From Joyless to Joy-Filled
Joy was something I once believed the Lord gave to other people, but I couldn’t attain myself. I researched joy, read about it, prayed for it, but found it elusive and hard to grasp. Just when I believed I’d grabbed on to it, it felt as if my joy would slip through my fingers. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t fully embrace it.
Hi, I’m Cathy McIntosh. Thanks so much for stopping by! Most of us, as women, wear a lot of hats and I’m no different. My hats include that of Christian Speaker, Author, Blogger, and Faith Coach. My heart is to help women embrace the joy of the Lord, even amid jumbled lives.
As I mentioned, my passion for joy developed through many years of a joyless life. I made some big, terrible mistakes many years ago and I let things like guilt, shame, fear, worry, and confusion rob me of the joy of the Lord.
It all came to a head when we received a call from the police department in our son’s out of state college town. I took on every ounce of responsibility for his actions. His trouble brewed, I believed, because of my failure as a mom. Yes, I blamed myself and through that, the Lord showed me that I had a lot of baggage to set aside if I ever hoped to find freedom in Him and embrace the joy that He alone can offer.
By the way, God also helped me discover that I’m not a terrible mom. I made mistakes in parenting, yes, but raised my kids with the help of my amazing husband in the very best way we knew how… by pointing them to the Lord more and more as we grew in personal faith.
I came to grips with the truth that my son made choices that were utterly out of my control. In fact, my son, himself, had to say those words to me before they began to sink in. I took a giant step toward joy the day that I accepted that truth. But I had more to learn. Much more.
The Journey Toward Joy
The journey toward joy was long and filled with heartache, self-examination, and eventually, I’m thrilled to say, with freedom and victory. It seemed an endlessly curvy road that led me to dark, terrifying places then progressed into areas consumed by the light of Jesus. You can read more about it in my book: Finding Joy in the Journey (available on Amazon.com).
Since joy is my passion and the hub of my ministry, you may wonder… why aren’t all my blog posts and resources dripping with the word “joy”?
It’s quite simple, really. Because joy is about connection. One foundational truth I learned about joy is that it’s a gift from the Lord—the manifestation of Him and His work in our lives. In Galatians 5:22-23, Paul refers to joy as fruit of the Holy Spirit that lives in those who are followers of Jesus Christ.
Producing Fruit Through Connection
Think through this fruit analogy with me. A vine doesn’t pray for grapes. It doesn’t have to ask the Lord, time and time again, to provide fruit. The grapes come because the branches of the plant stay connected to the vine. (Please see John 15 to discover how the Lord calls Himself the vine, and His children the branches).
Just as grapes (fruit) are produced through connection to a vine that is properly watered, fertilized, and cared for, joy (fruit of the Spirit) is produced as we stay connected to the Lord and develop a spiritual life that is adequately supplied with God’s Word, prayer, and other faith-building practices that help us abide in Him.
Joy is the focus of this ministry. Because of that, I encourage you to intentionally follow God and His ways. Even in the midst of your jumbled and crazy life, I hope to inspire deeper trust in God, consistent spiritual growth, and a firm grip on the joy of the Lord which comes as a natural outpouring of ever-increasing connection with Jesus Christ.
My hope is to help you embrace joy in a jumbled life. Thanks for joining me! I hope you’ll visit the blog, comment, ask questions, and take a look around the site!
Personally speaking – I’m a proud law enforcement wife, married to Mike – the love of my life – for over 30 years. We live in the house my daddy built with his own hands when I was two years old. One of my favorite things about being “home” is the enjoyment of breathtaking Rocky Mountain sunsets.
Mike and I raised 2 beautiful children who found and married remarkable spouses. We love them as our own. Our family has learned to weather trials together, to pour into each other, and to find a way to hold on to God’s joy through it all. We are truly blessed.