Jun 26

Hidden Joy~Week 5

For me, this is the week of the “aha moment.”  It’s the time to move. Time to take action.  Time to quit waiting and settling.

Ladies, it’s time to get off our mats.  It’s time to answer the question, “Do you want to get well and are you willing to do whatever takes to get there?”

We started this journey 4 weeks ago.  We were hopeful and motivated.  We were ready to be fixed…I mean healed :)   Only now, many of us are discouraged. It’s taking time.   The newness has worn off and we are realizing…”Wow, this really will take some action on my part.”  If you feel this way, this chapter is for you.

Last week, we focused on not giving up.  This week we are going to focus on not sitting still.

Words of the Week:



Sunday– Those of you who signed up for Renee Swope’s 7 Day Doubt Diet, visit Renee’s blog for details. The diet begins today.

Monday– Read Chapter 5, On the Mat in your Hidden Joy book.  Highlight the parts of the chapter that stick out to you or you want to remember.  Share on the blog today how this chapter speaks to you in your life.

Monday– Conference Call #2.  It’s still not too late to sign up for these awesome calls! Just call 877-731-4663 to get signed up. Only $15 for the entire series. Each call is recorded so you will never miss a thing.  Tonight’s call begins at 8 pm EST.  Our guests are Dr. Kris Colangelo and Stephanie Clayton.  Kris will be sharing her personal journey through doubt, discouragement, and pain but also how her faith has sustained her through it all. You will love Kris and I can’t wait for you to hear from her.   Stephanie will be moving out of the role of professional counselor and into the role of victim/survivor. Yes, we will hear Steph’s story tonight. The message on tonight’s call is: It’s Time to Go: The Faith to Move Forward.  If you signed up for these calls, look for your email with all the information and outline by 4:00 pm EST today.

Tuesday– Wendy Blight opens up Chapter 5 with this sentence, “What I truly desired was a new beginning.”   What is it that you are desiring in your life?   Take your journal and write about your desires.  Your dreams.  Your prayers.  Then speak them outloud.  Give them to the Lord.  Then ask God what He desires for you.  Write down what you believe the answer to that question is.  Write it down in your journal.  Compare your desires with God’s desires.  Do they match?

Wednesday– Answer questions 1-4 in the Bible study section of Hidden Joy. (p. 188-190)

Wednesday– Check the blog. We’ll be having simple lesson on blog and social media etiquette.

Thursday- Answer questions 5-6 in the Bible study section of Hidden Joy.

Friday– Pray the prayer with Wendy on p. 190.  Catch up on anything you might have miss this week.


Thank you for being an important part of this group.  I am praying for you and love you <3



  1. Looking forward to week 5…..I actually wrote in my journal last week — do I really want to be healed??? Yes I do but I needed to walk through some emotions to that question!!

    I have noticed since beginning this study, even though it’s emotional, I have had more energy but also I am more scatterbrained and forgetful about stuff I need to do. There have been so many small and big changes in my life since we started, I really feel God is working in my life!!!

    • Veronica~
      I love that you asked yourself the question last week and here we are facing it as a group this week! God is so good like that :)

      Your comment just makes me smile! So thankful you feel God working in you.


  2. I’m looking forward to the conference call on Monday. God’s been working on me since the begining of this study. He’s been asking me trust him. Trust is hard for me so I’ve been not listening as well as I should have been when God has been putting things on my heart that I need to do or change. That changes today though as I’m going to take a huge leap of Faith & trust him this morning. I know what he’s placed on my heart to do & it’s time for me to do it & have Faith.
    The good news is that I’m almost all caught up on Chapter 4 & plan to finish the questions today & maybe tomorrow if I need more time. I want to spend some time with my kiddos today having fun with them. I’ve been pretty serious for the last couple of months since I’ve started this process of healing, I have to remind myself to take time for fun & laughter too. Those two things are so good for the soul & I don’t take enough time for those. I hope everyone’s having a good Sunday & that you all can laugh & have fun today.

