As I looked down at my shattered camera lens, the thought struck me that my life this year is a lot like that lens…Broken….
This seems to be the “Year of Brokenness” for our family. We’ve had an overabundance of pain and sorrow.
To briefly touch on some of the types of brokenness we’ve been experiencing…
Last spring we lost our baby we were expecting in the second trimester and I had to have emergency surgery due to hemorrhaging during the miscarriage. Post surgery was followed by bed rest and mourning our loss.
My grandmother passed away around that time under very tragic circumstances, so we mourned her loss as well.
During that same time, there was brokenness taking place in my family. Due to circumstances, we had to pull away from a close family member, which was one of the hardest things we’ve ever done. Later in the year, my mother filed for divorce from my dad after 45 years of marriage, and yet another union was broken. Unbelievable things continued to happen during that family situation that brought so much pain and brokenness to our family.
Two of my aunts were diagnosed with recurring cancer.
My husband lost his job when the company, for whom he worked, had fallen on hard times and had to close their doors. For 6 months, he commuted about every other week to work out of town to provide for our family. It was definitely not an ideal situation with him being gone so much and me feeling like a single parent at times, but we were grateful for the work God had provided.
In the spring, I was photographing a wedding when the chair that I was standing on collapsed and catapulted me to the ground on my back. That fall caused several injuries (that I am still trying to heal and recover from.) and I have had to have a series of Chiropractic care to begin to improve physically. I am healing and getting better, but I still have to lie down a lot and take it easy (which is not the easiest to do when running a household of 9 people). During my fall, I also shattered my camera lens and broke my flash in half. Not long after that, my other lens broke also.
Recently, I have had several misunderstandings with close friends and that has required communication and reconciliation.
Then we lost a very dear young friend of ours to an unexpected stroke.
Ever feel like you are having a tough year and the sorrows just keep piling on? It’s like life keeps throwing dodge balls at you and you can’t get a break. Yeah, that was this year for me and my family…It just seems like the tragedies have been pouring down one on top of another…Sometimes it’s easy to be tempted and think “Man! Can a girl ever get a break?!?”
BUT, that’s not what God has called us to do…The Lord instructs us to rejoice in affliction and pray without ceasing. Don’t feel sorry for me. The Lord is teaching me many things throughout these trials and hopefully I can use these experiences to help others.
Many caring friends have also come along-side me to pray for and with me through these difficult times. That was such an encouragement to me. One of my friends gave me this plaque in the midst of the mayhem and it has really helped to remind me of the Lord’s purposes. Seeing it daily has repeatedly reminded me to adjust my thinking.
You may be thinking, that this seems like a strange and depressing post to write for my first post on a website that is titled JOYful Jane when all I have talked about, thus far, is sadness. The thing is, this post IS really all about JOY because we can have JOY in the midst of brokenness if we know the true source of JOY in our lives.
Having true Joy in our lives doesn’t mean that we will not weep and feel pain. Life is not all roses and sunshine. Having true JOY is when our hearts acknowledge that God is bigger than any pain we can ever know and we can rejoice in His goodness and love in spite of the pain.
This post is about being an overcomer in Christ and CHOOSING JOY in the hard times. Will our situations improve? Maybe they will or maybe they won’t. God doesn’t promise His children easy lives, but He does promise us that His eye is on the sparrow and He watches over us, so we can take comfort in that. The Lord is ALWAYS faithful, even in the toughest of times. God’s word says that “Weeping may endure for a night, but JOY comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
As I begin this new journey of sharing my heart here, I don’t want people to ever think that I have it all together and have some perfect life, because I don’t. We ALL deal with brokenness from time to time and I am not exempt from that. If I am dealing with pain and heartache, then there is a good chance that you or someone you know is also dealing with pain and heartache. My hope is that this new blog can encourage others in the midst of broken lives.
Don’t let your life be defined by your brokenness… be an overcomer and Choose JOY along the way!
I’ve really been learning to lean on the Lord’s strength through the trials this year and this scripture has been such an encouragement to me. I decided to write it out in calligraphy and my sweet friend painted the little water-colored blue bird. I’m offering this as a free 8×10 print emailed to anyone who signs up for my blog updates HERE. Blessings and JOY to you and yours!
God bless you and thank you for sharing your heart ❤️
Choosing JOY, sweet friend!
Love and hugs to you precious friend.
Tracy Cook says
Thank you. We all experience it at some point or another.
