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Judy Lair is a licensed counselor and owner of Counselorplace Christian Counseling. She is the author of “From the Other Side of the Couch: A Biblical Counselor’s Guide to Relational Living.” Judy’s personal struggles with fear led her through the valley of hurt and sorrow. She now embraces a joy-filled life grounded in God’s truth and freedom in Christ. Judy uses her professional counseling expertise to tell stories that help people find healing and freedom. Her vulnerable, godly approach helps people find courage to move from Fear to Freedom. For more information or speaking requests, email JudyLair@counselorplace.com or sign up for blog posts at http://judylair.blogspot.com

 “Freedom is attainable. Trust me, I’ve been on the anxiety side, gone through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and now I’m praising God, eating at the banqueting table, and helping others make the same journey. Whether you find yourself stuck in anxiety, disappointment, grief, or confusion, your heart can be set free.” Judy Lair, “From the Other Side of the Couch.”

Monday, February 29, 2016

Trading Sorrow for Joy

It was a regular Tuesday night. He was on final approach. Just a few hundred yards from the runway when something went terribly wrong. In a split second, everything changed for his wife, 1 year old twin sons, parents, siblings, family, and friends.

I attended my cousin Joel’s funeral yesterday. He was 33 years old, a well-qualified, excellent pilot who loved God and his family. It was my privilege to be part of a family who cared for each other well during this very difficult day. We cried together, hugged, and laughed. We made it safe for each person to mourn. In the face of a terrible loss that made no earthly sense, we declared as a family our faith, hope, and belief in God’s everlasting love.

Many folks get lost in questions when tragedy strikes. Why did this happen? How can I continue to live? If God loves us, why didn’t he change circumstances? Fear makes us question God’s heart. Being reminded of our vulnerability is scary. When Jesus started talking to the disciples about leaving them, they also felt vulnerable. Thomas in John 14:5 asked, “Lord we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus gave Thomas the same answer he gave us yesterday. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Finding your way out of grief and questioning starts with moving toward Jesus. He wept at Lazarus’ death and begged Judas to come to him at the Last Supper. Take the hand Jesus offers. He will guide you to the Father’s heart where you’ll find all the answers you need.

Some of Joel’s siblings danced to a special song at the funeral. It lifted our hearts, reminding us God has promised to prepare a place for us and take us to be with him forever. Joel, I look forward to once again see your ready smile on the day I join you in heaven!

Trading My Sorrows by Darrell Evans

I'm trading my sorrows
I'm trading my shame
I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord

I'm trading my sickness
I'm trading my pain
I'm laying them down for the joy of the Lord

We say
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord
Yes Lord yes Lord yes yes Lord

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