  3. morning, this is something that was never discussed in any therapy session I ever went to before. All they wanted to talk about was feelings. I cant wait to dive into chapter 5. Thanks Melissa hope this week is better for you

  4. funny hiw God works . I have four kids and rarely have time to just sit and know that He is . However this week my youngest has been reallly sick with a fever virus and all I have been able to do is sit with her. ( and meet all her little demands :) ) God finaly has had my full attention. Its been awesome, rewarding. Ive been saved since i was 8 but this is a different relationship with Him that Im in now. not just foxhole prayers but really talking to Him. Its the first time that i feel peace, joy, the weight of the world lifted literally. Im seeing all kinds of treasure in my dark corner of the world. my corner isnt as dark anymore, in fact, theres a huge light. Ive let go of the shame of addiction, for the first time. Ive labeled myself since 2002, thinking i would never be anything but a struggling drug addict but God said Im much more than that and I can use my story to help the next woman see her worth thru Christ too, Thanks Melissa, for showing your human side, for letting us see that yall have doubts too. I love you all!

    • Kim, how wonderful that you are feeling for the first time the peace and joy that is yours as a child of God. Praising God with you for His faithfulness!! You are so much more than an addict. You are a loved, forgiven, holy, beautiful child of God for whom God has a perfect plan and purpose!! Can’t wait to see what God continues to do in your life as you journey with Him.

  5. I just finished chapter 5, and all I can say is, “WOW!”
    God really spoke to me through this chapter and really, I can’t even gather my words right now. There was definitely some conviction in that chapter and I realize now, more than ever, that the choice is mine.
    Time to get off the mat.
    I’ll be honest and say that I’m afraid. I’ll definitely be reading this chapter again, studying the verses that were included, and praying about this a lot. I feel like the story of my life was just written in one chapter.
    Oh. My. Wow!

    God bless all of you, my sisters in Christ!

    • Pamela,

      Those were my words too..WOW… as I realized God’s Word really speaks today. That He wrote the Bible to speak into my life and make a difference was a huge “ah hah” moment for me. I am praying for you now that as you move back through the chapter He will reveal precious new truths and that they will take root and grow deep!!!



  6. Thanks, Melissa, for your diligence in this study, for your prayers and your positive attitude. I am praying for every woman in this study, that they will find peace and comfort in their journey toward freedom. So many of you have experienced things in your life that I would never dream about… the nightmares you have had, and lived. But it is time. It is time for me to claim victory over my pettiness and feeling like my life isn’t what it should be, and it is time for you to claim victory in your lives, as well. We can do this through Christ. WE can do all things through Christ. HE is our strength. He is our fortress. He is our redeemer. He’s madly in love with each and every one of us… you may have never thought that you could have a Prince Charming, that you didn’t deserve one, but guess what… He’s ours. And He”ll be riding in on a white horse, to come and claim us for the greatest fairy tale wedding ever. He loves you… and wants you to be a bride free from tarnish, free from doubt and fear. He has already freed you, just claim it!
    Prayers and Blessings,

    • Lauren,

      How I love the beautiful Truths you have quoted in your comments. He is our strength, our fortress, our redeemer. This morning I was reading Psalms, and I was amazed at how many times David called Him our Rock, our Fortress, our Refuge, and our Strength!!! He will never leave us or forsake us. Thank you for every prayer you lift for this study. Prayers are why God is doing such a mighty work in the lives of each and every woman. He loves and honors the prayers of His people for He says: the prayers of a righteous [woman] are powerful and effective!!

      Blessings to you today,


  7. Kristi Deitrick says:

    Wow is right. I’ve suffered from major depression and anxiety for several years and the biggest question I’ve asked myself over the years was: Do I want to be healed? That story has been with me over the years….at some point you have to ask yourself that question. Is it really working for me to stay at this low point in my life or do I need to get up off my mat and ask God for complete healing? Thus this was a great chapter for me and yes, it does take work….mighty work of God and myself in tangent for healing and moving past this sad time in my life.

    Thanks Melissa for the pep talk….going to sign up for the calls as I’ve been persuaded!!!! God Bless you and yours today!

    • Kristi,
      I’m sure you’ll be happy you did (sign up for the calls). I really enjoyed the first one. Hearing Melissa’s and Stephanie’s voices really makes me feel like I know them! So much more personal than just reading the typed comments (although I read all those too!).

    • I suffer from extreme anxiety and depression as well. I went ahead and signed up for the conference calls and hope that you make the decision to do it too!

      • I just love reading your stories and seeing how God is moving you to take baby steps to get up off the mat!! It means so much to me and brings purpose to those years I sat on my mat, feeling as if God had abandoned me. Love you girls and cannot wait for my turn with you on the conference calls!!



  8. The Napoleon Hill Thought for the Day-June 26
    “Who told you it couldn’t be done, and what great achievements has he [she] performed that qualified him [her] to set up limitations for you?!
    You will find as you go through life that those who give advice most freely are precisely the individuals who are least qualified to do so. If someone tells you that what you are attempting to achieve is impossible or not worth the effort, take a close look at them and what they have accomplished with their lives. The chances are good that you will find they haven’t done much. Successful people are optimistic people. They have the habit of success because they have choosen to expect it” [And ole Napoleon hadn’t even factored in our Lord’s power! “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me”]
    Hey girls, thought that might pump u up!

  9. Yvonne S. says:

    I have been on my mat for yeeeears waiting for Jesus to come and say “Rise up and walk” never considering that I had to do my part too. I let the depression and despair swallow me whole, both of them being the “rose tint” to my particular glasses and view of the world.
    This study has been such an eye-opener.
    Thank you Melissa for your honesty, perseverance, and allowing God to work through you to help so many women.

  10. Is there more room for the conference calls and if so, how do I sign up?

  11. Melissa,
    You are the second person in about 10 days to ask me this question. (Think somebody is trying to tell me something???) Funny thing is, I have a message to you in my drafts folder that I didn’t know whether I should send or not that says, “I SO want to be healed of all this – I want to be better!” It is not easy for me to pour out my feelings in a public forum such as this… but I want to deal with the past in a healty way so badly. I don’t think I will be able to put it to rest because God is already working on me about what He wants me to do with it. Before I can do that, I have to make peace with it myself… Does any of this make sense??

    I have an appointment with my psychologist tomorrow at 1:00 pm. I intend to tell her that I have things I need to come to terms with and I need her help. I am ready to deal with it now so I can find that peace……. If you think about it, please say a prayer for me. (maybe you should say one for her too! LOL!) I would appreciate it…..

    • Saying a pray Wilma :)

    • Praying for you now, sweet friend. Praying that through the power of His Holy Spirit the Lord will work in a mighty way during your session…giving all wisdom and discerment for next steps in your healing process. Praying for the courage to take those steps!!! Praying protection over you as you continue on your healing journey.



    • It was a little rough – my eyes feel like sandpaper, i went thru half of a box of tissues in that hour – but I survived! Is that a step in the right direction? Lordy, I hope so! Would hate to think I put myself thru that for nothing!!

    • Stephanie says:

      Upholding you in prayer Wilma!

  12. Nevermind! I found where to sign up and did!! I’m excited to join in on the conference calls!! Can’t wait :)

  13. I am posting a prayer request with all of you who are in this study. It doesn’t have anything to do with the study but it’s very important. I’m not even sure how to share it with you without getting too graphic or sharing details that you all don’t really need to know.

    Out of our 5 children (2 boys 16 & 12 are my husband’s, 2 boys 17 & 13 are mine, and 1 girl, 5 is ours) three of the kids are autistic. My oldest stepson, the 16-year-old is the lowest functioning of the autistic kids. He can dress and feed himself and go to the bathroom and that kind of thing but his comprehension and communication is very low. Talking to him is like talking to a 2 year old. That’s about where his comprehension level is. So what he’s been doing is not his fault. What he has been doing is inappropriate sexual conduct towards his sister, my 5-year-old daughter. I will say up front that he hasn’t hurt her, yet. But that time could yet come and I am taking steps to try to stop it now. His mother, unfortunately, is not helpful. It is in her home where he gets most of his influence (he has been exposed to porn there) because he lives there full time – we only see him every other weekend. But things need to be done to get him to stop what he is doing now so that nothing worse happens in the future. But what to do is what I don’t know. We, his father and I, can’t explain to him that what he’s doing is inappropriate because he doesn’t understand. He is only driven by teenage hormones and the pictures he now has in his head of the porn he’s been exposed to at home. I am to a point where I don’t want to allow him in our home to protect my daughter. But that would not help him. He needs professional intervention.

