When You Feel Like You’ve Failed

 This is my story, my before Indonesia story. It brings tears in the telling, and the pain still rings true today. But rather than a story of failure and depression, it is a story of God’s faithfulness and the hope that is found in Him.

It begins in high school. Every summer I worked in the Alaskan “bush” at a Bible camp. I lived and breathed Alaska. I ate up all of the showerless days, canoe rides, fishing, and endless long talks about God with searching children and teens. During college, I continued to go to Alaska in the summers because my heart was forever intertwined with its beautiful people.

A few years later, Dave and I met, fell in love, and married. He finished flight training at Moody Aviation, and fresh out of college, the Lord called us to Alaska.

We raised support in record time and set off to the Alaskan bush, with a bouncing baby boy, Britton, not yet one year old.

The first few months of life in the Alaskan bush were wonderful. The little village, above the Arctic Circle, was full of beautiful native people who became fast friends . . . especially the kids and teens.  Living in a small 380 square foot cabin, with no running water and hunting our own food didn’t phase me. I loved the adventure of it all.

And then. And then. Winter came {in August} and the days became shorter and melded into non-existent, with the sun grazing the horizon at noon. The temperatures continued to drop, and drop, and drop, until they settled in around negative fifty degrees on most days, with negative seventy on the coldest days.

As the snow swirled outside our thin plywood walls, the perfect storm began to swirl in my heart and soul.

The teens and children began to open up, to share, and it broke my heart.  I was totally unprepared for the reality these children shared with me, the reality they faced in their lives on a daily basis.  Our home became a refuge for children when their parents were drinking, or worse, and I began to take on each and every one’s pain.  Words like sexual abuse, suicide, neglect and alcohol abuse became faces, instead of just words. And I was devastated.

I desperately hung on to my little family and tried to guard young Britton while dealing with the morning sickness of a new pregnancy, Hannah.

And as the storm of depression, anxiety, and pain swirled in me, it erupted onto my relationship with Dave. Married less than three years and so young and naive, we began to take out our stress and pain on each other with angry words.

Ultimately, I felt as though I was drowning in a sea of despair with no way out.

And as I imploded, I hardly knew how to ask for help. It went from bad to worse, and, after two years, we left that dear little village in Alaska. We returned home, battered, beaten up, and what I viewed as “failures.”

I was officially done with mission work of any and ALL kind, and wanted nothing to do with the topic.  We returned to our hometown and Dave got a job in construction.

There, in the midst of “failure”, God showed up.  In so many little ways, He brought people to love on us. He brought us into a community of God lovin’ people who didn’t care how messed up and burned out I was. Over time, He restored my soul, so that this girl who never wanted to hear “missions” mentioned again was excited, even thrilled, to head overseas to an island in Indonesia we now call home. He showed me He is in control….He doesn’t need me to accomplish His work, I just get to be a part of it!

 The right circumstances, the right words from Him, to restore my soul.

He took my anger, my depression, my failure, and turned it into wisdom, experience, and hope. It took what I thought to be a colossal failure and made it into the best “boot camp” experience of my life.

If you are feeling broken, worn down, depressed today, I hope my story of brokenness can give you hope.

Remember beauty really does come from the ashes, and in God’s family, there are no failures, or better yet, there are nothing BUT failures. We are all failures. If we weren’t failures the cross would not have been needed.  But it is and we are.

So, what do you need if you are feeling broken?

1.Community. Find those people who will love on you . . . the ones who will speak truth, allow you to be broken, but also point you to the cross.

2. Christ. He died and covered ALL failings, big and small. Turn to Him with your pain and your failure.  Allow Him to carry the burden of your pain.

3. Confidence. Confidence to be a mess in front of people. Confidence in God’s plan for your life. You have no idea how God might use today’s failings in tomorrow’s triumphs. Cling to hope. If He has overcome the world, He can surely overcome your current mess.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:32-33

God is in the business of using broken, used-up people for His glory!
If you are feeling broken, I Invite you to leave a comment, anonymous or otherwise, so I might say a word of prayer for you today.
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  • Michelle

    I can so relate to this, so thanks for sharing!…Both my husband and I both grew up as mks and went into missions excited (and naive). After a very tough first 2 year experience, I wanted to give up on the church, missions, etc. But through it, God is teaching me what “obedience” truly is…We are back in a different area and I find God is still healing my heart…He has reminded me lately that it is truly through Him, “by his wounds, we were healed”. I hear Him still gently calling for me to find my love/acceptance…at His feet. So I’m back trying to learn to depend on Him more again…realizing that I don’t have to prove myself to others…His love and grace is enough. It is ok that I am inadequate…and it is through my inadequacies, that He can show others He is adequate. So easy to write and hard to live…but one thing I know and have seen- He IS faithful!

    • Joy

      Yes, easy to write and hard to live, and yes, yes, yes He is faithful….oh SO faithful. Thanks for writing out your story. My hubs is an MK too…I’m the only non-MK in my family! :)

  • http://thechuppies.com/ Kara @ The Chuppies

    <3 you Joy and thankful for your open-heart-sharing here…so much hope in God's ability to pursue us and heal, even when we are struggling and can't see around the corner. I believe I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living…

    • Joy

      Thank you dear. You always bless me so richly with your kind words. :)

  • Bonnie

    What an encouraging story. I am broken/breaking. Single mama to three kids 18 yr old daughter is rebelling (not totally) but enough. 16 yr old son, wants to be with his dad, who just moved back after 7 yrs. His dad is not a person I want him around. 11 yr old daughter is confused and sad. I homeschool,juggle 3 part time odd jobs, very limited income (but we are ok). I am overwhelmed at times, cry at times, give up at times, and am dealing with outside “voices” of ridicule etc. I do believe God is at work in my life and mostly in my heart. It is just a very tough season.

    • Joy

      Oh Bonnie. Bless you, dear sister. My eyes are welling up for you right now. I wish I could give you a big hug, fix you some tea, and sit and chat. I am lifting you up in prayer right now. I don’t have words to make it better, but I am praying that the Lord would touch your heart with peace just now.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001519888716 Taylee-j Pittman

    Dearest Joy, Thank you for sharing your personal experiences. God Bless You. Feeling blessed to have read it. You touched my heart in many ways. I have a sister who resided in Alaska and she’s struggling. You helped me realize she needs me to reach out to her. No matter how much time it may take—just to show her she is loved. Thank you for sharing. Now, I will wipe the tears from my eyes and reach out in prayer and show her that I do love her, Thank you and I look forward exploring further on this FB page-site. I just adore making Godly friends. Now, I feel I have a new friend in Indonesia. Sincerely, Michaele Pittman@Taylee-jPittman Family FB Page. <3

    • Joy

      Thank you for sharing….yes, she probably really needs your prayer and faithful friendship just now. Thank you for saying hello! I am so glad that you are here!

