Bible, Christian Writer, Faith, God in control, Grief, In His image, Jesus, Seasons of life, Steadfast heart, The Word of God



Image shows a tiny hand of a newborn baby grasping an adult's thumb

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!


Image shows a phot of the author signing a contract

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.


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.


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

Image contains the words of Psalm 57:7 against a background of abbey ruins and green leaves.

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

Bible, Capacity to care, Casting our care on Jesus, Christian Writer, Connected to God, God's faithfulness, prayer, Seeing as God sees, The Word of God


I’ve been thinking about capacity lately. Not how much rich food my stomach can hold – rather my heart capacity. How much emotion can I realistically handle before it overwhelms me? Particularly the negative and stressful stuff. I think this is a thing that varies greatly from person to person. Like the capacity to parent – some people can have five children of their own and then foster more. I knew my limit would be two. I was right. And they survived – just!

Baby with his grandad

Moments of overwhelm

But our capacity to care can also been greatly influenced by own health and emotional strength. It dominated my thoughts particularly one recent weekend when I was feeling physically lousy, my elderly parents contracted Covid, my baby grandson was also poorly, and my daughter had a birthday celebration. To top it all the dog required a visit to the vets. I made the comment to my husband that perhaps we weren’t designed to have the capacity to worry about four generations of family at once. Which sounds awful now that I read it back. I love still having both of my parents around, and both of my parents- in- law too. And I love being a parent and a grandparent. It was just one of those moments of overwhelm. Not knowing where, or on whom I should be expending my emotional capabilities. Who needed my support most? And why wasn’t I able to give more? Yep. Let’s add guilt to the emotional load.

God’s heart capacity

We used to sing a song in church that had the tearjerking line ‘break my heart for what breaks Yours’. I struggled to sing it then, and I struggle with the truth of it now. Yes, we are called to be compassionate, to see the needs of others, to care as Jesus cared. But I for one, know that my heart capacity would break far before God’s heart would. There is no way that I could take on all the cares of the world like our Saviour does. Do I really want to be so totally overwhelmed that I am in fact useless to anybody?

The news is heart-breaking at the moment. The sufferings of ordinary people thrown into war. The plight of refugees, and not just the ones from Ukraine. The ongoing spectre of Covid. The mess in government and the economy. I have to admit I can’t watch the TV news. The tipping point for my overwhelm runs too close to the surface.

Jesus: my heart’s release valve

 many pink hearts on a white background with the text 'Let not your heart be troubled'

And then I remind myself of Jesus’ words, just hours before He was betrayed and crucified for the burden of the world’s cares.

Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me                    John 14:1

We can use all sorts of self -care methods to prevent emotional overload, but actually Jesus gives us a very simple one. He says, ‘give the trouble to Me’.

casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.                       1 Peter 5:7

Our hearts have a release valve, when they feel close to bursting, and it is Jesus. Things are far easier to bear if we share them with Him. That’s the beauty of prayer.

Enlarge my heart

I am reminded of another scripture also

I will run the course of Your commandments,
For You shall enlarge my heart.                                                 Psalm 119:32

The context might actually be speaking of a capacity for wisdom and understanding here. But I also believe that God can enlarge the capacity of out hearts. Perhaps not to breaking point, as the song used to go. But perhaps to make us more aware of the needs of others, give us more understanding, more compassion, more capacity to give. I could do with that. Perhaps it is good then to pray ‘enlarge my heart, God.’

Large gold heart on white background with the text 'Enlarge my heart, God'

Joy Margetts is a blogger and a published author. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. A work of historic fiction, set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, it is also a story of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. 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, will be published by Instant Apostle in July 2022

More information on Joy and her writing, and links to purchase her books can be found here