    The prayer I need is for guidance to figure out where to go for help for him. Prayer for his mother (she’s not a believer) that God will stir in her heart a desire to help her son – because she doesn’t seem to care at all. And also prayer for all of this boy’s sisters (he has 2 sisters at home besides my daughter) for protection.

    I know this isn’t very clear, but I really need your prayer support for this situation.

    Thank you.

    • I’ll be praying for strength & guidance for you & your husband. I’ll also be praying for God to make it clear to you both what steps need to be taken to help this boy & protect his sisters from potential abuse. Sounds like a very difficult situation. I’m sorry you have to go through this.

    • Sharon, my heart breaks for you, for this boy, for your daughter, as well as for his other sisters at home. I will be praying for guidance for you and your husband…

      • Will be praying as well…..I have an autistic son so I know the difficulties when their biological age doesn’t compute with the age they are at. I haven’t had to deal with anything like this but I can imagine the stress and uncertainity involved.

        • Praying for wisdom and discernment to make the right decision for your son and for your family. Praying peace for you…that you will trust God to guide your every step. Praying protection for your daughter, that the Lord would not allow this to affect her in any way and erase from her memory any advances made upon her.



    • Hi Sharon,
      I’m praying right now and will continue to pray for you. Our God is so amazing, if we ask for Wisdom, He is willing to give it to us.

  14. Peg J. Ribble says:

    Hi Melissa,
    I have missed so much this past week. I’ve been head cook at our Church camp. So now I’m trying to catch up now that I have the net back. I’ve also signed up for “The 7-day Doubt Diet”. Can’t wait to get back in the swing of things!! Thanks for all these messages.

  15. Shannon J. says:

    Made it back home from spending the weekend at my dad & new step mom’s place in springfield, MO. It was a tough weekend with the fact that my dad is a very controlling person and I have struggled with that for many years and some other abuse that took place during childhood. It is good to be home and now the task of doing laundry and all of that other fun stuff before work on Monday.

    It has been amazing reading some of the post on this blog about how dificult it has been for several to express their thoughts & feelings. After being raped in college I never reported it out of fear and then I just wore masks and built walls. I learned to tell people what i thought they wanted to hear and to hide my true feelings. I find it extremely hard even now expressing what has happened and how it affects me. My husband doesnt understand and easily gets frustrated. It is destroying our marriage.

    I’ve not been able to discover that “personal” relationship with God. I’ve been running for years. I was full of anger and bitterness towards God. I didnt understand why he allowed the sexual abuse to happen. I questioned why an all powerful God allowed things to happen as they did.

    I appreciated your prayers and thoughts.

    • Shannon, I’ll keep praying for you to discover that personal relationship with God. I’m sure it is hard on our loved ones when they don’t understand why we are the way we are but it’s also so hard on us because we often don’t understand it ourselves. I didn’t understand it but now through almost 3 months of counseling, working on a workbook, this study & more church involvement, I’m really able to see it so clearly for the first time. When I see it, then I can go about changing it. That’s what I want. Do you go to counseling? I’m finding my counseling to be very helpful eventhough it hurts at times too. Once I have a chance to really think about what has been discussed at my session then I am usually able to see things a bit differently than before, better. Glad you made it back home Ok. Take Care & keep taking those steps forward even when they’re small steps. As long as your moving forward the size of the steps doesn’t matter.

      • Shannon J. says:


        Thanks for the prayers. Yes, i have just started going to a counselor. It has been a struggle….ie….in my previous message where i mentioned how hard it is for me to open up and talk about my feelings. unfortunately it is not a christian based counselor as i didnt have one in my area that i could find.