  • http://myhometableau.com/ Johanna Hanson

    Thank you for sharing your experience. Sometimes it is in sharing our deepest heart-felt stories that the most people are reached. I, for one, am so thankful that God uses broken people.

    • Joy

      Amen and amen. Yes.

  • Cindi Summerlin

    this is so powerful for me right now. Thank you for sharing it. Thank you for blessing us with it and with God’s truth in your life.

    • Joy

      I am so glad that God continues to use my failings, mess, and pain for His glory. Praise be to His name. Thanks for commenting Cindi. :)

  • K

    Bonnie, I will pray for you tonight. He will carry you. Read footsteps… Also, ask for help and touch base with your Christian community. It’s OK to ask if need be, and it sounds like need be! Joy, I just love your blog so much and your kind, truthful heart. You are an amazing woman, please pray for me that I stop putting on a “show” of having it all together. Because of my type A personality, I try to do it all and often people say I have it so together. But truth is I’m frazzled inside sometimes and just need to get real with my fellow Christians about my struggles. Peace be with you, Joy, Bonnie and all. Thanks be to God! ~K

    • bonnie

      Thank you “K” – Will pray for you also <3

    • Joy

      Yes to what you said to Bonnie, such wisdom. Oooh, yes, getting real with people has been a big struggle of mine so I can relate as you say that is difficult. I am praying that you might have the courage to really let it all hang out! :) Blessings sister.

  • Jessy

    I am presently living all you said and more. God stopped loving my family awhile ago. But I am glad it worked for you.

    • Adele

      Jessy,, so sorry that u feel that way, but I can assure u that God has not stopped loving u or ur family. I do not know what is going on in ur life, and I know that it’s easy for me to say that but it IS true! Praying that u will know his love and faithfulness in ways that u couldn’t have imagined! X

    • Joy

      Oh Jessy. I appreciate your honesty. Haven’t we all felt that God has stopped loving us at one time or another? But as Adele said, although you may feel that way, God is still right there loving you right now, I am just sure that it is hard to see. I am praying that you would be drawn to His Word and that He might show you His love and presence in a special way tonight, dear sister.

  • Iva

    The tears swam when I read that your husband went into construction. We pastored for 3 yrs (fresh out of Bible college), my husband taught in a little Christian school for 2 1/2 yrs, and since then, he’s been in construction. Our years in ministry left us feeling similarly failures…broken…messed up. It wasn’t the ministry that messed us up; it was the reality of who we were in the first place. I don’t know if full-time ministry like being pastors or missionaries will ever be in our future, but for now, we trudge on doing construction. And as we do, we remodel–our hearts. And God is the Construction Superintendent!

    • http://www.womenlivingwell-courtney.blogspot.com womenlivingwell

      Iva – your words touched me deeply. May God bless you right where you are today as you love him and serve him. Your heart is beautiful!

  • faye

    Thank you so much for the reminders to go to Christ first. I can’t get out of this on my own. Your post was timed perfectly. Thank you again!!!

  • A

    So timely, Joy, thanks for your encouragement. Had a tough year church-wise, 3 m/c & now son in & out hospital w asthma. Feeling battered and bruised but also trusting in the cross and more and more in God to work through my weakness & brokenness, even though it’s hard. Bless you for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/DionnaSanchez Dionna Sanchez

    This is so beautiful, Joy. I can’t relate to all of it – but parts as I’m feeling a little tired and overwhelmed with some things in life right now. But you are right. God DOES show up and He WILL take me to another season in due time. And I’ll have to trust that I’m ready for that new adventure when it comes.

  • http://www.joyfilleddays.com/ Sarah Beals

    I loved this Joy. Thank you for sharing this. Every woman knows what discouragement and despair feels like, and when we take this pain to the cross, we find healing and hope. Love you!

  • Maureen

    Thanks to Courtney @ Women Living Well for sharing this post!

  • Liz

    Please pray for me. I hate that my heart is so prone to wonder.

    • Aimee B

      Liz, so many people struggle with that (I know that I do!!!). That’s why “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing” was written! And why it’s one of my favorite hymns! But take heart in this section of the lyrics:
      “O to grace how great a debtor
      Daily I’m constrained to be!
      Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
      Bind my wandering heart to Thee.”

      • Heidi Hinnenkamp

        I cry every time at that part… without fail.

  • http://twitter.com/StephSchroepfer Stephanie Schroepfer

    Wow. This is exactly what I needed tonight. I’m dealing with a messy break up and living back at home post-college. I know God has a plan for me, but it’s really frustrating when I feel broken and bored. What do I do with my life now? He and I were making plans for our future. I have two part-time jobs that seem to be a dead end. It’s good to hear from a lady who has seen the dark-side and came back stronger and shining brighter.

  • Rakel Thurman

    Joy, I remember those days….and I am so honored to have been part of your life for a long time….God always brings beauty out of what we would consider ashes….and no, He never ever waists our pain. Love you Sis.

  • S

    Thank you for this! Really struggling…

  • ALW

    Thank you for sharing! Feeling very broken here & sure could use prayer!

  • Aurora

    Thank you for your sweet and heartfelt vunerability. My little family has such a hard few months…a difficult and life long (though not life-threatening) diagnosis for our baby, very trying discipline struggles with our preschooler, and now my husband has a very scary job security issue. And that’s just the big things. I told my mom I’m starting to feel like Job. I’m able to push through on the outside, but honestly, I feel almost dead inside. Like if I stop, it will all fall down around me. I’m not sure why we are in a time of trial after trial right now and I almost feel terrified to know what’s next. I’m trying to keep pushing through, but sometimes, I wonder if God wants me to stop pushing and give it all to him. I’m just so tired. But if I stop, I’m concerned I won’t be able to get back up. And I have lunches to pack and clothes to wash tomorrow! Does that make sense at all? I write this to ask that you will please pray for my family to draw near to Jesus and some relief from this overwhelming time.

  • eab

    I have these bouts.. When the pain of my past and the stresses of my present collide. It makes me moody, insecure, and removed. Please pray for me…

  • EB

    How do you find community when you’ve tried about 30 churches in the area and no-one is welcoming is seems to care? It is so difficult after being hurt by Christians to get involved again. I miss being part of a vibrant church and serving younger women.

