Friday, November 18, 2011

"Letting Go of Perfect"

I’ll admit it. My name is Joy and I’m a perfectionist. At a young age I was taught that there is a place for everything, and everything should be in its place. I haven’t reached ranks with those suffering from a compulsive disorder, but I’m the one dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” in their perfect little notebooks. Growing up in a home where everything was always in order, mostly due to my mother’s 3am rising to wash the floors and dust before the day began, I foolishly believed every good wife and mother would do the same.

Not long ago I found a “Housekeeping Schedule” I had prepared as a young bride. As I saw the tasks recorded and the weekly, monthly and seasonal agenda I had created, I began to laugh. Dust the baseboards. Empty the refrigerator. Wash the floors. Polish the silver. Shine the chandeliers. The last two make me smile. I thought I would actually have silver to polish and chandeliers to shine. The list is long and each task is assigned a specific day of the week, or month of the year. I had ingeniously designed the chart as a perpetual schedule that could be used every year for the rest of my cleaning life. Where did I find this “perfect” plan I had meticulously crafted? It was buried in that junk drawer housed in every home.

As Christmas nears, I’ve been reading “Untangling Christmas” by LeAnn Rice and Karen Ehman. Early in the book, LeAnn shares a story entitled, “Letting Go of Perfect”. It’s a story of exploding lasagne and a Christmas memory. Funny, it’s not the perfect tree, or the perfect meal, or the perfectly wrapped gifts that were described, but the bursting of a pan on a burner and tomato sauce with noodles decorating the kitchen.

This year, I need to let go of perfect. With my husband’s soon to be scheduled surgery, and myself still recovering from chemotherapy following a hospital stay, I need to release some ‘have to’s’. They aren’t really necessities, they are niceties. I need to surrender them.

What will this mean? The tree may not go up this year. The decorations may be sparse. I have to relinquish control of hosting Christmas dinner for my family, something I have done every year since getting married 23 years ago. The Christmas cards and yearly letter will most likely not be written. The gifts may not be as many or the wrapping as exquisite. The baking might not be completed. Actually, that last one I released years ago. I let others prepare the Christmas goodies. It's actually safer and tastier that way.

What will remain? Christ. Jesus will remain. At the heart and center of our celebration much will still be the same. I will rise long before the sun Christmas morning. I will most likely pop some Pillsbury Dough “Grands” into the oven. I will turn the coffee pot on. I will make enough noise to rouse those as excited as I, but not too much to awaken the sleepyheads. By dim light we will gather in the silence after everyone appears, and my husband will read the Christmas story from the Gospel of Luke. In the quiet of our home with the fireplace burning, wearing bed pants and bed heads, we will join together in singing Happy Birthday to Jesus. We will open gifts and unwrap love. There will be chocolate. There will be laughter. There will be hugs.

We might not inspire a Thomas Kincade painting, nor be remembered as a Normal Rockwell portrait, but we will be together under one roof with family and friends we hold dear.

I guess in many ways, nothing will change.

Letting go of perfect, lets me embrace the Perfect One whose birthday we celebrate.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given…” Isaiah 9:6

(I did provide links to "Untangling Christmas" as well as to both LeAnn and Karen's blogs, but for some reason they did not appear highlighted. If you place your cursor over their names, you will be able to click to their links.)

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Monday, September 12, 2011


"Oh God, Oh God, I’m, I’m overwhelmed."

If you’ve ever watched the movie, “Facing the Giants”, the quote above should sound familiar. As I sat with tears running down my face Saturday night, those words echoed in my heart. Oh God, Oh God, I’m, I’m overwhelmed.

This past weekend has been one of countless blessings. I hardly know where to begin.

A couple of weeks ago I had received a complimentary ticket to attend the Beth Moore simulcast. As the day approached, I doubted my ability to be there. Just forty-eight hours prior to the event I was still deeply feeling the effects of my last chemo treatment, and surrendered to the very real possibility that I might not be able to go. Thankfully Friday I felt physically stronger and the hope of the conference returned.

Saturday morning I awoke excited and prepared for all the Lord had in store for me. The host church had made accommodations to help protect me from the crowd gathering and I truly felt the Lord’s blessing on the day. I even had a chair strategically placed and reserved for me. I felt very humbled by the kindness extended.

