Caravan Sonnet: From Hope Valley Devotionals (Week Five)

3/1/17

From Hope Valley Devotionals (Week Five)

One of my favorite scenes in episode 6 is at the end after Carla has twins and the exchange that takes place between Cat and Abigail. In the midst of the other widows grief they choose to rejoice with Carla and find the joy in this blessing. In doing so, we are gently reminded that in rejoicing with another we are also all blessed.

This scene has deeply challenged me as I have thought and considered my own personal life in many ways. In today's world it seems that it is almost "common" or "expected" to be envious of another person or to compare ourselves with another when good things come. Unfortunately I see more and more women who grow envious and bitter at what they feel that they are missing out on when they see what others have. Instead of rejoicing with what God is doing in other’s lives, they grow resentful, bitter, and even withdraw from different friendships.

Do I think that it is easy to always rejoice when I see friends and others get in life what I most long for? Absolutely not. Maybe you are struggling with unemployment and only continue to hear about the successes of others in their jobs. Maybe you are longing to be a mama and month after month you see the negative strip show up on the pregnancy tests, while all of your friends continue to have children. Maybe like myself you are longing for a spouse and have seen more engagement announcements or attended more weddings than you can count on your fingers. Maybe you long for a broken relationship to be mended. Maybe you desire for close family relationships. Maybe you are longing for a desire so deep that you can’t even express out loud because you cry when you try to form words.

How do we rejoice with those around us who may be blessed by the deepest desires of what you have been longing and aching for? How do we find the courage to see beyond the circumstances we are most longing for? One practice that has been extremely helpful to me is practicing the art of thankfulness. Instead of looking just at the things in life that I feel that I am missing or longing for I start to focus on what the Lord has given to me. I shared in a post on the blog a couple of years ago about 5 ways to stop the comparison game and love your life and writing that post really challenged me to focus on the blessings that I have been given by God. His goodness is everywhere and I am completely overwhelmed by it as I consider just how much I have that I don't deserve. 

To say that life is difficult in waiting sometimes for our longings to come to fruition is an understatement. This scene in episode 6, season 1 has gently reminded me of the grace that the widows were offering to Carla. It would have been so easy (and perhaps even "acceptable") if they struggled to embrace the joy that she was experiencing while they were still in grief. But in choosing to look past their own circumstances and embrace the courage to rejoice, they all were blessed. 

I am so challenged by this brief but poignant scene that reminds me that when we withdraw out of envy or lack of willingness to rejoice with others, we only hurt ourselves. We are then robbed of the opportunity for blessing in the midst of what others experience. When we withdraw we miss out on seeing the different ways that God is working which can gently remind our tender hearts that even in the times we don't see it, God is still at work in our own lives.

So sweet friends, today, let us cultivate and strive for courage to embrace and celebrate everything that God is doing not only in our lives but in the peoples lives around us.  May we find the hidden jewel of blessing in rejoicing with others. God is writing each of our stories uniquely friends. We can rest fully in the knowledge that His timing for every single detail in our lives is flawless and as we rejoice with others we will see the beautiful truth that we are all truly blessed.

"Celebrate everything that you and your families have accomplished under the blessing of God, your God."
-Deuteronomy 12:7, the Message-

"Rejoice with those who rejoice..."
-Romans 12:15-
Looking for past From Hope Valley Devotionals? You can click HERE to find a complete listing of all of the devotionals! 

*Please note that the quotes used in these weekly devotionals are the sole intellectual property of Hallmark Channel, WCTH, & Crown Media, LLC. These on-line posts are in no way supported, endorsed or affiliated with WCTH, Hallmark Channel, or Crown Media. They are simply encouragement inspired by Janette Oke and this precious show.*

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