    • EB

      “or seems to care”. I have asked some to meet with me and an older lady who seems very nice to meet with me (and opened up that I needed to get out of the house and talk to adults) and they don’t get back with me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1725492830 Doris Burd

    Thanks so much for this!i know the Lord led me to this post! Please pray for me! I am going through a lot of physical problems right now and I need the Lords patience and guidance. I am suffering from a lot of joint pain weakness and tiredness for months now. Please pray the doctors will get to the bottom of this. As I wait I sometimes feel like I’m a failure be ause I complain that I can’t take the pain anymore and no one understands what I’m going through. I just need the Lords strength right now. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Belinda Outzen

    I really enjoyed your story, your words are true and comforting. I have been battleing depression for most of my life. Thank-you for leaving your heart on this page

  • hcb1

    I have a lot of emotional problems & I’ve always had issues w/ energy. Now that I have a 11 mo. old, its harder. But most importantly, I want to have a strong relationship w/ my Saviour. I’m really bad about spending time w/ Him. Thank you for any prayers. -H

  • littlebombs

    beautifully written and it is easy to forget that our missionaries are still human and deal with “real life” issues. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Sbca

    Of all the blogs I read, this is the first I have ever responded to. To know you are in Gods will for you and be discontent creates the most enormous guilt and frustration. I asked to be where I am know in life and find myself wanting something different. I am struggling with the difference between surrender, following dreams, and temptation. I hate it and feel as though if I don’t get it together, God may decide I’m too much trouble. I know that won’t happen, but I feel like a giant mess. (no huge worries, all career related). I’m currently a director of my church daycare but really miss education. Changes effect my whole family and my relationship with God. I don’t talk it out with friends because I’m afraid they’ll think I’m a flaky mess.

    Anyway, thanks for posting something real and raw.

  • http://twitter.com/GenerousWife Lori

    Thanks for the lovely encouragement.

  • http://blessedbeyondmeasure-ts.blogspot.com/ Torrie

    Wow! This God’s timing is always perfect! Our women’s ministry is getting ready for a retreat at the end of the month. The theme is Unmasked. I am speaking and my topic is exactly your post…how God wants to use our ashes to reveal something beautiful that will glorify Him. We ALL have a story. We ALL are broken, messed up, failures in need of a Savior!! Praise the Lord, he loved us so much that He sent us One, Jesus! Thank you for posting! You are such a blessing. ♥

  • Gabby Smallz (Tori)

    Bless you for writing this! I’m in tears but it’s ok. It will ALL be ok because of Him.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=674697810 Jessica Head Distad

    Thank you so much for sharing! My husband and I were in China for 2 years before we returned to the States to do ministry here. Our first post was in Minnesota. After a year we were laid off when there was no money to support us. It was the most heartbreaking move of our lives. We moved home to Maryland and into my parents’ basement for a year. We felt like complete failures…ashamed at our humble position and circumstances. It was by far the hardest year of our marriage. God taught us so much through that time of brokenness and pain. I am not glad that we failed, but I am glad that God used it for good. We are back in ministry again, in California this time. We are in a much better place now, and so grateful to God who brought here.

  • Nancy Clark

    You are a blessing, your words always seem to hit so close to my heart. Thank you for sharing all of your feelings and experiences you are an awesome example of how The Lord wants all of us to live our lives…

  • Margo

    Wow, such a good and timely reminder that God can and will turn heartbreak into something good and beautiful.

  • Katie

    Thank you for sharing this. Three years ago, I was an energetic, sweet, go-getter, loving person. Then, my husband and I were pregnant with our first son. I have a condition where, during pregnancy, my right kidney closes off and causes excruciating pain. After he was delivered, I lived in a constant state of body aches (like having the flu x1000) and extreme fatigue. I was sleeping 16 hours/day. Thinking the first pregnancy complications was a one-time fluke, we became pregnant with my second. The same thing happened again during this pregnancy. My son is 2 months old and the kidney pain has come back strongly and I have huge body aches. I feel like a failure because I cannot be the type of mother and wife and friend that I want to be. I can’t make dinner, I can’t keep a tidy house or do laundry. I can’t take my children to the parkl And I wonder how long this will last. It has been 3 years of unanswered questions and constant pain. Please keep me in your prayers so that I might trust God with what my new identity is in this current condition. Thank you for sharing your testimony. It truly encouraged me!

  • Carol

    I’ve recently been introduced to your blog by a friend and believe with all my heart that the reason I was lead to this was possibly no other than reading this post. I needed to hear this and be reminded of those three truths you listed at the end. Thank you for sharing your story..

  • Leah

    These past few years have been filled with heart ache for our family. Iffy situations in our family, a church split where my family left, leaving behind a shell of a church and an awkward relationship with my folks, watching others going through hard things and feeling like there is nowhere to get relief. But I cling everyday to the promise that God will never leave me or forsake me. Even when I don’t feel it, He is right there. He has a purpose for me, and I am not defined by my failures, but Christ’s victory in me. Thank you for this post, Joy, it was real and a real cup of water for my soul.

  • Kimberley Byrd

    Just what I needed to read this morning. We have been “home” from the mission field for a couple of months now but I still feel worn out and much like a failure. I look back sometimes over the past four years and ask God, “What was THAT about?” There was so much need and so much sadness. I seemed to take on anyone who was hurting and make their pain my own. Incest is really big where we were and little girls were “nothing” and my heart is still broken for these people but yet…..I can’t do it anymore. I have nothing left…I seem to have to scrape up enough each day just for my own family. We are 49 years old, we have two 7 year olds and two older children. We, in many ways, are starting over at a late age and my husband is looking for a church to pastor. Please pray for our family that God will use us again somewhere and that our hearts will continue to heal and that we can forgive ourselves for leaving.

  • Wms

    Thank you for saying what I am feeling! My husband & I work for a Childrens’ home, caring for children in foster care. From the age of 14 I knew that this was what I wanted to do. We are exhausted, burned out, & have lost our direction. We pray for God’s guidance daily bc we “fear” being seen as failures if we walk away!!! Thanks for being honest!!

  • Rachel

    This is beautiful, Joy. Thanks for sharing and encouraging us. Praise God that he uses our storms of depression and restores us and is glorified!

  • gayly

    Thank you for being willing to share your heart and it’s heart ache. I think so many of us have our story of pain and discouragement and we live in a world where as Christian we are often expected to just lean of God and it’s going to be ok… true- God is our refuge and our strength, but it is ok to share our burdens and hurts so those around us can carry each other and encourage one another. That is what the Lord really calls us to, to love, to encourage, to be real and walk together. I am so thankful for friends in my life that are Godly who I can be real with as I walk a broken road. THank you for sharing your broken road and journey to healing!

