Hello Friend, thank you for joining us for this summer Nourish series. If you’re wondering what that is, head on over here to read the Introduction. (Then come back, because you won’t want to miss today’s guest author!)
Today’s guest author is a dear soul sister, Rachael M. Colby. Rachael and I met in the Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild two years ago and joined the same writing group. We often wrote about the same topics the same weeks without realizing it until afterward! I appreciate Rachael’s fiery encouragement — rich, intense, and timely. Rachael is big-hearted and spills Jesus. She’s all kinds of amazing (but what daughter of the King isn’t?), and her tenacity is inspiring. When someone has fought with you in battle (don’t tell me prayer isn’t a battle) and wielded their sword for your good, it’s a joy to share their words. So it is today.
I love sunny days, so when the sun dipped behind the clouds the other day my mood fell.
“No, Lord,” I said, “make the sun come back out!”
“I Am the sunshine in your soul,” Jesus whispered to my heart.
Without the sun, plants lose color and don’t thrive. Time spent basking in the Son-shine nurtures soul seeds and makes miracles grow.
Obstacles to Overcome: Dagger-like Words
The power of words to destroy or heal and release destiny is amazing. I let dagger-like words stall me for 10 years in my Christian walk. I loved God and remained faithful to my church and family, but it was business as usual. I wasn’t looking for happy or joy—I had given up on both. Then almost four years ago the familiar ripped away amidst a storm of heartbreaking circumstance I couldn’t change. Many floundered and some seemingly walked away from God and their destiny. I ran to God for cover.
At a little white church one day in October, in the opposite of an emotional decision, I renewed my vows to God.
I choose You Jesus when the way is clear… I choose You when the storm rages on… keep my mind stayed on You, keep my eyes fixed on You…Because at the end of the day, it’s all about You, Jesus.
What if nothing changes?
Then change me Lord.
What if everyone walks away?
Then I will stay, Lord.
Though all hell was breaking loose, Heaven came down and Jesus’ presence set my soul ablaze in the best of ways. I didn’t ask Him for anything that day, except to keep me. The feelings followed the act of faith—an unexpected blessing that continues today.
In that field I committed to a simple plan—to read a minimum of a chapter a day of the Bible based on the YouVersion Bible App verse of the day. Here too began my writing journey.
Another Obstacle: The Demon of One More Thing
There is an enemy I must be ever vigilant of who tries to steal me away from my Lord—the demon of one-more-thing. I don’t tell myself I will organize my closet and then pray and read my Bible. I only intend to do a teensy two-minute task, but then it turns into another and another and then the day is gone. [bctt tweet=”Though I mean well, it never ends well when I don’t give Jesus first place in my day. ~Rachael M. Colby” username=”PearlNAllard”] I call this fight for right, turning Martha into Mary.
You see, you don’t get happy when you get what you want. You get happy when God gets what He wants. And what God wants is you. What God wants is me—Our hearts bowed to His will for our lives, the calling He has for us. He wants our undivided attention, time spent with Him. But I want to encourage you to reach for something higher than happy—joy.
[bctt tweet=”You don’t get happy when you get what you want. You get happy when God gets what He wants. And what God wants is you. ~Rachael M. Colby” username=”PearlNAllard”]
Happy vs. Joy
Happy is a pretty bird who’s easily frightened away. Happy can be elusive and is based on circumstance. Happy is a flirt, but joy is a faithful friend, a well to draw and drink deeply from. [bctt tweet=”Joy in Jesus is a sure thing and since I’m a bit of a control freak, immersing myself in Jesus is a sure way to win. ~Rachael M. Colby” username=”PearlNAllard”]
Do you know what “I’m busy right now, God,” means? It’s saying “There is something more important right now than receiving what you have to say to me, God.” And there isn’t. Ever.