        • Sorry, I remembered after writing this that I already knew you went to counseling. My memory has been mush lately.

    • Shannon, how I know and understand your feelings about God. Please continue to work through Hidden Joy, especially the Truths presented from God’s Word. He will bring you healing and freedom from all that binds you. He will bring transformation into your heart, life, marriage, and family. Trust Him…ALL things are possible through Christ! Run to Him, dig deep into His Word. He will healing words over you. He will wash you clean!!



  16. Sheila Payne says:

    I am not sure if this is the right place but I wanted to sign up for the chance to win Renee Swope’s book. I am looking forward to the next study already.

  17. Stephanie says:

    Just wanted to say I am praying for all on here :) God Bless!

  18. Diki Burns says:

    Hi Melissa! I just signed up for Renee’s 7 Day Doubt Diet. A lack of confidence has always been a big issue with me. This sounds right up my ally so i’m going to check it out. I’m am also part of the Hidden Joy study and i am learning so much from that. I’m behind as usual but, i’m trying to catch up. Thanks to all you ladies for your love and desire to help others out by sharing yourselves with us. I love watching the Vlogs, it shows how real and down to earth you ladies really are. You are just like one of us and that helps so much to be able to relate to what you say. I also have to admit that i just love your Southern accent and hospitality. love you guys and praying for Gods work in each of us.
    that God may be Glorified, diki

  19. Finally got all caught up and updated my blog posts!!! Whew, that was some hard work but so glad I did it!! Writing it in my journal and then retyping the whole thing to my blog post just really helps me to take it all in and let it really soak in. So theraputic. Last night at Mass was just so amazing, I posted about it.

    Hope everyone had a blessed Sunday and everyone is ready to get to week 5 AND The Doubt Diet – 2 studies (well 3 for me b/c I am also doing Karen Ehman’s Organization Book Study, plus work, home repairs, working longer hours than normal and trying to find time to do fun stuff.) Okay got off subject sorry :)

    Anyhow I hope we all have an amazing Week 5 and can make some progress!!!! Praying as always for everyone in the study.

  20. Last week has left me angry and raw. My responses to the questions are mostly me arguing with the questions. Asking if they’re “for real”? I’m barely identifying that I am angry and the idea of asking God to search me for more offenses seems ludicrous. I’m barely holding on by a thread now, why would I want more things piled on my plate? I know being ridiculous, I know tomorrow I’ll wake up and be more open to these challenges to let God heal me. Bit right now I’m just irritated.
    Please pray for me. Thank you

    • I had a week of feeling like that too…..I think we need those weeks though to get through to allow the healing to happen. I will pray for you.

    • I’m praying for you, sister!
      Don’t give up! Keep pressing forward, a little at a time and I KNOW that God can heal all the hurt inside of you :)

      • Thank you Ladies, I dread feeling this ugly inside. God is doing so many things and I can see them, but I can’t embrace them enough to feel joyful or even thank Him for the changes.
        I welcome your prayers, thank you for your encouragement!

  21. Jennifer Rasor says:

    I am caught up! Yayyy!!! I still have to read Chapter 5 today, but other than that I am caught up and so excited! Also, I want to share something that was a huge thing for me on Saturday, because it is bringing me a freedom and a peace that some of you may need as well.

    Psalm 32:1-5 was being dissected, and in verse 1 it says, “Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered…” And the word “Transgressions” means willfull, premeditated, rebellious or planned sin. Verse 2: “Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.” The word “count” is like an accountant adding things up…and God is not sitting by adding up all of our sins-whether reactive or proactive. Romans 4:5b-8: “…his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.'” So instead of counting up our sins, he’s actually counting up the times that we choose to believe Him and crediting it toward our account as righteousness!!! He won’t be mocked…if we sin rebelliously He will do whatever it takes to discipline us and draw us nearer to Him again, but He doesn’t count up our sins and hold them against us. He actually focuses more on the times we take to believe Him! How amazing and freeing is that?!?!