  • DSDR

    I know very intimately what you are talking about. From the time God first called me to missions until 8 years later when I left He was SO close and near, gently leading. THEN I remember arriving for 5 weeks of training and having this strange feeling that God had “left”. Sitting at my desk in my first week on the mission field I asked God, “WHAT is this!? THIS is not what I had imagined!” God spoke. “This is not about what I am going to do THROUGH you but IN you.” NO! How do I explain THIS to supporters?! I didn’t try but my struggles were evident and it seemed that everyone abandoned this struggling missionary. I went from being a “superstar” to a less than zero. 3 years later I married a wonderful, godly national of the country I was in. I left the organization I was in but not God nor the country He had called me to. My struggles continued to get much worse. Both physical and emotional. So often the only prayer I had in me was “Jesus, lead me the rock that is higher than I.” “‘Tho you may slay me yet will I trust Thee.” I have been here for 12 years now and God has blessed us with 3 little ones. Just in the last 1-2 years I feel that I am finally coming out of the tunnel. My heart soars with gratitude for the work He has done in me during those desert years. I have been so humbled by these experiences and know that if there is ANYTHING good or useful it is all Him. I am a broken vessel for His use. To God be the glory! Thank you for sharing your story, Joy.

  • Kristan

    Dear Joy, Thank you so much for your email this morning when I really, really needed it. You mention community and having all of you as part of my community who touch and are touched by God every day is truly a blessing to me. I am still struggling with learning how not to feel like a failure but it gets easier every day with God’s help and people like you (and tossing in a good counselor doesn’t hurt either :). Blessings to you all.

  • Cynthia Barger

    Thank you for sharing. First time I read your blog because a friend reposted your link on FB. The joy at the end of a journey is so sweet. You are investing in others as you share this. Those big black holes of depression can be all consuming and you are giving others hope. Again, thank you for being vulnerable and sharing your heart.

  • Noella

    Joy, thank you for your honesty. I am a missionary wife and this is so what I needed to hear today. We are going through a period of brokeness and verging on burn out as we watch our work of the past 5 years in church planting in Italy begin to crumble. We began to look at ourselves as complete failures. It is hard to change the focus from doing and accomplishing in the ministry to just being and becoming who Christ wants us to be in Him. If the results are slow and we have to start from zero again, it is enough to have Him and rest in Him. Thankful for these few months stateside to refocus, refresh and be refilled to carry on His work. Thank you for sharing your experience to encourage and strengthen your sisters. God bless!

  • http://twitter.com/MrsMandiM Mandi

    I can definitely relate. My husband and I are missionaries in the Caribbean in St. Kitts. We’ve only been here for 8 months but after a brutal summer of hosting people non-stop with barely a few days in between for “family time”, the heat, power outages, being away from family and friends, being forgotten about back home, spiritual warfare, wondering if we are even making a difference, having a three year old… it’s so much harder than we thought. We knew there would be challenges but living them is hard. We are coping… and have reached out to some back home to help us be encouraged and hold us accountable spiritually (seems marriage takes the brunt of our frustrations) but it’s still hard. I know this is where God wants us, I’m glad we are here and I ultimately want to be where God has us… it’s just not always easy. And it seems like people who have never done this don’t really understand. Thanks for writing this…

  • L

    Honestly, the truth sheds light! I had to stop going to church with “perfect people” who didnt share their real struggles but looked at me with pity and I came to the realization that I felt exhausted after church because I couldnt be me. Not being me meant hiding my husbands anger toward us and even after sharing with so many people and their prayers I fell into a nervous breakdown. Worse, no one came to visit and pray. God was growing me, not them. I had to let go of people pleasing standards that I would never live up to and still struggle with. Everyone was in denial that a member of their church had “fallen” or was “demon possessed”. I felt ugly, not loved. But God lifted me up from my couch, I heard His voice, not theirs. He loves me and no one else will compare. I had to sacrifice the biggest need in me, the need to feel loved and that is a womans biggest need! I wouldnt get it from my suffering kids, my friends who deserted me, my church or neighbors (it was actually the unsaved who were at my side). People are insufficient but I continue to worship our Lord and reallly listen to the Holy Spirits plan for me. Big ministry is not what God intended, it is speaking on a personal level with each of those unsaved who come to sit by your side and see you as they see themselves. wounded and broken.

  • A

    Thank you for sharing. It was just what I need to read first thing this morning. I’m feeling very broken and your words provided hope. Thank you dear sister in Christ.

  • Kris

    thank you for being real…thank you for the timing of what you wrote….I sit here with tears streaming down my face….yesterday I had a meltdown….dealt with anger….am so tired physically, spiritually and emotionally….we are trying to sell and relocate but nothing is happening (or at least to our eyes)…..our 23 year old son who is still at home brings stress due to choices…I feel like the invesetment we made into his life is crumbling before our eyes….my husband’s job description change and is bringing a major amount of stress to him which filters down through….I feel like a failture….I love being my man’s support and helpmeet but I feel like I barely have anything to offer….I am ‘flat-lining’ emotionally….even homeschooling is suffering…..where does a ‘worn-out’ mom go to refresh….thanks for your encouragement…..I need your prayers….I want to really feel God’s peace and joy again!

  • http://twitter.com/reachingHISkids Ingrid

    Wow Joy! I can SO relate to your story. Mine is a little different. My depression and feeling overwhelmed came on while at Moody. By the time I graduated, I felt like I couldn’t handle the pain of ministry and broken lives. But God didn’t let me retreat. My brand new husband (a Wheaton grad) already owned a home right in the middle of the inner-city, the place I was convinced I couldn’t be. Despite my Urban Ministry degree, I wanted nothing to do with the inner-city. There were many painful years (we have been here 15 years) but man, God has worked! The past 3 years have been amazing. I really think that growing older and maturing has helped me gain a deeper sense of God’s sovereign hand. I really am amazed when people in their 20′s can do effective ministry, it shows maturity beyond their years.

  • http://www.facebook.com/julie.padilla.927 Julie Padilla

    God Bless You for being so honest and sharing. Your experience mirrors my own here in Pueblo in many ways. My husband passed away here on Mothers Day 2011, and I am still trying to find my path. Thank You for what you do, your words bought reassurance. 9((hugs)))

  • Janet

    Amen and amen. Thank you for sharing your heart. God is faithful even in the midst of our despair. I have been there and God has brought me through it by seeing the gentleness, faithfulness, and compassion of Christ,and being upheld by God’s people. Your blog reminded me of a quote I recently read by Chuck Swindoll where he states, “Those who have been honed and buffeted, bruised and melted in the furnace of affliction, and then emerge with emotional stability and inner strength-they are the ones who have a ministry in the lives of others. Their weakness is like a magnet…for when we are weak, He is strong.” Thank you for your ministry to others.