[bctt tweet=”Do you know what ‘I’m busy right now, God,’ means? It’s saying ‘There is something more important right now than receiving what you have to say to me, God.’ And there isn’t. Ever. ~Rachael M. Colby” username=”PearlNAllard”]
The joy of the Lord is our strength; the absence of it leaves us weak. Jesus is unchanging, always there. He, not possessions or circumstance, is the source of joy. So, as the song goes, “I have something that the world can’t give and the world can’t take it away!”
I maintain joy through struggles by drawing closer to God, filling up all the empty and dark places with His Word, His promises, and by keeping an eternal perspective. The words of this old favorite hymn ring true.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus….Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:8 (NKJV)
Contemporary Christian music plays a crucial part in keeping me God focused. I pray, read my Bible, write and fall asleep to it often. Music is spiritual, I believe it is one of the most powerful means of persuasion. The question is which spirit it evokes—Christ’s or the world’s? Is it poison, junk food, or soul strengthening? It’s not enough that the lyrics aren’t bad, I choose ones that nourish my soul.
- Practice gratitude
- Repent often
- Forgive much
- Cast what you can’t carry on Him
- Encourage others
- Find and follow your calling
- Praise Him — the power of praise sets prisoners free and brings them into the presence of the Prince of Peace.
I find joy when I write for Jesus, when God uses the words He gives me to lift others up and encourage them in Christ. I love to write love letters to Jesus, to praise Him.
The more I know Jesus the more I want Him. He satisfies. He is enough, but I can’t get enough of Him.
“And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord…” Ephesians 5:18-19 (NKJV)
This is a call to not just sip a little, but to become intoxicated in Jesus.
Do you know my Jesus? Do you long to be filled? Don’t chase Happy. Chase Jesus. I am Happy in the Lord because I made Him my joy.
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God.” Psalms 42:1 (NKJV)
Rachael M. Colby was born and raised in Jamaica and currently resides in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Jesus junkie since 1987. Wife, mom of four, and bonafide beach bum. She is the creator of the blog TattooItOnYourHeart.com — a place for seekers, followers, and writers — syndicated with the Cape Cod Times. She combines her original art and dynamic prose to encourage her wide tribe of readers to embrace the Way, the Truth, and the Life — or in other words: “Tattoo it on your heart, walk it out in your skin.”
Connect with Rachael:
12 thoughts on “#8 – How to Nourish Your Soul & Be Happy in the Lord – by Rachael M. Colby”
Thank you for the encouragement today, Rachael. Your description of asking the Lord to “keep you” when everything around you was crumbling was so gripping. Thanks for giving us a window into both your initial step of faith, but also the spiritual reward and blessing that followed.
Thank you for your kind words. I’m blessed you found some take away from my post. God is faithful to meet us where we are and yes, He is enough. 🙂
Rachel, thank you for your presence here. I agree, it’s courage-giving to see how someone else’s hard decision brought blessing. May He give us the courage to choose blessings today!
Great post, Rachael! I especially like your closing thoughts, “Don’t chase happy. Chase Jesus.” A good, constant reminder.
I end up empty handed or at least short with everything I chase, except for Jesus, Melissa. He is the prize. Appreciate you. 🙂
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)
Melissa, I’m with you. That’s a quote-worthy phrase right there.
Thank you, Rachael. Beautiful post. Always a reminder that life gets so busy at times but Jesus is always waiting for us. I need to make more time to spend with him daily.
Kelly, thank you for your kind words for Rachael — isn’t she wonderful? May God carve a chunk of time for you and He to spend together today enjoying His presence. Your presence here is a gift!
You are very welcome, Kelly. Yes, I too need to make more time to spend with Jesus. We will never find the time for what is most important. The cares of this world, distractions, constantly vie for my attention. We must make Jesus Lord of our hearts and time. Thanks for stopping by, for sharing and for your kind words. <3
Brought sunshine to my heart! Beautiful composition with amazing photos! Thank you!
Debbie, your encouragement is always a ray of Sonshine – isn’t Rachael great? Thank you for your presence here!
Thank you for reading and for your kind words, Debbie! It’s a joy to share the Light- the Son-shine with you.
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