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Letting Love Take Center Stage

Posted in A Lenten Focus on Faithfulness, Decision-making, Encouragement, Faith, Home Page, and Relationships

Valentine’s Day holds a special meaning for me. It’s the day my husband asked me to marry him. My heart already knew Brady was “the one.”  His proposal gave my voice the chance to say “yes.”

But this Valentine’s Day is different. It’s the same day as Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten season. However, one event doesn’t cancel out the other.

Let Love Take Center Stage, quote on joyAwilliams.comOn the day when we seek or celebrate romance, it’s fitting for Love to take center stage.

But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. – 1 John 4:8 NLT

However, how we love matters.

Although I met Jesus before I met Brady, at times my priorities were twisted. As romance wooed its way into the spotlight, it signaled Jesus to move into the background. Some days I gave romance my nod of approval.

But Jesus and romance were never at odds. After all, romance is a really good thing; however, it makes a really poor god. Eventually, my faith grew and my priorities began to fall in line, because…

Everything God does is right— the trademark on all his works is love. –Psalm 145:17 MSG

From setting the sun in the sky to setting our hearts on fire, God gets it right every time.  His trademark could be any awesome label. Perfect. Holy. Omnipotent. But The Message translation suggests if God had a logo, it would be Love.

Let Love Take Center Stage, quote2 on joyAwilliams.comI’m thinking it would look like the Cross and it would stretch towards you and me.

Thankfully, Brady and I both follow Christ. After thirty years of marriage, our romance continues. And yet, we still falter if we forget the spotlight belongs to Jesus.

Depending on who I ask, Valentine’s Day may vary in its significance. But Lent is an annual reminder: Love wants us all.

All of our problems and our potential.

All of our fears and our faith.

All of our memories and all we are at this moment.

The Lenten season spans 40 days (excluding Sundays) leading up to Easter. It focuses our faith on Christ’s death for our sins and the power of His resurrection.

It’s a time of sacrifice and renewal to appreciate God’s priorities — for each of us to know Him and enjoy Him forever.

With this in mind, I usually share a special series — but this year, I’m not posting during Lent. I love meeting you here each week.  However, I’m also sensing God’s call.

I’m saying “yes” to Him.

Here are some of the resources I’m using from  Each study is designed to help us dig deeper into Scripture or linger longer in prayer (links are in each title):

Following the Messiah:  It gives us a “look at the places where Jesus lived, taught and ultimately fulfilled God’s plan of salvation for His people.”

Prayer – A Holy Occupation: “Each reading features quotations from Oswald Chambers along with questions for your own personal reflection.”

The Red Letter Words of Jesus: “Discover the things Jesus thought were most important. What He says about how to live. His relationship with God and the Holy Spirit. And His overwhelming love for you.”

Lent Devotional: Restore: “This study, brought to you by Tearfund, journeys through the Lent season, and will encourage you to spend time soaking in God’s goodness.”

You may find these tools helpful for your Lenten reflection too. I’ll return with a new post on April 4 and I hope you meet me here. Until then, blessings to you my friend. I pray you’ll continue to discover hope for the heart and joy to the soul.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16 NLT


    • Joy

      Thanks Brittany! Many blessings to you as well.

      February 15, 2018
  1. lovely combination. this year, my lent IS blogging for lent! immersing myself in the word … I’ve prayed for this for years, and this is the year. isn’t it awesome how our God is so big that he treats each of us uniquely? have a blessed lent!

    February 15, 2018
    • Joy

      Yes, God’s activity in our uniqueness is immeasurably awesome! I’m excited about how He’ll use your “yes” and mine. Happy writing and many blessings to you (and your readers) this Lenten season!

      February 16, 2018
  2. I heard a rumor that the first day of lent fell on Valentine’s Day this year- I think there’s a special significance in that. God is our first love after all. 💕 And it’s a dynamic trio for you, with it also being the day your hubby proposed!
    Praying this season will help you to embrace our risen King in an even more magnificent way this year! 🙂

    February 16, 2018
    • Joy

      Hi Rachel! Yes the rumor is true – Lent has begun. Thanks for your prayers. May you also experience God deeply during this season. Blessings to you!

      February 16, 2018

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