  • Laci

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for not hesitating to write truth, for being “real” on the screen of my computer this morning. For understanding that it’s not about perfection (though we place it on ourselves a lot), for loving Jesus and being honest about His work in you. Every word you wrote resonates in my heart. God is good. Praying a blessing on you today though I am a half a world away and a complete stranger. What a glorious God we serve!

  • Hannah


    This was me last winter. Remote mountain town surrounded by snow, shattered lives everywhere, angry marriage, miscarriage, trying to protect my children and trying to minister through all of it…you speak my heart! God has been drawing me out gradually. It is so hard to reach the end of yourself but I’m finally starting to see the beauty God can bring from it. Thank you for this post and your blog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/danielle.orafferty Danielle O’Rafferty


    What an awesome post. Thank you for
    being so real and willing to share with us. I love how God works in people’s
    lives, especially in someone that has been so malleable in His hands and then
    able to write about it so candidly and beautifully

  • persevering one

    Joy, I love your blog, even though I am older than you. I have raised 5, and we only have one left at home. Your honesty and transparency are so tender and real…love your heart. Your words were timely for me today. I have gone through a season of ministry of overwhelming heart ache – including the suicide of a friend. Sometimes I just yearn to turn in my “pink slip” to God and say, “that’s it – I AM DONE!” Coupled that with an older child walking a perilous prodigal road – so, so heart breaking. So your words are a sweet reminder, from the Lord, to press on and press in….there will be another side. He wastes NOTHING. He can weave it ALL for His purposes and His glory. He WILL bring beauty from ashes! God strengthen and bless you Joy as you continue on your journey of faith and trust in Him alone!

  • Heather

    This could not have come at a more appropriate time. I am feeling much of the same way lately due to job and family issues. Just so overwhelmed and like I am sinking. I rarely ever read blogs, but this was meant for me to read. Thank you!

  • http://GrittyGrace.com Martha Brady

    joy, i couldn’t agree with you more! i’m a bit further down the road than you…about 45 yrs. in ministry both in and out of the US. when i learned to be open/honest about struggles and failures…that was when more effective ministry opportunities opened up! we can’t minister to fake veneers. we need to minister heart to heart.

    that huge fear of “what will people think” or the more spiritually sounding one that says “will i let GOD down?” they are not valid. they are fancy ways of us trying to protect our own pride. i speak from experience…sadly.

    the saddest words i hear are those from women who think they must be like that woman over there who is “perfect”. often i know some of the things she is going through in her life and i know how far from perfect her life is! perfect isn’t near to describing it!!

    true freedom comes in being open with one another so we can minister to the needs each of us truly has and not to the fake outsides we try to show to others. that is where growth will come.

    thanks joy for sharing your story…mine has many parallels as do the stories of most women in the pew. the grace of GOD is so big and grand. much bigger than any of our failures:)

  • Bethany

    Thank you so much for this article. I, too, have been broken by my circumstances. Crushed into the ground at times. By no fault of my own. I cry so often about the last few years of my life, and I feel as if I will never be healed. I wonder if there is a good future for me, and if there is a man out there God has prepared for me. Thank you so much for this blog. It has encouraged me today, and helped me to be hopeful.

  • Elisabeth

    I needed that today. I’m glad to have found you blog. Every time I read something on it it’s as if the Lord prepared it just for me. I just spent the morning yelling at my kids for not cleaning their room and wonder why I can even get onto them when my part of the house is not neat like it should be. I want to be a better example to my children. I don’t want them to remember me as a yelling mom.

  • Tired

    I really needed this today, as the lies of depression run through my head. Thank you for sharing.

  • Madelyn Fox

    Thank you for sharing this Joy. It encouraged me to refocus on Christ and not myself. I appreciate your thoughts. :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/krista.j.rideout Krista Joy Rideout

    Oh friend! How well I remember you walking this road. Our season in Alaska was such a huge time of God preparing us for the ministry we have now in Niger. And we didn’t face the half of what you did! Thanks for sharing your heart, and how God has brought you to where you are now. I still miss meeting you guys in Anchorage for Mongolian barbecue, Costco runs, Value Village treasure hunts, and lots of visits while nursing babies in the van. =) Hugs!

  • amy

    It’s amazing that when I feel the most broken and ready to quit, I find comfort & support! My marriage is broken, my family is broken, and hubs doesn’t seem to even notice. I feel as though I completely missed the boat with my life’s purpose….and now with a family I cannot find a way back onto that boat. Thank you so much for the courage to share your “failure” and to give the rest of us failures hope!! It’s comforting to be reminded that God is always in ‘our’ failure, because they are only failures to us…not to God. And if we let him, he will turn ‘our failure’ into ‘His success’. Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • laujones

    So touching. Different but still the same story.

  • Danielle S.

    I found your blog a few weeks ago through a friend of mine and it has been an amazing blessing in my life. Today’s post touched me so deeply. I have had a similar experience, and God has been working deeply in my husband’s and my hearts concerning future missions work in Africa.

    Thank you thank you thank you for being real and sharing your life with us. There are no words to convey how much this post meant to me.


  • Rosebud

    Thanks for sharing this. I have had one of the most disappointing years of my life between a devastating breakup, changes of jobs, and 2 major deaths. I do believe that I’m following Gods plan or at least trying to listen closer but am still struggling with exactly what or where He is calling me to. But I am thankful for the lessons of forgiveness and trust that He is teaching even when I have to be reminded of that quite frequently.

  • Lauren_onebrightcorner

    Your genuineness and sincerity touch me so much! Your story reminds me of the time when my Grandpa told me, “There was only one man who was perfect, and they killed Him.” I broke down in tears over my own perfectionistic tendencies! Thanks for your honest love–the lesson I take from this is that I need to be filling myself with God, with the encouragement and help of those around me, and then I will be able to give!

  • http://www.thebeautyinhisgrip.com/ Joan Davis

    Great post…and filled with such wisdom from God. Thank you for sharing your story of how God worked through your presumed “failure” to bring you to a place of clearer understanding of Him! I have been broken, too…and it was through my brokenness that I truly came to know God. I didn’t like the pain of my experience, of course, but the lessons learned and the blessing of my relationship with Him is more than worth it! God is so good — all the time!

  • Candydawn

    That is so precious. Love our ever faithful God and His reminders that it is not about us, but all about Him! Thanks for sharing.

