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Choosing Joy When Everything Falls Apart

Today’s post is by a very special friend. One that smiled her way into my life and made it so much brighter. She is an encourager by heart and if you read last week’s post, you saw I called her irresistible! Sommer isn’t a blogger, but she gently plants the Word of God into the hearts of many through the way she lives her life and through the meaningful God-appointed relationships she encounters on a daily basis. She serves with an open heart, loves others fully, and is never shortcoming with her hugs or her warm smiles.

When you meet Sommer, you would never know, not too long ago she lived deep heartache. But she did. She was hurt and she was betrayed. And she built tall walls of protection around herself. She could have stayed stuck behind those walls and remained in that pain. But she chose something different.

This is her story of how, when everything fell apart, she found herself choosing joy. Please welcome Sommer!
Can you still choose joy even when everything falls apart? #somethingbetter #choosejoy #hope Click To Tweet

Choosing Joy When Everything Falls Apart - The Something Better Series -Lori Schumaker -We always have two choices. Staying stuck in the remnants of whatever pain we have endured or choosing joy. Choosing God leads to choosing love and choosing joy. Which seems a better choice to you?

 

Life has a way of taking us on detours.

My life took a detour not so long ago. I had met a boy, fell in love, and thought life would be lived happily ever after. I dreamed of babies, family vacations, retiring, and growing old with my husband. Everything in my life was “on track” for my happily ever after.

Or at least I thought so.

Little did I know, my marriage was full of lies, hurt, and unfortunate deceit. My husband was not who I thought he was, and my marriage was not really a marriage at all.

I found myself without a husband or the family of which I had dreamed. My ideals were completely shattered in what felt like seconds, but God was waiting to pick up the pieces.

I have to admit, while I was chasing what I thought was a happily ever after, there was one thing I did not chase.

God.

But the beautiful thing about God is no matter where we go or what we do, when we are ready, He is there, faithfully and patiently awaiting us.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with your whole heart. – Jeremiah 29:13

He is a God that seeks the lost, even when we are unaware or unable to admit it. This is the ultimate blessing for a girl like me, who takes a little time to catch on to what God is doing in her life!

This was the love I knew I had been waiting for my whole life. It is in this love I found the saving grace of joy. Once I chose to live in His joy, I found the life He was writing for me.

I found myself as God intended. In His image.

Despite my circumstances, I choose joy because that is where God is. He is always working, even when we don’t see it or Him. God chooses to shine through my brokenness showing who He is to those around me. Time and time again, what He is doing in my story overwhelms me with a fullness of joy. I choose to believe that God is always working and redeeming our story, in such a way, the beauty of it unfolds through each person we are brave enough to share it with.

By choosing joy, I intentionally lean on God.

I wake up and know HE is at work in me and through me, despite me. By choosing joy despite my circumstances I am able to see God at work. More importantly, my story, or your story,  does not have to be a story of shame, but a story of redemption.

During my time of not knowing God and his joy, I chose my grief. God desires honesty with ourselves and with Him, therefore grieving is good. But the difference now is that I don’t stay there anymore.

Staying there kept me prisoner to my circumstances. I wasn’t able to see what God was doing in and around me. I wasn’t moving forward. My problems and my life became more important than anything or anyone else.

Moments,opportunities,and all together life was passing me by #somethingbetterseries #hope #choosingjoy Click To Tweet

I no longer want life to pass me by, and I don’t. Choosing to have God’s Joy is bigger than my circumstances or my grief, because he is at work.

I know this part of my story is not the last buy nolvadex 20 mg challenging season I will experience. God will provide some seasons where choosing joy is easier than others.

I recently was living in one of those not so easy seasons. At 33 years old,  I found myself learning I had complicated health issues that could inhibit any opportunities of having children someday. Even now, knowing what God has done this far in my story, the news still hurt the same and grief crept in.

But I have the choice of grief or joy. I had to ask myself some tough questions.
  1. Will I trust God’s plan when it doesn’t align with my own?
  2. Do I trust God to provide for me the family He wants?
  3. Do I trust it will be even better than the ideals I have for a family?
  4. Will I trust that God is truly in this grief and loss with me?
  5. Will I chose joy even when I feel something has been stolen from me?
The answer is “yes”.
Getting stuck in grief?Ask yourself these 5 questions! #thesomethingbetterseries #hope #joy Click To Tweet

I don’t want to live stuck in my ideals, grief, and pain. I want to recognize them, but then choose God and His joy.

That is when I am reminded of what faith really is and what it is not. Faith is not meant to be circumstantial, its’ meant to be unfailing. I have learned through my story and others’ stories. This world is a thief, but God is never-failing.

When we choose joy we are choosing God and His freedom. We are no longer prisoners to our circumstances; we are testimonies of his love in a world so desperate to hear and see.

Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world. -1 John 4:4

We never know exactly where God is taking our stories, but I know he is the author and the story is HIS.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future -Jeremiah 29:11.

We all have stories and we all have a choice; Staying stuck or choosing God and choosing joy. May we all choose joy and lean on an unfailing love, a love that allows the world to no longer have a hold on our stories.