Paula Metzinger says
I have known Kristen since she was a creative high school student with her own little shop downtown and am so delighted she has started this blog. I look forward to reading it and know I will be enriched, enlightened and encouraged by it.
Laura Koch says
You’re right, Paula, Kristen has been joyful light in Lufkin for years! May this season of pain and pressure create a girl with even more God-giving glory. Thank you, Kristen, for bringing the rest of us on in to your journey ????
Beautifully written, Kristen!
Raif Turner says
Thank you for sharing your heart, Kristen. I believe it was A.W. Tozer who said that God never wastes a heartache in the life of His children. I will do my best to pray for you and your family when the Lord brings you to mind. Tell Kyle I said hello.
Briana Thomas (briana-thomas.com) says
Thank you for sharing your heart, Kristen. The past year has been a full one for me as well, but I’m always amazed at how God brings beautiful things out of brokenness. He is faithful! Blessings to you and your family! <3
Angie Brooks says
Shirley Reynolds says
You have such a precious family. Praying for you.
Beautiful and so true…being joyful despite hard times is a Choice! Great reminder..thanks!
Love you my friend! Joy does come in the morning! ????
Jennifer Griffin says
Love your new site! You’ve worked so hard to get things I place! God is so good. He has sustained you and taught you invaluable lessons through this past year of broken pieces.
Connie Wells says
Kristen: from the instant you were involved in my Christmas shows, even at 12 years old, I knew there was something special about you. Your kindness has always stood out ‘front & center’. I noticed how people would gravitate to you with your soothing spirit. I shall pray for you & your family; like you, I have experienced similar brokenness for over a year. I have never questioned God’s plan for me. I have not always understood but these trials have never waivered my faith. I’m so happy for this new experience in your life & willingness to share it. May you be richly blessed! As always – Connie
I appreciate your words of transparency I too understand brokenness. I have grieved many things in my life and it is a true joy to share your burdens, my friend.
Kristen, it is hard to believe that the last time I was in your home, you only had 2 little ones! I always looked forward to our Sunday nights together. Even now, I have never met anyone with so many talents and such a sweet spirit. Your gift of hospitality was amazing back then and I can only imagine how you have fostered it as your family has grown. Over the years, I have been impressed with how you have pushed through difficult times and still come out with your beautiful smile and oozing with joy. Congratulations on your new blog! I look forward to the nuggets you’ll share~
Natalie Carroll says
Your lovely post… it touched my heart. You are always an inspiration to me in many ways. You have been in my prayers, and I love you dearly, Kristen! Thank you for your example of JOY!
How we see God will affect how we see our circumstances. But! If we are not careful, how we see our CIRCUMSTANCES will affect how we see God! Thankful that you see His beauty in the ashes of your circumstances of the past year. It’s what we believers call, “HOPE”!
Holly Williams says
Thanks for sharing, Kristen! I wish that I would have been there for you through all of this!
Love you friend!
Lorelei Carrillo says
Anita Scoggins says
Miss seeing you and your sweet family—what a blessing you are to others by sharing your life story. …….I know who goes before me, I know who stands behind, the God of angel armies is always by my side…
May you be surrounded by the peace that surpasses all understanding —
Thank you for sharing your heart Kristen. By being transparent we are able to see God’s work and you bring Him glory.
Holly Engle says
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24 Thank you, Kristen, for reminding me to choose JOY in the midst of life’s circumstances. May your pleasant, Christ-focused, words be sweet to many a soul and healing to world-weary bones! Blessings my friend!
Raynette Mott says
“Suscribe to the Almighty’s will; put your hand to the pen, and let the cross of your Lord Jesus have your submissive and resolute AMEN. . .I shall believe, for my part, that He mindeth to distil heaven out of this loss, and all others the like; for wisdom devised it, and love laid it on, and Christ owneth it as His own, and putteth your shoulder beneath only a piece of it. . .” Samuel Rutherford I have found, like Mr. Rutherford, that ‘grace groweth best in winter’.
Lindsay Cooper says
Thank you for writing this. 2016 has been a very difficult year, but the Joy of the Lord is my strength, and I have hope for tomorrow. Praise Jesus, I can hope for tomorrow.
Kirstie Ganobsik says
Much love to you. I think that people like you who experience such sadness have the most to teach about joy. Your strength is an inspiration for people struggling to find their own joy.
Sarah Jean Althouse says
So sorry about your year of brokenness, but your choice to remain joyful despite that is such an encouragement and testament of God in you!