Find your joy: Revival in the new year

• Joy in the Journey


– Graham- McCarty

– Graham- McCarty

I started the year feeling energized and ready to take on the world.

My husband and I took a group of young adults from our church to the Passion Conference in Atlanta, Georgia, on Jan. 1-2. It was two days filled with worship, encouraging speakers, and watching nearly 60,000 young adults stand-up for their faith and belief in Jesus. What a way to start the year.

As I watched our young adults raise their hands in worship and bow their heads in prayer I was encouraged and renewed. It was just what my spirit needed.

I am not a word of the year kind of gal, but as I sat through the Passion Conference, I felt one word resonating with me – revival.

After year number who even knows of the pandemic our world needs a revival, and not just our world, but I need revival. I’m not talking about the old-time revivals where a preacher comes in for a week and preaches hell, fire, and damnation, though that might not hurt, I’m talking about a renewal of the joy that we once felt before COVID made its appearance.

Revival, according to the Merriam- Webster dictionary means an “act or instance of reviving: the state of being revived: (a) such as a renewed attention to or interest in something. (b) a new presentation or publication of something old.”

Do you ever feel like you are just dead inside, as if the joy and energy you once had was just gone? Maybe you used to love cooking, but now you would rather order in or go out? Maybe for you it was running, or exercise, but now it is just easier to sit on the couch and do nothing. Perhaps you used to love going to church and being in fellowship with other believers, singing songs and listening to preaching, but you have grown accustomed to watching church from home. Once an outgoing person, you enjoyed being out and about and spending time with friends, but now there are just too many people out, so you stay home and scroll through social media apps.

Whatever it is that needs revived in you – wake it up and find your joy.

For me, the move to Monticello has been both exciting and, if I am honest, disheartening. I love that we are closer to our families. I love my job and our church, but a big piece of my heart is still in Clarksville, Tennessee. Our son decided to go to college in Clarksville and we only get to see him on breaks. This past week he returned to college and will not be home again until Easter weekend.

As I have tried to make our house a home it has been difficult. It feels wrong to make this our home when he is not here. I’ve tried to get involved more at our church, I am a pastor’s wife after all, but I loved our old church and the ministries I had there. I’m still trying to figure out where I fit in here, and where I am called to serve.

It doesn’t take much to rob you of your joy if you let it, and I have let it. That is why after leaving Passion, I felt a determination to bring revival to my life. I want to wake up ready to tackle the world. I want to be an encourager to my husband and kids. I want to be able to share joy with everyone I meet. I need a revival.

Now the question is, how do you experience revival. I don’t know. I believe it is different for each person. I do believe, however, that it starts with me, and you. We must be determined to make a difference, and to want to be renewed. We must pour into ourselves before we can pour out into others. So, start small.

For me, I am determined to get my entire house unpacked and pick some paint colors for the walls. I’m starting small, one room at a time. I want to make our home a place of joy, and I want to put our mark on it. This weekend we will work to finish my daughter’s room. Next, my youngest son’s. One weekend at a time, one room at a time, until it is all finished.

I don’t know what revival looks like for you, but I hope whatever joy you have lost, you can find it again. Take time for you. Do what you love. Be renewed this new year and find your joy.

Amy Graham-McCarty is the Executive Editor of the News & Review. She is also a wife and a mother, and tries to find joy in the journey of life.

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