Choosing Joy When Everything Falls Apart - The Something Better Series -Lori Schumaker -We always have two choices. Staying stuck in the remnants of whatever pain we have endured or choosing joy. Choosing God leads to choosing love and choosing joy. Which seems a better choice to you?



The Something Better Series

Over the last 5 weeks, we have been exploring the stepping up and stepping out toward our something better in life. Each week courageous women have bravely shared their stories. Each one leaving me humbled by the transforming work of Christ in our lives when we simply choose to surrender to Him.

I hope you have been humbled, too. And convicted. Convicted that no matter what your situation, God will step right into the depths of it with you and hold your hand as you walk out together. Out into your something better.

Next week is the final week. It’s the summary. It’s where I share my own story of stepping into something better. Right into the depths of where God taught me all about the power of His unfailing love. The power of His redemption. And the power of His grace.
The Something Better Series by Lori Schumaker - A series of 6 posts written by courageous women who have stepped out of pain and dysfunction and into their something better.The Something Better Series by Lori Schumaker - A series of 6 posts written by courageous women who have stepped out of pain and dysfunction and into their something better. In this series you will find tips, strategies, and hope as you step toward your something better!

Week

1 –  What is Your Something Better?

2 –  Getting Unstuck with Grace and Patience

3 –  Leaving the Lies of Shame Behind 

4 – When Your Something  Better Is the Thing You Fear the Most

5 –  Choosing Joy When Everything Falls Apart

6 –  When Forgiving Yourself Isn’t Easy

By the way, don’t forget to come back Monday for #MomentsofHope! My heart skips a little beat each time I open that page and see the hope of Jesus splattered everywhere! ?



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To make changes in our life, we have to make intentional choices to move from where we are to where we want to be. Consistently filling our lives with positive life-giving content is one such step in the right direction. I’d like to help you with those steps and lead you toward the life you were designed to live! After subscribing, you’ll get access to my resource-filled Library of Hope, so watch for the password to unlock that private page!

 

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38 Comments

  1. Aw, I hurt with you in this. Not in the same situation, but also having the double hardship of supposed loved ones betraying and hurting you then also facing health complications that challenge deep yearnings, like for children.

    It’s so tough to make this choice, especially continually as the little things creep in and try to undermine your faith through the big stuff. I just prayed for you, Sommer. Thanks for sharing her story, Lori.

    Thank you so much for sharing this with such joy and faith- what a testimony to who our Lord is and what He does in us!

    1. Bethany, thank you for taking time to read my story and encouraging me:)

    2. Hi Bethany,
      I am so sorry you have faced a double hardship like Sommer. As much as I know God brings beauty from ashes, the nurturer in me just wishes it didn’t every happen though. I love how you stopped in the moment in prayer for Sommer instead of waiting until later. I am going to do that very same thing right now for you!

      Hugs,
      Lori

  2. James Stanley says:

    Sommer,

    Thank you for sharing so openly and allowing us to feel the deep emotion of your heart. You are an amazing woman! God created you with an incredible heart for people, an indescribable internal beauty, and an inspiring joy for all God has given you. Your example of choosing joy has brought me closer to God and has made me ponder your questions.

    One statement really hit me, “I have to admit, while I was chasing what I thought was a happily ever after, there was one thing I did not chase.” “GOD” It made me think, “What am I chasing now, and is God really a part of it?” Again, thank you for sharing your heart and Lori thank you for asking Sommer to share. This has been a very refreshing read for me.

    ~James

    1. I agree, James, she is amazing! Someone who has greatly inspired and encouraged me. I’m so honored to call her friend! Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your heart!

  3. Sommer, Thank you! Our stories are different, but the message is similar. After deep pain and betrayal, it’s hard to come out from behind the walls that make us feel safe. I’m just learning and it’s still a little scary at times. You’re right. It’s trusting God to use our stories, those painful experiences in ways only He is able. I’m praying He continues to give you beauty to replace your pain.

    Lori, Thank you for sharing your beautiful friend with us.

    1. Deb, thank you for sharing. It is so true that coming out behind the walls is such a hard part after betrayal. I love the faithfulness of God when we do share our stories. Thank you for encouraging me.

  4. God is good. We hear it all the time…but when you read testimonies like this it reassures me He is alive and looking out for each one of us. He sees, knows and intervenes as He sees in His timing. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Michelle, thank you for the encouraging comments. I love that God uses our stories for Him in the hearts of others and ourselves:)

  5. WOW! I admire your ability to not stay stuck, a prisoner to your circumstances. Being able to move forward. Where your problems weren’t more important than anything else or anyone else.
    I hope and pray I will reach that point….. someday. It’s been over 4 years and I just can’t seem to shake it. No matter what I do, it seems I only get more rejection. But you are proof, it is possible with God. Thank you for sharing your heart and experience. Blessings to you

    1. Lela, thank you for sharing! Thank you for the thoughtful comments. I know God is with you in your circumstances and I’ll be praying for you and the journey God has you on.

