Chronic Joy Ministry

 

weakness-waves-10.29.19

 

Have you ever heard that still small voice of God asking something of you that felt impossible?

Throughout my journey with Chronic Illness, every time that I have wanted to curl up in my safe corner and stay hidden away, Jesus has called me to open my heart and be honest in the sharing of how HE meets me in my weakest places.  Starting this blog, working on writing projects with my dear friend Anna Smit, and working on writing projects with my dear friend Ifeoma Samuel are some of those places where the strength of Jesus has overwhelmed me in my weaknesses.

Over this past summer, when my pain levels were at some of the highest points in this journey, my sweet friends at Chronic Joy Ministry, Pamela Piquette, and Cindee Snider Re, asked if I might be willing to share some prayers with the newly opened “Prayer Pond” section on their website. Through that process of opening my heart and writing down the prayers that were actually my own heart’s cries from the midst of the pain, the Lord began stirring in my heart to come alongside, to join in the compassion that is so evident through the ministry of Chronic Joy.

So when Pamela and Cindee asked me to pray about making the connection there official, I knew that the Lord had already been providing the answer in my heart.  My own stubborn ways wanted to resist, to say that I could not handle the load now, to say that I wanted to be well, not to be talking about illness. And yet, the heart of Jesus had already overwhelmed my heart with love for those who walk the same kind of path that I do:  a path that is strewn with thorns and rocks, and yet a path where Jesus lifts our feet over every treacherous obstacle and keeps our feet from stumbling.

 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV

 

I would love for you to join me over at the website of Chronic Joy Ministry, to read more about my story and the connection with them, and to hear about the beautiful new way of sharing together at the Prayer Pond.

Click here to read more:

And then come back here to read about a giveaway I am offering here this week!

