Have you ever stopped in a tough season of your life and thought, “How in the world did I end up here?”
That was me in March of 2011. Up until that point, life was going great. I had just received a call on my life from God to go into ministry and felt so much purpose and excitement for my future, my friendships were strong, and I was content with life as I knew it. But all the sudden, I was hit with sickness in my mind that I never saw coming.
It was unexpected, not welcomed, and I felt very undeserved. OCD and depression became my closest companions, as I watched friendships and my relationship with God suffer because of my guilt, fear, and shame.
I questioned God, asking the obvious question, “Why?” It was the first trial in my life that really shook my faith, and it was for me to decide where to turn for the hope and healing I wanted so desperately.
It wasn’t until I heard God speak to me so clearly one day that I understood my motives were wrong. He said, “I want you to want Me more than you want the healing.”
I then began to ask Him a different question. No longer “Why?” but instead, “How can I use this pain for a purpose?”
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That is what For the Joy Ministries (FTJ) is all about. Our team here shows up each week in full vulnerability and honesty with our own broken places, in hopes that God will work through our stories to bring hope and healing to yours.
For the joy set before Jesus, He endured the cross for us (Hebrews 12:2) — bearing our shame, sin, and deepest brokenness, so that we may experience freedom and wholeness again. And for the joy that’s set before us, the opportunities for Him to use our stories to help encourage and heal others, we must endure our trials too, as we cling to His promises of healing and hope.
We are all in this together, and I pray that if you know anything to be true after you visit this space of community, you know that you are not alone and you are so very loved.
You can read more about how FTJ came to be on my personal blog here.
Let’s talk soon?
Founder, For the Joy Ministries