Holding Onto Joy in the Midst of Trials

My husband was let go the week before Thanksgiving and it felt as if the whole world was crumbling. Panic set in as I began to think what about insurance, the house, no savings to live off of, and what about groceries, and … and … and.

Fear began to overwhelm me. But thankfully, I have friends who spoke truth into my life and didn’t let me hold onto negative thinking or the fear.

The best advice I got was from a dear wise friend who said

Remember you set the tone for your home. Your kids can see you crying out to God, but how you handle this situation will be the standard for which they use to handle their trials in the future.

Do I really want my kids to be filled with fear when trials come? Do I want them to wallow in lies the world tells them? OR do I want them to know that God really does provide a peace which passes all understanding and He gives His children joy unspeakable?

Of course I want the later for my children. But it starts with me. Now.

So how do you hold onto joy in the midst of such a trial? It’s not easy, but these are a few things that have helped me, and I pray will help you.

  • It starts with being thankful. I know, it seems crazy to thank God for “bad” things (like losing a job, losing health insurance, possibly losing the house). But His ways are not our ways. What looks like “bad” to me, can actually be used for His glory. I am already seeing amazing growth in my family as a result of God drawing us closer to Him. And that is something to be thankful about.
  • Realize it’s ok to laugh. I admit that I was worried about laughing. My husband was really hurting and somehow laughing seem inconsiderate. But laughing let’s my husband know that things are ok. And it let’s the kids know that joy can be found in the midst of trials.
  • SMILE. Smiling is so very important for your children. I noticed that whenever I am not smiling lately, they will ask me to smile, or tickle me to try to get me to smile. Your smile is important to your children, and to your husband. Sometimes the smile I have is forced, but my kids can see through that. That’s when I just start making all sort of funny faces and a true smile appears when they laugh.
  • Continue to do things that bring the family joy. Play board games, put on some music and dance. Having some sort of normalcy is important for the kids. It lets them know life goes on, and can be joy filled.
  • Share with your children when God provides. I  had always heard about God providing for others in times of need, but never thought He would provide like that for me. And yet two weeks later, God provided two gift cards to a local grocery store. Sharing that with the kids let them know that God’s provision is personal.

What about you? Have you ever gone through a trial where you needed to hold onto joy? How do you hold onto joy in the midst of trials?

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