comes in the morning and I’m starting to see the sun.

Restoration I’m learning is in the small.

It’s in the small moments where I simply receive and give thanks.

Gratitude gives joy.

In learning to focus on the haves instead of have nots.

I’m finding things to thank God for and I’ve discovered this is the antidote for grief.

To be thankful for this day, this circumstance, this place.

My mind answers back, “Your son isn’t here…he’s far away.”

Instead of grieving, I’m learning to apply gratitude’s salve.

Thank you, Lord, he is safe.

Thank you he is happy.

Thank you I can call him, see him, hug him.

Thank you for a season where I can heal and seek You without distraction or demand.

Thank you for hope and a future…for me and my son.

Thank you Jesus for all you did so I am not eternally lost.

Thank you.

My spirit lifts lighter as hope and joy push out despair and grief.

It surprises me in this place of desert there is beauty; there is joy.

I’m learning to rest in Him.

To stop striving and trust what is happening is His will.

His good and perfect will.

God is in the small and still.

The gentle whisper.

A steady Presence.

He is the rock who never moves.

A refuge in times of trouble.

He is Almighty, all knowing, all powerful.

Just, true.

Full of love and mercy.

He never lies.

He gives peace that passes understanding.

All good gifts come from Him – love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, forbearance and self control.

Rejoice always.

Pray without ceasing.

In everything give thanks.

This is the sweet spot, the place where God resides, the place where I find rest.

It’s what powered Daniel’s prayers.

It builds faith and moves mountains.

In the pandemic of life and virus, joy remains. Click To Tweet

It waits for my discovery.

Resides in thankful hearts.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Blessed is His refuge.

My hiding place and shield.

My God in whom I trust.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:19

Father God, Lord and Master Jesus,

Thank you. Thank you for the giving and taking away. You hold all things together. Thank you for today – for sun and grass, moon and water. Thank you for who You are and what You have for me. You are good and true and trustworthy. I lift up my friends who like me are walking through a difficult season. I pray today they experience moments of gratitude and find joy. Peace that passes understanding. Thank you, Father that You are good. You never change. In a world that is often chaotic and full of hardship and loss, you are the rock that never moves. I choose to praise and worship You, Father God, Lord Jesus, for You alone are good. You alone are worthy to be praised. Thank you for who You are and that You love me without condition or end. I am Your servant, may it be unto me as You have said. In Jesus’ Mighty, Holy, Matchless Name, Amen.

More about Liz

I'm a free spirit. I hate rules and legalism. I love art and nature, music, the beach and dogs. I like to garden, take pictures and read. I tend to speak my mind and have a rip-the-band-aid -off approach to life. (Brace yourself, this might hurt.)

      1. Hi Maureen! Gratitude does bring joy! Like everything else, I’m finding it a process and a discipline…I still have days but I’m learning it’s always my choice to walk in sadness or gratitude. Love and hugs my friend as you discover joy! xoxo

    1. Oh my gosh. Your best blog ever! WOW. Just WOW. So much of this is so true in my own life. You brought everything into a visual realization for me. I would love to just sit with you and listen to all the thoughts you have during the day. You reinforce the power and kindness of Jesus. Thank you Liz. You are truly a gift from God.

      1. Hi Nancy!

        You’ve officially made my day…xoxo Thank you for being a blessing – the Lord has used your words of love and support to encourage me! It’s often not easy to share real stuff publicly – your comments confirm it is the Lord’s direction. Thank you sweet friend and I would love to see you!

      1. Glory to God! Thank you sister in Christ – you bless me with your comment and readership – I am sincerely grateful and blessed.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *