By Carley Clark, Communication Specialist

“Some days, you feel so unloved by the people who are supposed to love you. And your heart hurts. And you feel empty. Like you’re in a wasteland with no life. Right now, it seems that this has been a very lifeless season. People who are supposed to bring joy to your life now bring thoughts of dread as you think of the life being sucked out of you. They never ask if you’re okay. And I’m not. I haven’t been for a long time.”

These are words I wrote down about a year ago. Words I felt so deeply to my core. I wrote these after spending days crying and wondering when I would be good enough for these people. When I would be good enough for God. A week before I wrote down these words, I decided to open up my Bible again. It had been awhile, and maybe just maybe, God would know what to say. And of course, He did. Looking back at this journal entry, I have to laugh, because two days after that entry is another entry that completely changed me. If only I knew two days before what God was about to do in my life. I opened my Bible to Psalm 51:1-12.

“1 Have mercy on me, O God,

   according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

   blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

   and cleanse me from my sin!

3 For I know my transgressions,

   and my sin is ever before me.

4 Against you, you only, have I sinned

   and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you may be justified in your words

   and blameless in your judgment.

5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,

   and in sin did my mother conceive me.

6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,

   and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;

   wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

8 Let me hear joy and gladness;

   let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

9 Hide your face from my sins,

   and blot out all my iniquities.

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,

   and renew a right spirit within me.

11 Cast me not away from your presence,

   and take not your Holy Spirit from me.

12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

   and uphold me with a willing spirit.”

Joy. That’s what was missing from my life. I had become so consumed with the pain I was going through and my anger and bitterness, that my joy was just gone. I looked at verse twelve, and I said, “yes! God! I want that! Restore the joy of your salvation!” And God began to restore me. And as verse eight says, my broken bones began to rejoice. Finally, my heart was being renewed, my broken bones mending, and my joy being restored.

I remember wanting to share with everyone about my rediscovered joy. So many friends were happy and excited for me. I had one friend who told me they could noticeably see a difference. How crazy is that! Some were so consumed with their own bitterness that they were unable to be excited about what God was doing. I knew that to fully become restored, I needed to be surrounded with people who could encourage me, love me well, uplift me, and hold me accountable.

Many times when we go through trials, we can get stuck wallowing in our bitterness in anger. But in order to truly move on, we have to let go of our feelings and hand them over to the One who has chosen and called us to be his sons and daughters. You may have to distance yourself from some people or get involved in a new small group or church or ask for forgiveness from those you have hurt. You may need someone from an outside perspective to help walk you through your difficult circumstance. Know that you are never alone and that God has a greater plan for you than you could even imagine. Allow Him to restore your joy. Let Him pull you out of that wasteland. Let your broken bones rejoice that God is good and that He is faithful!