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The other day at church, I had a dear friend come and ask how I continue to stand and interpret for the Lord each week with joy. He shared with me that almost every morning he wakes up sad or crying. He shared his story with me. His wife is now in a nursing home. He truly misses his wife and the time they shared together as a couple. I told him that I, too, wake up sad or wanting to cry. Sadness comes to all of us! There are many reasons why a person could have sadness or loneliness. I must daily make a choice to ask, “Will I be sad all day, or choose joy?” True joy depends on your inward attitudes, not on what is happening around you (read Mat. 5:3-12). I try to say a verse every morning to get my heart and mind thinking clearly. “And to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD, and likewise at even” (1 Chronicles 23:30). “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” (Psalm 5:3). I thank the Lord for this man who spoke with me. This couple truly enjoyed being together. My desire for this year is to be a helpmate that completes my husband. I must push away desires of pleasing myself, or feeling sorry for myself. I don’t want to complain about little things. I don’t want to nag about “stuff.” Be grateful. God made your husband for you, and you for your husband. There are no mistakes. Cherish your time together with your partner and your family. I remember making these wedding vows forty-four years ago … I accept you as God’s gift to me … I love you with a love that only Christ Himself could place within my heart … I promise to give myself to you as Christ gave Himself to the church … I will have and hold you from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish as long as we both shall live.

The man who spoke to me at church encouraged my heart to continue to do the right things. We need to choose joy over sadness every day.

“Life will teach you as you go, but it requires openness, adjustments, and changes on your part.”

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