Finding Joy in Joyless Circumstances

Hello, APC readers! My name is Amanda and I’m from the state of Virginia. I am 19-years-old, a 2019 high school graduate, and I am adopted from China. Next fall I plan to go to community college to pursue my dreams of becoming an occupational therapist, but for now, I am currently working as a live-in nanny. 

For my entry piece, I have decided to write about a point that my pastor told in one of his sermons; “There is joy in the word, worship, and the will of God”. My summer was a mix of emotions: sorrow from the ending of a long relationship, fun times with friends, camp counseling, and then sending off most of my friends to college. Amid all these events, the unexpected happened. My father passed away in September of 2019. At 18 years of age, I was left not only fatherless but also having to deal with his affairs due to my parents being divorced and me and my sister being the beneficiaries. I have always been wise and mature for my age, but these last few months have opened my eyes to the raw and not so pretty side of life. I have been struggling with being able to find true happiness and contentment with my life. It is completely expected that I fall apart and succumb to the blanket of depression due to my circumstances, however, I am determined to not allow my circumstances to define me as a person. I believe that God is going to use my story to bring others to Him and bring encouragement to others who are in a season of sorrow. Something that I’ve learned through this trial, is that it is detrimental to cling to our creator and his word. Isaiah 41:13 saids, “For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you”. God did not design us to handle burdens alone, He is here to be our rock and support. In September my father fell ill, he had open-heart surgery and it was very successful. However, he then had a massive stroke that left him in a coma. When the doctors told me that he will most likely not recover and be brain dead, it fully hit me that he wasn’t coming back. My father and I were never close; actually, I spent a lot of my middle school and early high school years resenting him for the actions and choices he made that then destroyed our family. But although he had hurt me deeply, I still loved him, he was still my father. With all these emotions swirling in my head, my uncle and I decided to allow my father to pass peacefully; we knew my dad would never want to live in the state he was in. After the night he passed away, I was left feeling alone, vulnerable, and shocked. Within two days, my father went from being almost discharged to a rehab center to being pronounced basically brain dead. I began to worry, who would walk us down the aisle at our weddings? Who will be the one to scare our future boyfriends half to death? Who will our future children call their grandfather? I will honestly say, I have only held up this well because of the Lord. He gave me comfort and peace when I began to worry about how my 12-year-old sister and I will live the rest of our lives fatherless. Something that I also learned is that the devil is always working. In the first part of John 10:10, it reads, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy…”. Satan is constantly putting lies into our minds. He convinces us that we have no one to turn to, that we don’t deserve joy in our lives. But the second part of the verse gives us hope, “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”. Our lives can feel like they are completely crumbling at times.; jobs may be lost, families may be broken, and loved ones may pass. But we can have peace knowing that whatever happens God is orchestrating it all, and his will will be done. I end this entry with this, no matter what life throws our way, we are protected and strengthened by the power of our almighty God. 

Hello! My name is Tyler Newman and I'm a magical creature.

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