 

~~~~~~~

 

Chronic Joy Ministry has given me a book to be able to donate through a giveaway here today. It is the first book in their “Thrive” series, Discovering Hope, written by Cindee Snider Re. I have offered this book in a giveaway here a few times before, and I am so glad to offer it again.  All you have to do to be eligible to win is leave a comment here, and I will draw a name at random this coming weekend, and announce the winner here next week.  **This giveaway is closed now. Congratulations to Melissa Hendersen for winning the copy of Discovering Hope!

 

I am linking with:

#TeaAndWord

#LMMLinkup

 

22 thoughts on “Chronic Joy Ministry

  1. Good morning sister, how wonder-full to connect you with Chronic Joy and equip you to join their staff at just the right time. His work in your heart (and mine) is far from done, but God uses our broken pieces to allow His light to shine through. I am blessed to have you in my life, Bettie Gilbert💙💗💙💗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Julie,
      Amen for our Father’s persistence to keep working in our hearts! How precious is His light in all of the dark places we face. I appreciate your love in my life too, dear sister! May you be blessed today. Love & Hugs!

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    1. Oh, I am so glad you were able to connect with Chronic Joy today, Mandy. They bring such encouragement through all of their sharing on FB and IG too. Love and Prayers, Dear Sister!

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  2. Oh Bettie, I know God will use you there, too. I did comment over there, but I wanted to check in here, too. This especially moved me to tears as I read: “While I felt so full of shame over the weaknesses that I bore, I heard Him whispering to me, “Come inside with Me. I am already here, and I am not offended by your pain or shame. I want to just be here with you.” Thank you! I need to remember He is never, ever offended by our pain and shame.” Love and blessings to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Trudy,
      Oh isn’t it such a gift when we can hear Jesus whisper His words to us? He has so much mercy to offer to us, and it seems like I forget that so easily too. I am so grateful that He keeps calling us to come with Him. You are such a blessing to me as you share encouragement and hope. I pray that Jesus showers that same encouragement upon you today. Love and blessings to you too! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

  3. A story in Streams in the Desert Vol 2 reflects your story:

    October 26
    … If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink. John 7:37
    A most unusual story is found in the first chapter of Judges. Achsah had received a gift of land from her father. As she surveyed her new holdings, she discovered, much to her consternation, that there were no water wells – the land was a barren waste.
    Achsah sent word to her father, Caleb that she would like to see him. She was called into his presence and was greeted with the question, “What wilt thou, my daughter?” her reply was definite, “Thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water.” Her request was granted immediately. Caleb gave her the “upper and nether springs.”

    This generous gift exceeded her fondest expectations; the land would now become fruitful and fertile. It was then evident that she learned early one of life’s greatest lessons – if a blessing is to be enjoyed, it must be shared. Others should have the opportunity of quenching their thirst from these flowing springs. She sent this invitation to her neighbors, Come ye to the waters, come, and drink abundantly…”
    Achsah might have been content with a dry, barren land, but how much better that she had the faith to say, “Give me a blessing.”
    No simpler, stronger symbol of the Spirit could be found than this, a Spring – a well-Spring – never dry – never turbid; from its clear depths, fed through the secret veins of the earth, it gushes ever into life. It goes not downward, but it springs up and it flows out.
    “all my fresh springs are in thee,” said David. The soul that has found all its springs in God never knows its supply to fail or vary; we need both upper and nether springs. The Spirit of God is in the highest regions of life and down to its lowest level – the need is still the same.
    Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

    Psalm 126:4
    Restore our fortunes, LORD, like streams in the Negev.

    Judges 1 Other translations:
    She said to him: “Give me a blessing: since you gave me land in the Negev, also give me sources of water.” So Kalev gave her the Upper Springs and the Lower Springs.
    CEV
    She answered, “I need your help. The land you gave me is in the Southern Desert, so please give me some spring-fed ponds for a water supply.” Caleb gave her a couple of small ponds named Higher Pond and Lower Pond.
    (and Chronic Joy Prayer Pond!)

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    1. Oh Dear Lisa, your words here, and this reading from “Streams in the Desert” have brought such tears to my eyes. That living water, that well of water “springing up to eternal life” holds such significance for me, as I portrayed the woman at the well for several years as our family traveled with a drama ministry. Thank you for listening to the prompts of Jesus to share this today. Only He could have known how deeply that would touch my heart. And to think of those ponds for Achsah and those she shared with, in parallel to the Prayer Pond is such a sweet blessing from Jesus. It will forever be transformed in my thoughts now. Blessings and love to you my sweet friend.

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    1. Thank you so much for your sweet prayers, Cheryl! I am so grateful that our Lord lets us pray for each other across the miles. There is no distance in His Holy Spirit. Blessings and prayers for you today also dear friend!

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    1. Yes, you are so right, Lynn. He really does reach out and connect us through those deep heart-groaning prayers. I am so thankful that He helps us to listen and respond right there. Blessings to you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind comments and support, Lisa. Oh yes, God is so good to weave our paths together in the ways that His comfort can be shared and received, back and forth. I am so grateful for that precious comfort! Blessings to you this week!

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  4. Congratulations, dear Bettie! What a fantastic ministry opportunity for you and a huge means of blessing others as well. I did leave a comment on the Chronic Joy Ministry site but wanted to leave one here too. Your story touched me so much. I can strongly relate to these words in particular:

    “The uncovering of my stubborn heart has not finished, as He continues to show me areas where I have wanted to be sufficient in my own strength still. Places where I have resisted leaning into the staff of my Savior. Places where I have wanted to be in the sheep pen with the strong sheep. But as I allow Him to have His way in my stubbornness, He shows me the deeper joy of being weak, of being carried on His shoulders.”

    Reading this felt like my own inner thoughts were being laid bare. Thank you for the salutary reminder to keep leaning, surrendering and trusting God. I’m so thankful for your ministry here and in our friendship. God has definitely equipped you to carry out this new role with deep compassion and grace. May He continue to awe and surprise you with more open doors! Blessings and love. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Joy,
      Thank you so much for your sweet friendship and encouragement. To know that another person is facing some of the same trials that I have faced has been such a huge help to me. Your honesty and openness in the chronic illlness journey has always drawn me into more of that precious “leaning, surrendering and trusting God” also. It always amazes me how the Lord has had us facing such similar trials, even though we are miles apart, and in different settings. He knew how important that connection would be for us. And that same hope is what I pray for others as they visit the website of Chronic Joy Ministry and its Prayer Pond page. I pray that the same comfort that He has allowed us to share with each other could be passed along through His gifts of grace and mercy there. I am so very grateful for you, Dear Friend! Love, hugs, and blessings to you across the pond! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen, Bettie, may it be so! It’s been such a great grace gift for both of us. God knew we would need close soul companions on this rather arduous chronic illness journey. As you prayerfully come alongside and touch the lives of others on the Chronic Joy Ministry site, may they also sense the relief it brings to know how much another soul understands what they might be going through. Just as has happened for you and me. Blessings and love to you, dear friend xoxo 💜

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