    I know many of us have been hurt by other people and are focused more in this study on others’ sins against us, but how can we not do the same for others as God has done for us? How can we not forgive others (this doesn’t mean condoning what they did, saying it’s okay, or even being in their lives) and not let go of the weight of unforgiveness in light of the immense love and forgiveness our Father has shown us?

    I have rebelled. I have done things I am not proud of, and I’ve been in a pit because of it as well as because of my lifelong struggles with depression. I have felt doomed to it for life, and then when I rebelled in sin I felt like, how can I ask God’s forgiveness, AGAIN, knowing what I’ve done? But He has clearly been drawing me nearer to Him as I have sought Him, and He’s telling me that HE STILL LOVES ME! And I AM FORGIVEN!!! Beth Moore says, “The crisis of faith comes when we know we’ve messed up and we wonder, ‘Am I still who God says I am?'” I relate to that so well. And so now, I am moving on in freedom…in the freedom of His grace and forgiveness, with a truly repentant heart and no turning back. And allowing myself to feel happy again. I still cringe at my mistakes, but it keeps me humbled and closer to my God, my Abba Father who loves me.

    I hope this has somehow encouraged someone. I just want everyone to KNOW, to TRULY know the immense love and forgiveness of our Savior, so that we can all finally be set free from this darkness and decay that the enemy would have us sit and submerge ourselves in day in and day out so that we can never become all that God wants us to be. He can never take away our salvation, but he can sure try to make us useless in God’s kingdom, and I don’t want to be useless. I want to be USEFULL and USEABLE. So I’m taking a big step of faith…I’m getting up off of my mat, and I’m walking!

  22. Monique says:

    I read chapter 5 during my lunch hour toay and had to honestly ask myself, “Do you want to be healed?”. I thought I did, but in truth, I just wanted my own way. I was obedient in ending my unequally yoked relationship, but I’ve been so focused on the hurt and loss (my circumstances) that I’m still bogged down. Instead of trusting God’s plan for my life, whatever that may be; I’ve been praying that He change my exes heart and bring him back to me. Living in a fearful holding pattern instead of trusting God with an unknown future. Also not taking hold of my thoughts; dwelling on what I miss, what I lost, what I no longer have. Rather than thanking God for the changes He’s doing in my life, how He’s healing my brokenness and growing my faith. I’ve comitted to seeing God’s work in this trial and as soon as I did, I started down that path of unhealthy thoughts. This is going to be a challenge!
    Thank you all for your prayers, you’re all in my prayers as well. I want to be the woman God designed me to be, just as I know you all do.
    Stay strong ladies, God is with us, so who can be against us?

  23. Lisa Lagalo says:

    I read chapter 5 and I so understand where Wendy was. I want to be healed but….honestly I have to say that I can’t see my life without my burden. I have become comfortable with my mask. I have carried so much more then I ever needed to. To shed the weight of my OWN burden means letting God support that weight. My burden is MY STRONG leg if you will. (can I support myself with out it) is my daily battle question!
    Trust comes easy for us in ways that I never thought of before. I say over and over that I can’t trust….Truth is that I trust every day. I was reminded of this this weekend as I was driving to a friends house. Ahead of me was about 5 cars and leading the pack was an 18 wheeler. We were forced to slow down to HIS speed. (20 in a 55). As I grew more and more upset at the fact that I was not only running late but that we were stuck behind this SLOW truck.
    The driver of the 18 wheeler stuck his arm out of the window and started to wave at us, giving the (ok to pass) signal. It then hit me that I had indeed TRUSTED a complete stranger with not only my life but the lives of my children. I TRUSTED that it WAS safe to pass and I didn’t think twice about NOT taking him at his word.
    God is NOT a stranger to me!!! I love him with my entire being. Yet I question him. I don’t trust him all the time. I learned a huge lesson from a complete stranger. God please use this as a starting point for me. you are my friend, If I can TRUST a complete stranger then surely I can TRUST a friend.

    • Do you think that trust issue is because some of us have been hurt by the people in our lives that were put there to love us, protect us and guide us? I am just curious, bc I tend to trust strangers more than people who are closet to me. If a stranger harms me yes I will be upset but since there was no emotional attachment before it may be easier to move on (depending upon the incident of harm) however someone you already love and trust….much harder!