  • northerncrazy8

    Wow….what an amazing story! Yes, you are so right, on what is needed when one is down & out. Thank you so much for your story. Yes, I/we could us prayer at this time. Our family is in a mess at this time. I know that God is with us, but it is still hard. Clinging to God is the only way to make it through. However, sometimes faith, trust, & resting in the Lord is easier to know than live. I have seen God bring me through before, but it doesn’t seem to get easier another time around.

  • Elena Strode

    Beautiful post!! Brought tears to my eyes, thank you so much for sharing your story. :)

  • Anonymous

    What an amazing testimony! Please pray for me because I feel broken in so many areas of my life. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • annonymous

    This struck a cord with me, as do many of your post. Please pray for me and my family today. :) Thank you.
    -Your Sister in Christ

  • AnnB.

    What a perfectly timed post for this worn out mama to six homeschooled children… I got up feeling defeated and hopeless today. More so than ever before. My husband is stuck on himself right now and Im hours away from family. So, I take care of my family and try to live agape to my husband but I feel like Im drowning a little more each day. The enemy has such a way of entering our weak spots. Prayers would be cherished…

  • Monday

    Thank you for posting your story…it does help me and I’m going to glean a few sentences and text them to my son (he’s a 20 yr old who is struggling to find his way….but he’s fiercely independent!) and hope he will see the beautiful TRUTH in your words…and that it can be his TRUTH, too…I like the part about all of being failures and still being of use to the Lord….because of Jesus! I needed that verbal hug today, too….

  • Lori

    I feel like I am right in the middle of this broken place right now with foster children that we have in our home. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Lu

    We are hurting as well. We just lost our little one after having her for the first 2 & 1/2 years of her life. She was our foster daughter and had been with us from the time she came home from the hospital after being born 3 months prematurely. The bond with the birthmom was minimal, and to make matters worse, we were sure the Lord had sent her to us to adopt. Now we are left looking at her pictures and feeling like our hearts will eventually succumb to all the pain and loss we feel.

  • LivinTheMessyLife

    Oh yes I do……as I am one of those “children” who’s pain became a face to you… That’s my history, and my “now” is a marriage that is beat up and seems broken to me. As I try to raise 3 children w/o much help from my husband, other than financially, I epically fail it seems 10x over again daily with my children and my husband. It is very very hard and very painful. I know God is here and helps, but get so lost in my daily grind often. I appreciate prayers anytime. THANK YOU!

  • BP

    I have watched a son die, & another almost commit suicide. My heart has broken over & over again. I search for hope & look to Christ to turn these ashes into something beautiful. In the meantime, I try to be everything to everyone, my husband& 2 other children, but feel almost dead myself :(

  • anonymous

    This really hit home with me and the way I have been feeling lately. My husband and I are getting a divorce. We have been struggling in our marriage the past few years and I found out a few months ago that he was having an affair. This is not something that I want, but he doesn’t really want to discuss this. His way of dealing is by not dealing. My mind has been spinning lately about the what if’s and what could/should I have done differently. I feel like a failure and feel so much guilt. It hurts me to look at my children and think that they are going through this. Please pray for me and my family!

  • Sarah

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It really spoke to my heart.,,, We felt like God was leading us to move this year and were torn between North Carolina (to be with my mom & step dad, whom I had never had a very close relationship with and because of a job opportunity that my step dad had for my husband with his company) or Texas (to be with some close friends and a church body that we knew to be strong in some areas that God has been speaking to my husband and I about lately and that we wanted to be strengthened i). We chose North Carolina, and quickly realized that wasn’t a great situation to be in. I felt bullied and controlled by my mom every day, and begged her to please quit saying hurtful and disrespectful things about my husband on a daily basis. On top of all of that the job opportunity for my husband fell through and he wasn’t able to find steady work. We had trouble finding a church body that we could really plug in to. We felt like we were wandering around in the wilderness. We ended up deciding after 5 months to move on to Texas, realizing that Texas is where our hearts were really being drawn to, and we left NC feeling battered and bruised, at a very low place. We had wanted to be a witness to my parents since they are both unsaved, but instead we just infuriated my mom by moving there but then choosing to leave after 5 months. She says we will never have a close relationship and that she thinks we are being irresponsible parents by moving our son twice in one year and moving him away from his grandparents. It has all been so disappointing and hurtful. Thankfully in the 1 week that we have been here in Texas, we have already felt strengthened and encouraged by the church body here, God provided a new job for my husband and he is enjoying it very much, and our little 20 month old son is adjusting wonderfully. God is faithful and good!

  • Candace

    Thank you for sharing this. I do feel broken and would appreciate your prayers.

  • sylvia

    thank you for your honesty and transparency! this is a great story of how great and smart God is.

  • Susan

    Thanks for being honest and sharing your heart and God’s healing and grace in your life. We all have stories just like this.

  • Rosalie Bednarik

    What a wonderfully honest and raw post! Thank you for your courage and your willingness to share! It was definitely an inspiration to me to keep my chin up and rely on my Savior more! Thank you! much love!

  • http://twitter.com/lizmarieclark89 Liz Clark

    “He doesn’t need me to accomplish His work, I just get to be a part of it!”

    God has been telling me this over and over and it’s finally starting to sink in. Thank you so much for sharing!


  • Kirsten Richardson

    This is beautiful. I’ve heard of the darkness and depression that often surrounds people living far more north than most people imagine.

    Also, your story is so honest. I wonder how many missionaries I know who have experienced similar emotions.

  • Amber

    I always appreciate reminders of just how big our mighty God is & how He works all things for good in our lives. Our family has been struggling through a long season of ups & downs through the last 9 months while waiting for a diagnosis of a mysterious illness that has left me unable to care for our 3 young children or sit without pain to be able to attend church as a family. Thank you for the offer to say a prayer & also for sharing openly your journey!

  • Katie @ KatieTevis.com

    I love how forthcoming you were in this post. What touching words…

  • britt

    Thank you so much for you blog ministry. You encourage me and so many others with your willingness to be so open and transparent. You def encouraged me this morning and it is very needed. I love how God shows up even with blogs on the internet. My family is not in crisis like a lot of stories that I have read in the below comments but we still have a struggle in our marriage. Please pray for resolution and peace. And a sense of unity for my family. Thank you again and know that in SC someone is praying for you and your famil daily.

  • Memphis65

    Thank you for this post. I needed to cry some things out this morning, and God used your story to reach my heart.

  • http://www.canaanboundbrigade.wordpress.com/ Kim B.

    LOVED this: He showed me He is in control….He doesn’t need me to accomplish His work, I just get to be a part of it! Such a relief to read that & I get it!!

  • Kristine M.

    Your post was a blessing to me… Thanks for the uplift. It was beautiful.