Entering the sanctuary, I immediately noticed that some renovations had taken place since my last visit. No one else may have appreciated the colour scheme, but the chairs were a shade of teal; the binds, and the curtains framing the platform were also teal. Teal is the colour that represents ovarian cancer. These details did not escape me.

As Travis Cottrell moved our hearts to worship, tears began to flow. It has been so long since I have been seated with 450 ladies praising the Lord together. Secluded in my house for a good portion of the past four months, the gift of corporate worship was being unwrapped and cherished. Joining my voice with precious sisters in Christ and praising the Lord together stirred my emotions. Oh Father, thank You for all You are doing. My life is my worship to You.

Beth’s teaching was straight from the heart of God. I love how she opens Scripture and encourages application of His Word. My notes are many…but they are so much more than letters scribbled on a page…they are life to me. I breathed Him in, and exhaled His peace. The Lord even used Beth’s wardrobe to say, “Joy, I love you”. Guess what colour Beth was wearing? Teal. It was a fabulous day of listening to the whispers of God and knowing that the Lord of the universe saw and cared for me.

Around 8:30pm that evening, while sitting visiting the sweet memories of the day, a knock came to my door. Not just any knock. It was the “family” knock. The secret code that convinces me to open the door, even if sporting my pyjamas. It was my sister and her son, and she said she had a surprise for me.

Seated on the couch, she handed me a notebook with a hand-made cover that read, “Ovarian Cancer Canada, Walk of Hope.” I opened it up to find a list of what looked like about 30 names. Confused, I looked to my sister for explanation.

Yesterday, September 11, was the 10th Annual “Walk of Hope” for ovarian cancer research. I had talked about it for over a month, but feared I would not have the strength or stamina to take part. I had just felt led that day, that if I awoke feeling able, I would participate in this opportunity.

As I began turning the pages in this book, tears began to flow. Unknown to me, my sister had sent out a dozen emails to a few friends asking if they would be willing to donate any amount in my name to help fight the battle against this number one women’s cancer killer. She longed for my heart to be encouraged with a pledge form and a few names. As He did with the loaves and fishes, God multiplied her request.

Reading the names, and the individual stories behind each submission, I came to names I didn’t recognize and assumed they were my sister’s friends. This is where the story gives me goose bumps. My sister didn’t know these folks either. Over the ten days or so as my sister collected funds, complete strangers sent her cards in the mail…or came to her door…dropping off significant amounts to be added to the collection. One such example was a lady who blocked her driveway one day as my sister was returning her son to school after lunch, and simply said she would recognize my sister as being related to me from my picture on my blog. She handed my sister a sizeable donation and drove away. Neither of us is certain of her identity. Another lady sent a card with a generous amount, explaining she did not know me, but had heard about this “surprise” and wanted to be involved. She also promised her prayers.

My heart can hardly hold the love that has been showered on me. The tears flowed unbridled as my sister presented me with a cheque to donate to Ovarian Cancer Canada in the amount of $2320.00. The Lord took my sister’s obedience to send out 12 emails, and He multiplied the response. People are still responding and the amounts are being forwarded to the organization.

As I came to the last page in the book, it was decorated with sunflowers (the ovarian cancer flower) and pre-cut note cards. Remember I told you that I had attended the Beth Moore simulcast that day? My sister had won a door prize. Included in the gift were note cards with sunflowers that said, “God’s love is expressed in every act of kindness.” God’s blessing and benediction on my sister’s efforts. Not only that, but she received the entire teaching series of Beth Moore’s “The Patriarch’s”. God, who sees in secret, rewards openly. So thankful for the way He blessed my sister for the blessing she is to me.

I did attend the walk with a special friend and her daughter. God provided in so many ways and we saw His Hand over and over again. Over 2.6 million dollars was raised in the fight against ovarian cancer.

This morning in my daily reading I came across this verse: “Please let us walk with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” Zechariah 8:23 Isn’t that beautiful? Can you imagine that request being asked of you? Nothing could delight my heart more or humble me deeper…someone has heard of my faith in the Lord and desires to walk with me. That is the true and eternal “Walk of Hope”. Is your walk inviting such a request today? Let’s live so that others will desire to spend time as our companions on this journey, not because of anything we have done, but because of Christ in us.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Defining a Decade

My friend Marybeth Whalen has been encouraging readers of her blog to cast vision over the next ten years. She has been challenging me to define my next decade. How do I want to be seen in the next ten years? What do I want to be known for? What kind of personality do I want? What do I envision my family looking like in ten more years?

