Joy in the Midst of Adversity

Thursday, June 15, 2017

What is the difference between joy and happiness?

I have seen first hand the difference between what joy and happiness is in my life. I think that for the first 7 years in my walk with Christ my happiness was determined by my circumstances. For example, how my day was going or how my kids were behaving. If I was having a bad day I was definitely unhappy, but if I was having a great day then I was a happy woman.

Joy on the other hand, is something that I have experienced many times over the last couple of years; the joy of knowing that this life is just temporary and that my forever home is waiting for me, the joy of knowing that every now and then, even though I am having a bad day, I can rest assure that condemnation, guilt, fear, grief, or sorrow will not take away the joy that God has placed in my heart. I also have experienced the joy of having amazing friends that will pray for me if I ask them too, the joy of being used by God as a co-leader of an amazing connect group with a Godly leader, and the joy of leading and serving in our CityCare ministry.

JOY goes hand-in-hand with gratitude. We need to have a grateful heart in order for our JOY to blossom.

When was the first time you experienced true joy?

This might sound out of the ordinary but the first time I experienced joy was during the time my hubby passed away. He passed away March 10, 2015. On the Easter after his passing I felt something within my soul that I had never felt before. My heart was so full of gratitude and JOY because I knew that the sacrifice of Jesus would allow me to see my hubby again. Even though I was sad, my soul was rejoicing. True JOY was taking place at that moment in my soul!

How has knowing Christ helped you find joy in the most difficult season of your life?

Knowing Christ helped me find joy in the most difficult season of my life. God placed brothers and sisters in Christ around me that prayed for me, looked after my kids and I, and provided for us with groceries, meals, etc.

Calvary Kendall is home for my family and I. It is the place where we accepted Jesus Christ as our savior and seen that He is faithful.

God knows our story. He knows our past, our present, and our future. He knew that in 2015 I was going to go through the biggest storm in my life but He made sure that I was placed, planted, and surrounded by people that were going to lift me up and carry me through the storm.

How can your story and your joy impact those around you?

How can my story and joy impact those around me? This is a one word answer…”HOPE.” I have been asked, “How do you do it? How can you come and serve in Church and not crumble?” My answer is Jesus! He has placed the "peace that surpasses all understandings,” spoke about in Philippians 4:7. With that peace I am able to serve Him whole heartedly.

I want people to see that there is more than grief and sorrow. I want people to understand that life will throw these curve balls at us, but we have a "HOPE" that victory is on our side. All we have to do is lean on Him, be obedient and trust that He will work out all things for the good of those who love him!

Thank you for allowing me to share a bit of my journey.



Lulu Mena



Arlene Mion-Pestano commented on 15-Jun-2017 03:04 PM
Wow Lulu thank you for sharing such an intimate and powerful blog on Joy, Life, Death, Adversity... you know we love you and appreciate you! Your a true worldchanger!! May God continue to bless you in your calling. You and Mike's testimony have impacted many <3 :) Love you! #ThebestisStillyettocome
Pinito Galvez commented on 15-Jun-2017 03:12 PM
Lulu Mena you are a true example of a surrendered servant. You're an inspiration to many and I am glad to call you sister. Couldn't ask for a better mentor. XOXO
Arlene Hoffman commented on 15-Jun-2017 03:15 PM
Lulu, I'm truly touched by your story! Not just the written story but the walked-out ALIVE story that i have personally witnessed. Thank you beautiful lady for sharing your story and for being the faithful servant that Jesus rewards❤️
Robert commented on 15-Jun-2017 03:18 PM
Wow Lulu that's amazing. Thank you so much for sharing. You are a amazing woman of god. God bless you and the family.
Linda commented on 15-Jun-2017 09:01 PM
I just want to say THANK YOU for everything you do for US. You are and amazing MoM. Friend. Sister in Christ. Lead/co-Lead, soldier and warrior of GOD. Thank to you I have learn How to PRAY with faith and hope... Trust and Believe... That God timing is perfect And patiently wait " be Still" Thank you. Lot's of Love 💗😘 LuLu .
Aileen commented on 16-Jun-2017 08:04 PM
Thank you for sharing Lulu! I was able to see firsthand the love you and Mike had for each other and witnessed the incomprehensible strength you showed when he passed away. You are a warrior and U love you!
Jason Immerman commented on 23-Jun-2017 06:06 PM
Thank you so much for sharing Pizza and pieces of your journey. This has brought and shed some light to me as I am going through a storm in my life with my father passing last week Calvary Kendall is an amazing church where I can call home because of the same thing that you experienced: family friends gathering around and praying for us all the time!!!
Carina Ramirez commented on 24-Jun-2017 11:50 AM
I watched you from the sideline when the only thing I knew about you was your beautiful smile, your hard working dedication to church and loosing your husband. Quietly I have been observing and learning from watching you. Your story is a true testament of God's promises. Joy radiates from your soul and I am blessed to know you now a little more. You are courageous, bold, strong and an inspiration to me and every women out there. God has huge plans for you! Thank you for sharing.

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