  • laurel

    Thank you! I have no other words. My heart is truly blessed by this as I am in the midst of my own storm. Thank you for this truth and thank you for sharing!!

  • Emily

    Thank you, thank you for sharing this! It is almost eerie how similar your story is to mine. (the main differences are that your Alaska is my Jamaica and that you were given freedom in it, and I am still praying/hoping for freedom. And…it’s been going on for me for about six years.) I even read your post to my husband because I’ve not found anyone who can relate very closely to my thoughts/feelings. I would love it if I could talk through a few things with you…I know that you’re a busy mama and wife, but I might end up e-mailing you if you don’t mind ;) Thanks again for sharing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/teacher.viviene Albert Viviene Bigornia

    Thanks for sharing this! =) It’s a wonderful story of trust in God and that God is in control.. May you be blessed and be a blessing as you go and reach out to people in Indonesia…. =)


  • Sandra

    I’m constantly amazed at how the Lord directs our paths. I’m thankful that He lead me to this article tonight as I’m experiencing a bout of depression. I’m also thankful for your being “real”; it’s been like a balm to my heart. May God’s blessings and favor continue to be upon you sister.

  • http://thoughtfulescapes.com/ April at ThoughtfulEscapes

    Joy – Your story is amazing to me on many levels. I’ve read a snippet of several aspects of your life – in a round about way we have many similarities – you’ve lived them, I’ve been an onlooker.
    – I live in Alaska, it has been home for most of my life.
    – One brother & his family are currently in the Philippines as a missionary pilot.
    – The other brother is an Alaska bush pilot, and graduated from Moody Aviation. He was in the last/next to last graduating class in Elizabethton.

    I hope part of your learned knowledge/wisdom has been to discover the depression you experienced is not something you could have helped. I don’t live in the bush – but I do fight the depression each winter, and I know it is common and more extreme in the bush (physically, emotionally & mentally), especially if you weren’t prepared & actively counter acting the dark & cold. Even with it being normal the dark & cold winters are brutal for many of us. Even those of us in “big cities” struggle – our lowest temps are -30*, but the constant wind, at times, makes me think I’ll go insane.

    Another post of yours I just read was the one about cheese sandwiches. For what it is worth – the first thing I thought when reading your blog was how blessed you are because of the experiences your kids are getting {and NOT getting}. My brother, his wife & their three kiddos talk about missing cheese too. As the ‘auntie in Alaska’ your realness is helpful to know how to help my nieces and nephew when they come home on furlough – they are still pretty young, but as you pointed out, still very impressionable. Thank you so much for sharing about the non-glamorous moments. It’s easy to forget while we are here in the States.

    I am a single mom and I have been aching to “do something worthwhile” with our family. Lord willing my kids and I will be joining my brother & family for a short term missionary experience. I’m not sure if it will be 3 months or 9, but I expect we will all come away greatly affected by seeing God’s grace in a different capacity. Okay…going to quit talking now. Thank you again for all your honesty and sharing.

  • Sandie

    I didn’t expect to find your blog, I was on pinterest searching wedding ideas for my sister.. But God’s ways are just perfect.. I’m currently in à place of suffering, tears and worries about my health, while all tests just say everything is ok. With my husband de are in front of à lot of big mountains, but I know all this mess is just made for us to find God’s Will for us and learning to fight and trust him more than everything, before sending us where he wants us to accomplish His Will and maje His kingdom come.
    That’s why your store talked to my hearts.
    Thanks for your prayers
    May our dear Father bless you more and more.

    À french God’s daughter in Spain.

  • KS

    Your story is honest and gives me hope. Thank you for sharing it. I have felt a calling to the mission field, but after a recent difficult experience overseas I am not sure that I am ready or willing to pursue that call. Thank you for giving me hope that one day I will feel the same passion again.

  • Anita

    Thank you for your honesty. Today I was feeling defeated but I have to cling on to the hope of knowing Jesus has my days perfectly planned.

  • http://earlymorningbliss.blogspot.com Rachel Nuckolls

    What an encouraging testimony. I’ve been here-in the midst of depression, anger, failure and worthlessness. Certainly unworthy of God’s love and forgivness. But what an amazing God we serve. In the past year He has taken my life and my heart and transformed it. I just stand in awe of His incredible grace. Thank you for sharing your story because I know for me, there have been times when I’ve felt as though I’m the only one facing failures and feeling unworthy. Trying to be someone you’re not, only to appear flawless to others is tiresome. It’s comforting to know I’m not alone.

  • http://www.arcticbarnabas.org Dustin Hibbard

    You nailed it! Such an honest, humble, healing message for all of us. Thank you for this window into your heart and gift to others. Many in Alaska’s villages and remote communities continue to struggle as you described. We beg God for wisdom how to care for them. Your story has influenced many!

  • Taya

    Thank you so much for sharing this post. All of your posts recently hit home for me. I have been feeling like such a failure lately, trying to figure out where God is pulling me career wise (I’m feeling a call to ministry) and relationship wise. A prayer would be so much appreciated.

    Thank you for your honesty and beautifully written posts. It makes my day!

  • Zoe

    I have come to this post today when my heart and mind were made up to walk away from church and my faith. I have had enough of being broken and as I can not see a way out I decided to concentrate on my life and not God. I know in my heart that this may just be the wrong thing to do but I do not feel I belong and I do not have the strength to fight.

    I have just been given a second chance at life and may be this came from God but right now I am at an all too familiar cross roads and I am sick of reaching them over and over its best to walk away than fight.

  • Melissa

    I just happened to catch a friend sharing one of your blog entries on facebook, and through His grace, I ended up here. My husband and I have been married for about 3 years and share a striking resemblance with you all. My husband is the mission’s pastor at our church, and lately, we have been feeling so completely overwhelmed by the work to be done that it has overtaken our household. I have felt so completely alone, burdened, and confused, and I so deeply needed to read your words. They have left me in such hopeful tears, and I cannot thank you enough for following His unction to share this testimony.

  • KH

    I love your blog. It is inspiring. Please pray for me and my family. We are overcome with worries (financial), and it eats at us everyday. I’ve become bitter and envious of everyone around us. I hate that it is changing my husband and I as people. Thank you for your time.

  • Louisa

    Hi Joy! My name is Louisa and I am an Indonesian!!! Now i am currently a student in Geneva, Switzerland and i am so thrilled to read your blogs :) May I know in which part/island of Indonesia do you live now? I would love if we can talk through email. Here is my email address: louisaveronica2001@yahoo.com :) All the best for you! God bless ^^

  • Amanda

    Oh, how this blesses me. On month seven of living in Haiti as missionaries, I’m weary and burnt up and never want to hear the word ‘missions’ again. I have struggled with feelings o failure for weeks. This gives me hope. This reminds me of His beautiful grace and gives me courage to keep pressing on.Thank you SO much!!!

