UPS AND DOWNS
A little over a month ago I posted an emotional blog about the loss of our dog, and our grief over it. Our feelings of sadness at the time were really intense, coming on the back of a difficult few months. And then suddenly, within weeks, everything changed and joy replaced grief. Busyness replaced loneliness, and the unwelcome quiet was replaced by the longing for a little peace! Life is like that. You can step from sadness to joy in the matter of weeks, and then sometimes back to sadness again. Or worry, or excitement, or frustration, or fulfilment. Sometimes the ups and downs can leave us feeling pretty storm-tossed!
In the last month some really, really good things have happened in our lives. Firstly we welcomed our second grandchild into the world. She came early, and came tiny, but she also came healthy and everyone is doing great. We are overjoyed to be invited to be so involved in our grandchildren’s lives – it is such a privilege. They are a delight to be with, and being a grandparent is one of the greatest joys of my life.
A second thing that brings me joy (and not a little anxiety) is my writing. In the same week that our grandchild was born, I signed a contract with my publisher for a third novel, that will be out later this year. This is exciting, and I am thrilled, but it also brings with it pressures, deadlines, stress. Publishing a book is a rollercoaster ride all of its own.
A CONSTANT HEART
Life is never all about one kind of emotion. We have to learn to navigate the seasons, or sometimes, the moments that we are in. We need to guard our hearts to ensure that extremes of emotions don’t derail us. That we remain constant, in our faith, our trust in God, our belief that He is in control, in being who He has called us to be.
One passage of scripture that always speaks to me is from Matthew 14: 13 – 21. Jesus hears about the death of His cousin, John the Baptist. That he dearly loved John, and deeply grieved his loss is evident. He goes away by Himself to find a deserted place to be alone, with the Father, to process His loss. Only He is not alone for long, because the crowds follow Him. Did He send them away? No, v 14 tells us that He was ‘moved with compassion’ seeing how many of them needed to be healed. So after hours of healing and teaching them, does He send them away to find food for themselves, as His disciples suggest? No. He feeds them – and what a 5,000 guest party that was! So in a matter of a few hours Jesus grieved, was filled with compassion, poured Himself out, and then celebrated an extraordinary miracle. All the time He stayed right in the centre of God’s will for Him.
A STEADFAST HEART
Jesus’ example is hard to follow. I’m not saying that we should not take time to grieve, or to celebrate, but that whatever life throws at us, we can still seek to be at the centre of God’s will. We can listen to Him, trust Him, look to the needs of others, and keep our hearts constant. Or steadfast, as the Psalmist did – always finding a reason to praise. Psalm 57:7
Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.
‘The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022
More information on Joy, and her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com