In order to project my thoughts I found I also had to reflect over the last ten years and I’ll tell you why. Pretty much all that has happened, good and not so good over the last ten years, I never would have imagined. Here are just a few of those unexpected realizations:

• Leaving our dream home and moving to a new city
• Changing churches
• My son attending a Christian University
• My son having a precious Christian girlfriend (Oh, I imagined the Christian girlfriend, just not yet. I was praying he’d at least be in his 20’s before he started dating...LOL)
• Flying to North Carolina on my own
• Driving to Virginia on my own
• Finding my best friend unexpectedly by Walking Thru the Bible on-line
• My dad spending 9 months in the hospital
• Caring for aging parents becoming a weekly part of my life
• Being employed at a Christian Bookstore – that had been my dream job and the offer came unexpectedly
• Placing third in a writing competition with entrants from all across Canada
• Having surgery to remove a cancerous mass
• Losing my hair to chemotherapy
• Becoming friends with a dog…hahaha…I’ve always been terrified of dogs
• Speaking at Ladies Events
• Actually getting to volunteer at the Proverbs31 Office
• Attending the She Speaks conference three times
• My mother-in-law and dear friend passing away suddenly with cancer
• Taking violin lessons for a year
• Writing 365 daily devotions
• Making so many American and On-line friends
• Starting three blogs
• Decorating a guest room in our home for my BFF
• Travelling to Florida with my family several times

Those are just some of the “never imagined” occurrences. So…here’s the thing…for me to try and surmise anything over the next ten years…I don’t dream big enough. So much of what God has planned for me surpasses anything that I could desire. Even the gifts that have come wrapped in “brown paper”, the not so pretty packages that I’ve been given; they have been used to strengthen my faith and develop my character.

Often I have heard Proverbs 29:18 quoted as a basis for intentional living, “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”. Vision here is not referring to vision statements or setting goals. Vision here is about hearing from God; a revelation from Him. Without guidance from the Lord there is chaos and no moral or ethical control. The NIV says it clearer: “Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”

My goal in all areas over the next ten years is to daily be in God’s Word and wait on Him and listen to His voice.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21

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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Front Porch Courage

Awkwardly I unlocked the back patio sliding doors while balancing my Bible, pen, iPod and computer. I refused to make two trips. My husband always lectures me for loading up so precariously, but I was determined I could carry all my belongings outside without the need of walking those few feet twice. It’s not being lazy, it’s being creative.

I managed the manoeuvre without incident, settled myself in the “anti-gravity” chair and took a deep breath. It felt good just to sit outside. Two months ago today I was in the hospital recuperating from surgery that removed a mass diagnosed as ovarian cancer. Having just completed my second round of chemotherapy, it was a gift to be feeling well enough to adventure outdoors. I had been anxious to step outside the safety of my walls. The loss of my hair had been sudden and saddening. Only cosmetic, yet my bandanas now universally proclaimed to the world that I was a cancer survivor. Although their declaration was one of success, they spoke a new insecurity to my heart. My home and my backyard became my protection…or were they more my voluntary prison? I was under house arrest and personal solitary confinement.

Opening my Bible I began to read today’s passage. I couldn’t focus. Two things were interrupting me; the buzzing of the bees in the wild flowers near the patio, and the heat of the sun that refused to offer just a gentle warming. I shifted my position. I readjusted my chair. Still I had lost my concentration. Frustrated I decided to move back inside. I felt defeated and annoyed. Why couldn’t I just enjoy a simple pleasure like a few minutes in the fresh air savouring God’s creation?

“Sweet Joy, you still can.”

No I can’t. The sun is too hot. The buzzing insects interrupting.

“You have another choice My daughter.”

No I don’t and please don’t ask me.

“You have a beautiful, shaded front porch with two chairs. One for you, and one for Me.”

Oh Lord, I can’t. It’s too hot out and I don’t want to have to stop and bother to take time to put on my wig.

“You don’t have to wear your wig. You are beautiful and I will be your covering.”

Oh yes I do. If I sit out the front wearing my bandana everyone will know I have cancer.

“My precious daughter, I don’t believe even you have made that full acknowledgement yet.”