    2. Lela, I’m so glad Sommer’s story encouraged you! I’m believing in you, girl! You’ve got this! You’re something better will come … keep stepping … keep choosing joy. Meanwhile Sommer and I will be praying!!! ♥

  6. Sommer, this is beautiful. Through it all, will I trust God? Yes! We hear of so many who hit a hard spot in life and they choose to not keep trusting the Lord, your story is a blessing and an encouragement to keep our eyes on the Lord.

    Lori, thank you for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

    1. Lori, thank you so much for the positive comments about my story:)

    2. Lori, Thank you for visiting! I was so excited to share Sommer’s story at Thankful Thursdays. She is a girl who has chosen thankfulness for sure!!!

  7. This. “Despite my circumstances, I choose joy because that is where God is. He is always working even when we don’t see it or Him.” What a timely reminder for me today. Joy is a choice, and when I intentionally choose it, God is there. I’ve struggled with grief recently over my plan not working out – a detour I didn’t expect to take. And you know, when I choose joy intentionally, I do feel Jesus in those moments.

    Thanks for being brave, standing strong, and pointing me to Jesus today! This is beautiful. Sharing everywhere. <3

    1. Thank you Alison for the kind words. I’m thankful my story has pointed me to joy:) I loved what you said about intentionally choosing joy and feeling Jesus in those moments. Thank you for taking the time to read my story:)

  8. Sommer, thank you for sharing your testimony! Your faith to trust God in the hard times and choose joy brings hope to so many who are stuck! I love your words that we never know exactly where God is taking our story, but we know the story is HIS and so we choose to trust him!

    1. Valerie- I do love how it’s HIS story:) Thank you for the sweet comments!

  9. Sommer- thank you for be vulnerable and sharing your heart and your story! I hope you have received even more healing! It’s so hard to choose joy sometimes, but so worth it. Thank you for sharing with us today and thank you Lori too!

    1. Shannon, thank you for encouraging me about my story. I’m thankful To Lori for presenting me with an opportunity to share my story. Shannon, thank you again for reading and commenting:)

  10. Lori and Sommer,

    Thank you both for sharing this sweet reminder that we can have joy even when life has knocked us down. In fact, it’s when we’ve been knocked down from our ideas about life that we see our need for Him!

    Praying that your health issues, Sommer, will be one more occasion for God to bring joy out of weeping. Praying for you, too, Lori. I look forward to next week’s post.

    1. Thank you, Donna, for visiting this week! You are so right. It is when we have been knocked down from our ideas about life that we see our need for Jesus! I’ll join you in praying for Sommer! ♥
      Blessings and smiles,
      Lori

      1. Donna, thank you for the prayers! Thank you for encouraging me with your comments:)

  11. ” I choose to believe that God is always working and redeeming our story, in such a way, the beauty of it unfolds through each person we are brave enough to share it with.” Yes, this is so true. Thank you for sharing your story, Sommer! God can bring joy even during our pain, and he gives a peace that can only come from Him. Blessings to you! I’m visiting from #CoffeeForYourHeart.

    1. Gaul, it’s so true that he gives a peace that only comes from him:) thank you for the comments:)

  12. “Faith is not meant to be circumstantial, its’ meant to be unfailing.” This quote really blessed me today. I needed this reminder! Our faith is in our Savior, not in our circumstances or life situation. I am so sorry that your marriage failed, but I love what the Lord has taught you as a result of what you went through. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    1. Julie,
      I am so glad you were blessed by your stop here! Sommer’s story and heart for Jesus are truly an encouragement!
      Blessings and smiles,
      Lori

  13. Lori,

    Thank you so much for sharing. Your story reminds me so much of mine. I didn’t marry him, but I was devastated. Like another poster, I really liked your phrase about not chasing God. That’s exactly what happened with me, and I paid the price. It’s embarrassing now, but I thought about killing myself I went to such a dark place in my life. God pulled me through, though. Now, about 6 years later, I’m married to the man God chose for me. He’s far better than I could have imagined. And I’m glad I am here to live life with him. Like you, I don’t know if I’ll ever have children of my own. It’s hard. I’m am so blessed already, though. I have to remind myself of everything He’s given me already I don’t deserve. I’ll be just fine. Thank you again for sharing. God bless, and I hope my ramblings help someone in some way.

    1. Ashley,
      Your story so touched my heart. Thank you for sharing it. And YES your words matter! God uses them to encourage others, so I thank you!
      I am so thankful you reached out to God and held His hand as He pulled you through that dark time. I will be praying about your situation and asking for God to fill you with His peace. I cannot imagine the full trials of infertility. I can attest to the power of God in adoption. We are an adoptive family and can affirm the depth of which God opens our hearts wide open and finds just the specific child He designed for us. Whether they grow in our wombs or in our hearts, the love is big and complete.
      Hugs,
      Lori

  14. The path to finding joy usually comes in the midst of difficult circumstances! Sommer, your vulnerability and truth inspire all of us who are challenged to keep our eyes above the stormy waves of difficult marriages instead of wallowing in the questions, doubts and pain of what we never expected. So thankful to have been here today! Crystal~

    1. Crystal,
      I love that image that comes with your words. You always bless me … even when it’s just a comment!!! ♥

  15. Sommer all I can say is God must be very proud of you today ?

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