      • I don’t trust ANYbody!! I am serious!! You have to earn my trust!! Even on this blog – – I held back, and still do to a large extent. I don’t know any of you. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have typed and re-typed a reply, getting the wording just so-so… just to delete the whole thing and click on “Cancel Reply”. My dearest friend in the world would probably say, “Yep! That’s Wilma!”

        Do I trust God?? Now THAT is a loaded question. I trust Him implicitly with everybody I hold near and dear to my heart. But do I trust Him with ME?? I am hoping that I can learn how to do that very thing……

        • Wow……do you know how much we are alike. I do that too with my comments and replies. have to type them at least 3 times to make sure they sound right and sometimes I just cancel out of it completely.

          Trust well…..that’s a whole nother thing there!!!

          • I told you on your fb page that by the time this was over we would be bff’s!!!! LOL!!

  24. Sabrina says:

    I love what Wendy said in the beginning of chapter five – the great news is that the people in whose lives He did the most powerful work were not men and women who had it all together. They were more often hurting, doubting, disobedient, fearful, weak people just like me.

    Sometimes I have those feelings that I have to have it all together before God can work on me. I’m learning that God loves me just as I am, but he sees what I could become if I just trust him with this process of healing.

  25. Jennifer M says:

    Where to begin?!?! So much of what Wendy wrote pertains to my life currently. I feel like this is where I am currently in my journey with an anxiety disorder…I can’t tell you how many times I have said that all I want is a fresh slate – my new beginning (as Wendy opens this chapter mentioning this) – a huge eraser to eradicate all of my suffering and pain – the days were my thoughts were so dark and consuming… when I just wanted to give up!

    Right now, I still have thoughts that I may hurt myself or my children (that I may just ‘lose it’/have a total break-down) if I am left home alone for too long of a period by myself <– yes, I realize that this is the anxiety talking. I can't believe that Wendy's first steps were staying home alone – not relying on friends or family as the crutch… as the safety net. Even now, as I write, my husband is away on business, and I am planning on staying at my parents' house with my 2 sons! Creating my sense of false security instead of getting off my mat and trusting that God will blanket me with his peace and not leave my side.

    One of the things that I am really struggling with now in my journey is that I do feel that I have taken steps/got off my mat yet the process is so slow going!! Over the past few months, I have started going to the grocery store by myself again… I have started going back to group exercise classes… to the mall… (I know this may sound absurd to folks who have never struggled with anxiety), but it is a big deal – slowly peeling myself out of this cocoon of all consuming fear and doubt. I guess my point is that while I am making progress, and deep down I know that, it's hard to recognize it while I am in the thick of things. I think that I thought that God would literally just take all of the fear, all of the doubt, all of the pain and just – puff! – take it away. I know it's in God's time, not mine, but how I struggle with this ladies!!!

    God bless you all – wherever you are in your journeys! I am so thankful for this book, the ladies in this group, the conference calls… so grateful to be a part of this. I need this, and I know God lead me here so that He can continue to do his work on me!!

    • I can relate….I thought if I prayed harder or better one day I would wake up and everything would be better instantly!! It wasn’t until the vlog where Melissa said “God isn’t going to make you get off that couch or get dressed or read your bible, you have to do your work” that it dawned on me I have just being waiting not doing anything to help myself!

      Very proud of you for your steps, celebrate each one if them, you deserve that!!!!

      • Jennifer M says:

        Thanks for the encouragement, Veronica!!! Walking the fine line between doing something that could set me back (I think that it was mentioned as a passing comment on the conf call on Monday by Dr. Colangelo (???) – not sure since my kiddos were in the background screaming!) and getting off the mat – not always easy for me to figure out where that line is!!! The spiritual aspect of my journey with anxiety has definitely been eye opening!

