Every night my husband, my two little girls, and I pile onto our big comfy bed and have “cuddling time”for the thirty minutes just prior to the kids’ bedtime. For years, we have been using that one on one time to connect, to spend some undivided time paying attention to each other, and to simply enjoy the uniqueness that each member brings to our family. We just genuinely like each other, and we love to hang out with each other. There is so much joy in simply being in each other’s presence. We laugh. We discuss. We dream. Our lives are very full as we enjoy each other’s company.
Sometimes for family cuddling time we watch a portion of a movie, read
silently, or act out Bible stories. For the past several months we have been
reading books out loud to each other. Right now we are reading the book “The
Rainbow Garden” by Patricia St. John. In this story a young girl, Elaine, gets
sent away from her mother to live in the English countryside with a vicar and
his family. This girl’s tragic life had included great spans of time being
alone and lonely, isolated from the very people who were supposed to care for
and nurture her. Her time with the vicar and his family was so different than
anything she’d ever experienced before. They were full of life, authentic, and
bubbling over with joy even in the midst of the real restraints of their meager
little life. One day Elaine stumbles across the statement “….fullness of joy”
on a tombstone in a graveyard. She has no clue what it means, but she makes it
her life’s goal to find out what “fullness of joy” means and how to have it for
Through a series of misadventures Elaine finds that, contrary to many
preliminary false understandings, the one true meaning of that phrase is found
in Scripture. She is taught that Psalm 16:11 says “You will make known to me
the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.” The book then becomes a delightful unpacking of what it actually means to find the full measure of joy in a relationship with God through faith in Christ.
I have found myself pondering this delightful little book and its great big
Biblical message many times through the day. First, I find myself reflecting on
the privilege it is to be invited into a relationship with God, where I myself
have found the fullness of joy that I searched for so many years to find.
Secondly, it has made me have a new measure of passion in helping others find
the joy that they are so desperately seeking, often through various sinful
I hope you’ll be challenging yourself to find out both through the conference and
through other Godly tools presented through your own local church how to truly
experience “fullness of joy.” Learning how to walk the path of life, basking in
God’s presence results in fullness of joy, and that fullness of joy makes you a
truly beautiful woman… engaging, winsome, and deep. You’ll become a woman who does not rely on shifting circumstances to satisfy you, because your joy is
complete, full, and mature in the unchanging love of your savior.
The joy that my little family finds in each other’s presence during family
cuddling time is but a tiny reflection of the fullness of joy that believers
find in their Heavenly Father’s presence. We only glimpse that fullness of joy
here on earth, but we will one day experience it as fully as possible when we
are finally in his physical presence in heaven.
Jocelyn Wallace Jocelyn was the executive director of the Vision of Hope residential treatment center (www.vohlafayette.org) on the campus of Faith Ministries until 2013. Her experience in the biblical counseling field goes back to 2002, and includes work in parachurch organizations and Faith Biblical Counseling Ministries.