  • Kedama

    Thank you for this message today. I needed it. Please pray for my two teenage children, who are momentarily lost. I am a single parent and their pain is my pain. Every disappointment they feel i seem to feel twice as hard. I feel as if I haven’t the skills or the support to properly shepherd them through the hard times. We are often all in a state of depression and like you shared in your story, it is hard to see a way out. Thank you.

  • Tracy

    Wow….sure needed this today. Heart is broken and worn. Prayers for finances, broken hearts and strength to trust and know that God has bigger things in store for me and especially my teenagers daughters than I could ever imagine. I do pray daily for their future spouses, that they are Godly men and would be good to them. I prayer for their purity until marriage. I have a husband who is an alcoholic and one that if I have tears I need to cry….he wouldn’t understand. According to him….I don’ cook, clean or anything else for that matter. This has been said to me for a while…..but has been said so much that it is a constant reminder and therefore I feel like a complete failure at everything else that comes my way. NOTHING IS EVER GOOD ENOUGH.

  • marisa S

    This was an amazing story, and you are truly a great woman. We all have different situations, and circumstances, but we all struggle and fall sometime. I struggle with “failures” and I let them effect my self-esteem in a major way sometimes. Even to where I stay away from church and hide my sins from the people who just want to help and who care for me. If you can say a little prayer for me, I would truly appreciate it. thank you.
    p.s this was the third post I have read of yours and I already know I will be reading everything you’ve written!
    Thank you and God Bless.

  • Mercysdaughter

    Thank you, for your blogs. I don’t really know how to put everything I have battled in this one space but it’s been relentless. I have a lot of physical issues and if God wanted to heal me I believe he would but I have to accept things for what they are but they are progressive and the doctors know some about my condition and that it’s rare very painful and extremely disabling. It’s getting to me. I’m stuck. I’m depressed and I haven’t ever been before, I am usually happy and I always thought it would get better but it gets worse. I am 26, and its gotten worse.

  • charis

    I need prayer. I lost that “joy that ought to be set before me.” My struggles include adjustments as newlyweds (anger), career change (meaning I have to start from scratch), father with cancer, unhappy with proud in-laws, etc. I can relate with what you’ve experienced that you felt as though I was drowning in a sea of despair with no way out. I feel like I can trust no one. I can’t trust myself. I think God is punishing me and I’m losing hope to live. help.

    • Joy

      First of all, God is not punishing you. He loves you. And any difficulties in your life are a part of His GOOD and perfect plan for you. I know that doesn’t sound especially encouraging, but it is. It can give you hope that these circumstances are working for your good and your sanctification, and you can TRUST, firmly, that God LOVES you desperately. He loves you so much, and He sees all that you are going through and struggling with.
      I am praying for you, sister. I pray that you will find someone to talk to, and someone to hold your hand during these hard times. Blessings.

  • Successfull

    Hello dear joy!!
    All your posts are really joyful and lovely I must say revealing How strong, cheerful, generous woman you are possessing immense Emotional intelligence. About me I would like to tell you that i am a 22 years old girl studying in university, I have never been in any relationship and also don’t want to.I belong to India and here arrange marriages are considered most auspicious and also i can never hurt my parents faith on me, our culture and tradition. So till now I had no views regarding my future relationship or marriage.But it so happened while preparing a presentation on drawbacks of various religion I came across POLYGAMY in ISLAM in which a Husband has right to have more than one spouse. I am very emotional and just can’t tolerate someone in pain, so there many first wives have described their immense pain, unavoidable jealousy, feeling of being raped on physical, emotional and spiritual level by the same person whom u devoted whole life. How they felt as if they are dead when Husband of so many years leaves them crying, fainting, shivering…. to celebrate his wedding night and Honeymoon and then leaves every now and then to go to her on a scheduled basis.Well their painful words cannot be described So in one blog about living and coping with it I went through many stories which made me feel the pain they bear and i find myself a regular follower that blog even now. But I am very emotional and even though I know This religion and their situation has got nothing to do with me but I always find myself thinking about them, analyzing their situation and of couse end up feeling the pain. i just find it very difficult to forget sad and painful stories specially related to infidelity. I don’t want to think about it. On the other hand it opened my eyes on realities of today’s men, their relationship and also that u can’t fully really rely on your Husband for years and they can do anything to you to satisfy their lust and your hurt and jealousy makes new relationship for them even more exciting- the man you thought would never hurt you and can sacrifice anything for you. So i wanted to ask “DOES TAKING EACH AND EVERYBODY PAIN WRONG WITH REGARD TO YOUR PERSONAL LIFE IF YOU ARE BIT TOO EMOTIONAL. SHOULD I QUIT THAT BLOG DOING WHAT NOW I FIND DIFFICULT OR FACE THE HARSH REALITY OF TODAY”S WORLD THROUGH IT BUT I CANNOT READ IT WITHOUT FEELING”?? And now i found after reading all this myself doubting every person, uninterested infact afraid regarding marriage issues and just can’t think of relying on anybody and find it difficult to imagine myself loving whole heartedly without applying mind and Question whether a spouse can be faithful?? Please advice me…. Sorry for such a long post and wasting much of your time But i really need someone to advice me. Thank you!!
    Lots of Love dear!!

  • Shannon

    Joy, thank you for being so real. I feel like such a mess and due to past abuse, verbal and physical, as well as always being told or treated like a failure, I am having such a hard time believing God can truly love and care about ME. I’ve not grown spiritually because I can’t seem to consistently believe God really means me when he talks about his love for us. I want so much to not be paralyzed by fear of failure, having done so much of it in the past. I would so covet your prayers. Lately I can’t seem to stop crying and yet it grieves and confuses my youngest ones. I feel as if this is going to last forever and I so long for victory. Bless you for your ministry and heart for hurting women like me.

  • Grace Robideau

    This post was such a HUGE blessing to me! I have been going through a very difficult season and so much of what you shared spoke to my heart. I’ve also been reading through some of your other posts and I can relate to so much… My husband and I are also missionaries(my husband is also a pilot) along with our two boys(ages 3 and 1) to Nepal. We have been here for almost three years now. Thank you for sharing your story and being such an encouragement and blessing! I hope that one day I can be the encouragement to someone that you have been to me.

  • Heidi Hinnenkamp

    I sure am feeling broken. I have a blog called Beauty Among Thorns for that reason, an eternal life lesson of being restored into the likeness of Christ from my brokenness.