  26. I thought by now I’d be caught up but I’m struggling with Chapter 4. Answering the first question (1a) left me upset. Now, I seem to be stuck at question 1 b. No, Isaiah 61:1 does not speak to me in my brokenness. But it should, shouldn’t it? Who is this speaking in this verse? Maybe I’m not really listening? Also, I can’t think of a time in my life that Jesus has put the broken pieces back together (1c). So I seem unable to answer that one as well. I don’t want to just skip them because each question seems to build upon the others. Why am I all of a sudden hitting a road block? This chapter seems to have left me with more questions than answers and right now I’m just plain frustrated and on the verge of tears. Am I really about to cry because Isaiah 61:1 doesn’t speak to me? Maybe I’m just tired… I’m sorry for the negativity. Thanks for listening to me.

    • Isaiah 61:1 didn’t really speak to me either!! But I could see how it could be a verse to take comfort in!! I struggled with a lot of those questions especially was or is your heart broken — ummm ya, but to name one was harder than I thought. I answered most of them at a bare minimum and then as this week progressed I was able to answer them better bc I wasn’t so focused on then. Hope that helps!!

      • Jenifer says:

        Thank you Veronica, that does help. I will do like you did and then revisit the questions later. God Bless.

  27. Hello,

    I came upon this in my devotional (The Word for You Today; Phx First Assembly of God; 6/26/11) and feel called to share: ” When your desire to go forward becomes greater than the memories of your past, you’ll begin to live again. “Where there is no vision, the people perish: (Pr 29:18). Until you have a vision of tomorrow, you’ll live in yesterday’s struggles. The very fact that God is putting desire back into your spirit means–better days are coming! So rise up and say with the Psalmist, “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” I have found this is starting to be true for me. While I have not suffered from rape, I have suffered with depression most of my adult life (I’m 43) and am slowly learning to recognize the lies and negative thought patterns playing in my head. God has given me a taste of what my life can be like and my desire to get better is overriding my (unconscious?) desire to remain where I’ve been in bondage for so long (much of this is a just a habitual way of thinking and behaving) . It is taking soooo long and is such hard work, but I coose to have confidence that my Lord will bring goodness from my struggles! Bless you all ladies.


    • Oooops! I forgot to put the verse in there…Ps 27:13…”I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord.” (NIV)

    • Stephanie says:

      Well said Meg.

    • Meg, I am just seeing your comment and love the statement, “When your desire to go forward becomes greater than the memories of your past, you’ll begin to live again.” That is wonderful!!!! Almost everything you said could apply to me – right down to the life-long battle with depression – and I am so glad you posted that, but I especially like that one statement!! Thank you so much!! If I could hug you right now, I certainly would!!!!

  28. Stephanie says:

    Thinking about what I desire…well, truthfully, the list is quite long. But in meditating on this chapter, there is one thing I have come to learn through many trials and tribulations, and that is – I have prayed and asked for many things but only my Heavenly Father knows what is truly the best for me. I have thought that certain desires would bring satisfaction, only to find to my disappointment that I was wrong. Learning to pray that His will be done in all things I might ask for, has brought me much more peace…especially when the answer is “NO”. I must say though, that even through refining and purifying, God has been gracious enough to throw me some nuggets of blessings that remind me He is Faithful!!! So my verse for this week is “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” Isaiah 30:18

  29. Joanna c says:

    Love love when the Lord says to us ” and when you return I will be waiting ”
    He is soo Merciful :)


  1. […] Hidden Joy – Week 5 post on Melissa’s blog. […]

  2. […] Hidden Joy – Week 5 post on Melissa’s blog. […]

  3. […]  I am FINALLY all caught up and just in time, this week starts Week 5 of the Hidden Joy Study.  Melissa posted this week’s assignment’s over at Melissa Taylor ~ Week 5   […]

  4. […] Hidden Joy – Week 5 post on Melissa’s blog. […]

  5. […] Hidden Joy – Week 5 post on Melissa’s blog. […]

  6. […] Hidden Joy – Week 5 post on Melissa’s blog. […]

  7. […] Hidden Joy – Week 5 post on Melissa’s blog. […]

  8. […]  I am FINALLY all caught up and just in time, this week starts Week 5 of the Hidden Joy Study.  Melissa posted this week’s assignment’s over at Melissa Taylor ~ Week 5   […]