I’m frightened Lord. I’m frightened of the stares. I’ve been on the other side. I’ve been the one who has glanced and looked away, afraid of the disease and uncertain as to what to say. Do you know what it's like to wake up every morning...realize you're living the nightmare...and start the day in fear and tears? Do you know what it's like to walk into any room...even in the privacy of your own home...with your head afraid to make eye-contact with a mirror and see your reflection? Do you know what it's like to look down at your laptop, your t-shirt, the pages of your Bible and have to constantly brush off falling hair? Do you know what it's like to feel your own body is a walking time-bomb? Do you know what it's like to feel sadness so deep that its cuts and scars will forever remain? Do you know what it's like living as a prisoner to a disease? How do I get past the need to understand and continue living?

“Child, you take My hand and together we open your front door and step outside. Will you trust Me? There is a world out there that still needs the gifts and talents I have planted inside you. Together you can move from backyard cowardice to front porch courage.”

Backyard cowardice or front porch courage. Which was I going to choose?

My name is Joy Brown, and I have ovarian cancer.

Yes...that IS my front porch.

A quick update! When we obey the Lord, He is quick to infuse us with more and more of what we need. After posting this blog, God moved me from "Front Porch Courage" to "Convertible Courage". Check out the Driving Diva who was cruisin' around town last night WITH the top down. :)

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

Story in Six Words

She Reads is offering an opportunity to win a scholarship to attend the She Speaks Conference. All you have to do is write a story in six words. Here's mine:

Pink didn't use to frighten me

Being a word girl, I couldn't stop at just one, so for fun, but not entry, here are some of the others I wrote that tell tales yet to be written. Enjoy.

Wearing pink, looking brave, hiding fear.
Sins many, forgiven much, becoming more.
Waiting for the phone to ring.
Thought I was invincible; hospital called.
Silence speaks; tears scream; cancer calls.
Cancer called; I refused to answer.
Didn't really want to do it.
It was only a routine mammogram.
Words are written. Life is lived.
My life isn't a rough draft.
Awaiting phone call. Please be benign.
I let go; He held on.
I have forgotten how to sleep.
Cancer center called. Can't catch me.
Ollie-Ollie-Oxen-Free; Still hiding.
Rejoicing with her. Asking why me?
Need more hands to count blessings.
Leaking life through a cracked pot.
Once I started I couldn't quit.
Finally found me; worth the search.
I should not have hit "Send".
Tears real. Everything else mostly fake.
Water only washes off surface dirt.
Life is not a cameo appearance.
Pink was once my favorite color.
Surgeon called. Pink scares me now.
Walls fell. I am still standing.
Cup overflowing; drinking from my saucer.
Could not stop with just one.
Life's worth more than six words.
Life anchor being tested by hurricane.
Voluntarily behind bars. Prisoner of hope.
Doctors offered no hope. Still breathing.
Aging parents. Now I'm the mom.
Afraid to write life in ink.
Living the dash between the years.
My life changed with one call.
Should have let the phone ring.
Nail scarred hands brought my liberty.
Offering broken life to Him; Priceless.
Bowing down before Him. Standing redeemed.
Ruined: without reason, but not results.
Need Writers Anonymous; addicted to words.

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Thursday, March 31, 2011


“I am like a little child who doesn’t know (her) way around.” 1 Kings 3:7b

Today I am breathing in uncertainty and exhaling indecision.

The time separating lost and found seems like an eternity.


A frightening word and a familiar feeling.

Lost in a crowd of pain. Health challenges threaten to block my view of a hope and a future. Like Zacchaeus, I'm looking for a tree to climb.

Lord, right now I am that little child. Unexpected winds have blown me off course. Surrounded by unknown, I am directionless and disoriented. I can’t find my bearings. Questions fill my days and haunt hours of restlessness. Caught in a cycle of unending circumstances, I’m wandering aimlessly.

My life is defined right now by instability. The wind is blowing. It's not a gentle wind that lifts wisps of hair and caresses my face. It's a billow desiring to force me off my feet. A current from an area of high pressure air to an area of low pressure petitions to move joy to despair. A gale of doubt longs to bend my attitude and carry away all strength in its movement. As I watch the flag outside being whipped in wind’s embrace, my life feels so beaten and defeated. How can one stand against such unrelenting power?

A call to the Surgeon's office brings winds of change.

Uncertainty collides with faith.

Test results return.

Surgery dates are changed.

A violent storm of impending danger is on the horizon. I pray for the weather to change and the forecast to be kind.

