“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”- Romans 15:13 (NKJV)
I logged into the Find Joy Virtual Retreat not knowing quite what to expect. Besides my mom and a few close friends whom I had invited to join me, I did not REALLY know the people running the show. I “met” several of the retreat speakers through various virtual courses I have taken in the last year. Online professional development pals who seemed to want to live life the way I do – on purpose.
Finding joy was an inviting idea like a glassy pool on a hot summer day. So why the tingles in my tummy? I mean, I want more joy. Doesn’t everyone?!
Would I have to open up? Will it be worth my time? Who were they really and what was this Joy Retreat?
I pondered as I clicked through the links and settled into my cozy couch for a morning of…joy.
“Nothing will change in your life unless you take action,” the host declared, and she shared her heart to host events that connect people to the hope they need.
This virtual retreat was Laura’s maiden voyage of alignment with her calling. And it resonated with mine immediately.
The name of this blog is Hope for the Road and the mission is to point people to a strategy that endures – hope in God. Confident expectation that we are saved by grace, not works, through faith in Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer.
We can have joy because we do not have to perform for God’s love. We do not have to earn it. It is ours by faith. Amen!
As I continued to listen through the next three days to the inspired speakers who shared about how to tap into joy in trials and how I could overcome joyless moments, I knew that God was there in our midst.
“Joy is a birthright,” Joy Evangelist, Jolynn Swafford of Beyond Brave declared.
“Keep joy at the center,” life coach Amber Kierra encouraged.
“It is my responsibility to let joy shine,” Fit Mom Staci Stills outlined.
God drew me to the well for a drink of His living water. He reminded me that He is my source of hope and joy even when life’s circumstances are hard or overwhelming as this past year has been.
“We have the power to choose. Therefore, we have the power to change,” my friend and pastor, Mark T. Keene shared.
“Refuse to play the victim,” he implored me.
At least I felt like he was talking only to me. Like when you are at church and you are sure God’s message for the day is all yours like you are alone in the pew on a personal date with God Almighty.
“Be honest. Feel it. And choose joy,” he said.
Do I really have the power to have more joy? I do. And so do you. Believe, and it will be yours.
Hope and joy go hand in hand. Belief in God is the source, and it is independent of circumstances.