About the Author

Jolene Underwood is an emotional health warrior and soul care mentor. She provides practical and spiritual support for cultivating life within the Christian soul by drawing upon her personal journey towards emotional health, her psychology background, and a passion for Christian counseling.

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  1. Jolene,
    I have found that joy and pain can coexist. I always thought they were mutually exclusive. I also had to look at how I defined joy…sometimes joy is more of a peace and stillness than a happy go lucky attitude. When I am closest to Jesus I am most content. I can be doing well, but be far from Jesus and I don’t have the joy that comes from Him. Or, I can be going through trials, and because I am walking closely with Him there is peace in knowing His closeness. Like you shared…the key is remaining close to Him.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Love this truth Bev. Joy and pain most definitely can co-exist. What you shared here is a great summary of how we can know joy even through hard times. Sometimes it’s in the pain where we are drawn to feel the closeness of God in greater ways. Have a blessed day, Bev.

  2. Jolene, thank you so much for sharing the depth of your pain and your joy in this space. You have wrestled with God, you have been brought into deep and intimate contact with Him, and you have found joy, you have found Christ. Perhaps He permits trials, even takes us into them, so we will be desperate to find Him and His comfort in our pain. Sometimes I get a little creative with that psalm you quoted and feel that joy “comes in the mourning.” I think you have proven my theory true. Thank you for taking the next step, which many Christians don’t, and sharing both your sorrow and your joy. Many just want to talk about joy, without sharing the difficulties and pain and hurt that God sometimes uses to take us to joy. I love all you write. You are transparent and true. God bless you.
    Love
    Lynn

    • Lynn, I can heartily relate to joy in the mourning. I never want it the process of pain, but I can’t look back and regret it any way either. As you mentioned, God has used it to bring me so much closer to Him. I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Thank you, as always, for your kind encouragement. You bless me.

  3. Jolene, I love the refined you. You have a heart to help others with your testimony. Keep telling you story and encouraging others to rise up and write theirs.

  4. This was an awesome, inspiring post. Thank you for being so honest for it gave me some encouragement towards my journey towards joy.
    Camille 🙂

  5. Such honest words, and so spot on — we’re all about knowing Christ, but we’re a little less sure about the fellowship of His suffering, and even more skittish about being conformed to His death. Thank you for your words of assurance (based on experience!) that Jesus walks with us in every trial.

    • Gracious truth, Michele. There is so much beauty to behold through suffering, even though it’s most challenging to see it in the midst of it. I’m so thankful for the presence of Christ in all the moments of life.

  6. You are not the only one feeling this way. The proverbial carrot and stick, but God isn’t dangling and moving it. The more we grow in faith, the more enemy attacks, I think the devil is moving the carrot, but God is raising the bar on blessings and favor and joy is in Jesus, if we look at anything else, I think we’d all just give up. Remember, to rest in Him. It’s how I deal with it. My idea of fun isn’t acting wild and crazy, it’s more even keel and organized, so sometimes, I don’t fit it.

  7. You are so right, Jolene, that our enemy wants to keep us down. Perhaps one of the keys to discovering joy in the midst of trials is to confront the father of lies. Like Jesus proclaimed in the wilderness, we can say, “Get away from me, Satan!” And then turn our minds to worship and blessings and positive things. Easier said than done, I know–from experience. But as soon as I realize I’m spiraling downward into the cesspool of negative thinking, I call out to Jesus to rescue me. He is SO faithful to come alongside with his love, peace, and strength!

  8. Jolene, your words are precious. It’s almost if you’re describing my journey. I’ll always be thankful for my diagnosis with PTSD as it has brought and is still bringing so much healing and deep joy, precisely in facing the hard by leaning into Jesus. This is so very true: “The more honest I got, the more I realized how desperately I needed Him.” Yes. Exactly. I’m thankful for the deepest valley because it brought me to His arms. I’m publishing a book about the journey on Mother’s Day…even this has required a lot of honest leaning (fears have only increased in following God’s leading!).

    • Anna, thank you so much for sharing this. I think I saw your book promoted by another friend. I’ll definitely look into it! There’s always a special bond when you know someone can relate to what you’re going through or have been through. I’m sure your story will be a blessing to many. I pray it is! So glad to connect with you here.

  9. I have been holding onto your words for the past few days now. Grief and loss overwhelm me! I am a school teacher…I’ve lost THREE kids to suicide this year, 2 at our school currently and one a former student. I also lost my father a mere six weeks ago. I, too, have been very angry with God. I have forgotten what joy is like! But I keep looking to Him, because I know deep in my heart there’s just no other way… thank you for your honest words…

    • Martha, I am so so sorry for the experiences you’ve had and the pain which comes with it. I’m so glad my post has ministered to you and, more importantly, that you are continuing to look to Him! I am praying for you dear Martha.

  10. Jolene,
    Joy can be elusive. Life can seem to be going good yet there is no joy. For me it was through trials with my aging dad that I came to have joy–the joy that only comes from a deep intimate relationship with Jesus. It was through these trials that I cried out to God! I wanted them over & He said “my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness”. Through it all I have found joy in the Lord!! Now I have a deep hunger & thirst for God!!
    Blessings 🙂

    • How amazing that you found joy through trial. Isn’t it beautiful how God does these upside-down things? It doesn’t make sense but it’s so so good. Blessings to you, Beth!