Voices beckon me offering advice. Too many choices. Too many demands. Each decision leaves someone disappointed. Impossible to please and satisfy everyone. And what about me? Where is Your purpose as I meander down paths of pain? This is foreign territory and I’m a stranger in the land.

Lord, I’m searching for answers. I reach for the compass of Your Word, as mine lays shattered at my feet. You are my true North. You alone know the way out of the forest of confusion. Let one leaf fall to guide my way. Give me eyes to see. In my self-consumed thoughts, don’t let me step over this marker unnoticed. May the sound of crunching beneath my feet break through my bewilderment, as creation grabs my attention and points me to You. Help me navigate through feelings and faith, keeping my eyes fixed on You, the bright and morning Star.

I am so small. Life seems so big. You surpass them all. Take my hand Lord and show me the way.

"I'm a little lamb who's lost in the wood...oh how I need, Someone to watch over me." (Gershwin)

Footnote: Through my current health challenge, God is daily drawing my heart to His. This post was written as a scholarship submission for the She Speaks Conference, a wonderful weekend of opportunity where women's hearts connect with the heart of our Heavenly Father. This scholarship is being offered by Ann Voskamp through the generous donation of Cecil Murphy. You can read about this opportunity here: a holy experience It is my desire to follow and serve the Lord wherever He leads.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Come To the Garden

"Lots a things that looks dead are just biding their time." (Dickon, "The Secret Garden".)

Recently I attended a live, musical production of "The Secret Garden". There's something about that story that captivates my heart. Finding a key that opens the door to a place where dormant desires come alive. For me, "She Speaks" was the key that opened my heart to gifts and passions the Lord had planted in the garden of my soul.

I first attended "She Speaks" in 2005. I wandered in quite lost, but over the course of the weekend found myself, and my dreams. I had "flowers" that were "wick” deep in the soil of the gifts the Lord had planted in me. They had sat idle and isolated, but were alive and now given the opportunity to grow. God sees even the tiniest of flowers and He began watering the seed with the excellence of mentors who had long sat and prepared with the Master Gardener.

Caring for a garden takes effort and work. Throughout the conference the bark and thistles of doubt, fear, discouragement and inadequacy were cut back and pruned. Dead parts were cleared away giving room for tender buds of courage and confidence to bloom. The earth was loosened to let Sonshine warm the roots and feel the cool and gentle rain on the dream seeds God hand planted.

It takes courage to sprout out of the ground. It's safer below, but God's Word tells us not to hide our talents. Maybe all we can see right now is a single streak of green growth beneath the earth’s surface, "but when a thing is wick it has a will to grow, and grow." Deep down longings have been hiding through the darkest night, just waiting for such a time as this, the right time to be seen. Hosea 3:23 reminds me that God says, “I will plant her for myself in the land…” I am a planting of the Lord.

Each time I have come to the conference, the Lord has planted another seed. This year my desire to attend is two-fold. Yes, I still hold on to a silly notion of one day being a published author. But, quite honestly, this year, spiritually speaking, the garden of my heart has experienced some difficult tilling and is in need of some fertilizing.

I understand that ground needs to be cultivated and ploughed for growth to occur, but that doesn’t mean we have to enjoy the process. I stare at the date required for the submission of these scholarship entries, realizing that day, March 11, 2011, for the first time, I am scheduled to meet with an oncologist at the hospital to discuss further findings and possible treatment. An adversary has trespassed on garden ground that is not his, trying desperately to snatch the seed within me. My life feels more like a forsaken, forgotten garden. Registering for the conference this year, when the winds of uncertainty are blowing over this fallow field, is a huge step of faith. I hear the huffing and puffing of the enemy who longs to steal, kill and destroy. Oh how I pray the forecast ahead will be kind.

I lean into the swirling flow of nature’s energy and listen. I have a loving, powerful God who can produce vineyards and fruit in places of wilderness. There is growth to be born and birthed in this current climate. He will come to me like the spring rain, bringing a downpour of peace and joy. Fear wants to leave the soil barren, but faith issues an invitation to come to the garden, whispering that God is creating a new variety of flower, one whose season it is to bloom in the middle of a miracle.

("Wick" is a term used frequently in 'The Secret Garden'. It is used to describe something that still has the hope of life inside.)

This post was written as a submission for the She Speaks Scholarship opportunity.

