Joy Farrington comments on a personally challenging situation

Joy Attmore
Joy Attmore

I'm sat in the back seat of my Dad's green Ford Fiesta, watching the English countryside roll by as we make our way down to Bath, the home of my Aunt and two cousins. I've been back in England now for two months after spending the majority of the last year in the States. I now find myself 'stuck' here for at least the next six months after being arrested in New York and facing two court appearances, all for the simple mistake of walking through the wrong subway door. On January 20th 2013 my period of probation will be over, my case will be completely closed and I'll be able to enter the US again. Until then I find myself disarmed, my plans and strategies upturned and with no real control over what happens next.

Saturday March 17th 2012 was frequented with showers in the city of Pasadena, Los Angeles but in the late morning the sun broke out, as the love of my life knelt down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. Four and a half months later we are now over 5,000 miles apart and doing our best to maintain the excitement for our wedding when it feels like so much is being thrown at us. This is definitely not how I imagined my engagement period to be and I'm finding it a challenge to hold the tension between all of the dreams I've stored up in my heart over the years and the reality that I find myself in now.

When something in our lives begins to play out differently to how we'd imagined or planned it to go, it can quite easily allow a pain to settle in our hearts and if we class something as having gone wrong, it can also be easy to want to find someone to blame and heap upon them the frustration that we feel. In those really hard situations, we can also begin to close off our hearts, to harden them in an effort to protect them from any further disappointment. Our ability to trust can be narrowed through the view finder of 'past experiences' and skepticism and we end up exhausted, desiring nothing more but to sleep until it's all over.

'Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great crowd of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.' Hebrews 12: 1-3 (NIV)

We are never alone; we are never abandoned and the final outcome will always be accompanied with a great 'amen!' from the heavenlies. Reading Hebrews 12 stirs me on to not give up hope; to not become weary or lose heart, but to find renewed strength in the One who is for me and not against me.

I've found that one of the biggest battles that I can face is to not believe the lies that seem to filter into my consciousness every day. Lies that tell me that 'it's not going to work out'; 'things won't change'; 'I won't have enough money', or 'I don't deserve for it all to be okay anyway.' These are the sorts of thoughts that are actually quite normal for us to think, but they hold absolutely no truth whatsoever! Every day we face decision after decision as to whether or not we give these thoughts permission to land on the airstrip of our minds.

'May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.' Romans 15:13

Hope. This becomes the key and anthem of these times. The key that unlocks joy regardless of circumstances and the anthem that we sing continuously, awakening our souls to the goodness of God and his unfailing promises to us.

His promises are what I have now learnt to cling to and remind myself of every day. There are many days when my emotions don't match the resolve that I may now write with, but that doesn't make God's word any less valid and it doesn't take away any of His goodness. He never lies. He never changes. He never fails. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.