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Monday, February 14, 2011

More Than a Fairytale

I've always enjoyed fairytales. A story of a handsome Prince. A beautiful Princess. Love sought. Romance. Purity. A time when just holding hands awakened feelings deep within. Eyes meet. Heart beats quicken. Pulses race. The unfolding of dreams. Simplicity. Royalty marrying commoner. Identities hidden. Position denied. Glass slippers cherished. Authenticity embraced. Honesty rewarded. Love found. The famous last words, "And they all lived happily ever after". I'm so thankful for their happiness, but the greater point is that they lived.

Often I wish I could crawl inside the pages of those fairytales. Life wasn't perfect. Hardships were everywhere. Damsels were in distress. Dragons needed slaying. Robin Hoods stole from the rich to give to the poor. Wicked witches poisoned apples and evil step-mothers imprisoned step-daughters. Yet, even within all the heartache, there was such passion. Passion to live. Passion to love.

Where are the Cinderella's of our day? Women who rise from adversity because they have been rescued from a life of slavery by the King of Kings? To borrow a title from Robert Munsch, sadly, too much of life is lived as the "Paper Bag Princess."

Circumstances steal our joy. Dragons smash our dreams and breathe fire to consume us. Our castles tumble. Breathing becomes our existence. Routine fills our day. Nothing excites us. We've lost our joy.

Life is meant to be lived. Christ came to give us not just life, but life to the full (John 10:10). Waking up every morning needs to overwhelm us with unexplainable delight. God has given us one more day. The Creator of the Universe meets with us a new each morning. Our Prince has rescued us. Royalty has married commoner. Vows pierced on a wooden cross. Promises made. Sin forgiven. We've been clothed in gowns of righteousness. A tiara of salvation adorns our head. The Kingdom is my royal inheritance. The Prince finds me lovely. I'm His choice for the first dance at the Grand Ball. His Hand is offered. I place my hand, my life, my trust in His.

One day, our Prince will come again.

Happy Valentine's Day Friends! Love to you all!

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Monday, January 31, 2011


“Then the LORD answered Job from the whirlwind” Job 40:6

This was the first verse in my daily reading the other morning, and quite honestly I didn’t need to read any further. God had spoken.

I have been unable to write here for quite some time. Some of you know the “whirlwind” that has attacked. Some of the ‘damages’ are visual, some hidden, but all have left me confused and unable to focus. Reading and writing have both become a challenge. Thoughts swirl and I’m unable to catch them and string them together with any clarity or coherence. I am in that whirlwind.

A whirlwind is defined as a weather phenomenon in which a vertically, rotating column of air forms due to instabilities and turbulence created by heating and current gradients. Whirlwinds occur all over the world and in any season. They are described as being a violent or destructive force, impetuous and speedy.

A whirlwind has swept me up in its clutches. My life is defined right now by instability and turbulence created by the heat and current of circumstances, medical exams, Dr’s reports, surgery dates and emotions. Whirlwinds can occur anywhere at any time. I am caught in that rotating column of air that is threatening to spin my life out of control. The weather in my "season" is unsettled. BUT...God can answer me from the whirlwind. FROM the whirlwind. Do you know what that means? Can you grasp the reality of what that is saying? He's in there with me. I am not alone. That brings a sense of calm and peace to the swirling currents already. He's in there....with me...and so until He speaks, I am going to reach over for His Hand and hold tight, because He is IN THIS current phenomenon.

And…what is a phenomenon? Why, it’s a remarkable development. It is extremely unusual and extraordinary. In its original Greek it means, that which appears or is seen. God allows whirlwind experiences because He desires to do something marvellous and significant in our lives so that others will see Him. He desires to make my life phenomenal and He wants me, and others watching, to see Him in the whirlwind. A whirlwind makes God visible.

It surprises me the singularity of the definition of a whirlwind. It’s “a” current, “a” column, “a” force. Does it not often seem like a whirlwind is multiple storms? Maybe it’s because of all the debris it acquires when we allow it to gain momentum in our hearts. Our minds race ahead and accumulate worthless what if’s, worry and urgency. Trust me, I’ve been there.

Has an unstable disturbance rocked your world recently? Is your life currently characterized by disjointed thoughts, sleeplessness, change in appetite, anxiety, concern, back aches, racing heart and agitation? You too are in a whirlwind, but you are not alone. God came to Job not only with an answer, but AS the answer. Insert your name in the verse above, “Then the LORD answered Joy from the whirlwind”.

Today as I sit poised in the unknown with decisions still ahead, I will be listening for God to speak to me from the whirlwind.

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