Tuesday, August 7, 2012

This Is Too Wonderful For Me

Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Psalm 139:4-6

Sometimes God opens up our field of vision to see how His hand has intricately guided our past to the point where we are today. Sometimes, He allows us to see how each trial, each challenge, each strength—even each weakness—was uniquely and wonderfully fashioned for such a time as this.

That's when you realize that this is no coincidence; it's a culmination.

I start to feel that same sense of awe when I watch what God is doing through my wife, Joy. For the second consecutive year, she has been given the opportunity to travel as a guest writer with World Vision to one of the poorest places on earth. Later this month, she’ll be traveling with 8 other bloggers to see the needs in Sri Lanka, speak about what World Vision is doing to relieve suffering, and summon everyone within the sound of her voice to help—now.

I am not only accepting of this trip; I'm excited and honored to be holding the ropes for her back home. 

But more than that, I can look back on the 16 years I have known Joy, and nod with a smile as I ponder the way God has been fashioning her for this trip, as only He can.

One of the things that first attracted me to Joy was a youthful, upbeat fearlessness unlike any woman I had ever known. As a Sophomore in college, she was an RA in her dorm, dealing with 8 other girls’ messy breakups, curfew violations and ongoing struggles. She was involved in too many extracurricular activities to name. Yet, she always seemed to be smiling, two steps ahead of everyone around her, and getting good grades.

In the Spring of her Junior year, she landed an internship with the Manhattan agency I was working for, after fearlessly and confidently introducing herself to my management at a campus career fair. I remember the solemnity of the moment when I discovered that she and I would be working shoulder-to-shoulder all that summer. In a strange sort of way, that’s when I knew I would marry her. There was something about her. I didn’t know a lot of small-town women who would dive head first into an internship in New York City with such determination and fearlessness.

Joy with our daughter, Elli, who died
in 2008 at the age of 8.
But Joy’s relentless determination to face fear in those first years was nothing. She’s had to face unthinkable grief as a mother, and unrelenting criticism as a blogger. 

There have been many long days of sobs at Elli's graveside, when the fog would not lift. And there have been days when her mouse pointer hovered over the button that would put a final end to the blog she had poured herself into, because the pressure to stop being real got too intense.

It is no accident that God has allowed Joy to know unusual hardship in her life. As is the case with all who are in Christ, her challenges and suffering have proven to be divinely-appointed preparation for more fruitful ministry down the road. 

As her husband, I can see so clearly that these World Vision trips are such-a-time-as-this moments for her.

In her hardships, the God Of All Comfort has given her plenty of comfort to go around. Having known the pain of loss—and the strength that God supplied in her suffering—she can step onto Sri Lankan soil and better understand the plight of its people. She can kneel down in the dirt and embrace the child who has never known a day of ease. She can feel a connection with the woman whose calloused hands give every waking moment to the survival of her family.

Having watched her life for 16 years, I can see how Joy’s experiences uniquely suited her for her trip to Bolivia last year, and for the trip she’s about to take to Sri Lanka later this month.

This is why I’m confident that she will have the grace to face the inevitable fear and uncertainty that comes with traveling to the opposite side of the world for the first time; that she will see the needs in Sri Lanka with fresh eyes; and that she will use her words to break through the barriers her readers may have to helping. And she’ll do it with the same confidence she’s had all along.

This is too wonderful for me.


  1. Oh.So.LOVELY. Thank you, Scott. And thank you, Joy, for being JOY. Such a great gift to the world. You, too, Scott - you, too!

  2. How lovely, again I am struck by our similarities. I've been married for 16 years and we both lost out amazing daughters in 2008. I just pray I could be as strong and brave as joy.

  3. well, you had me with your FB intro., scott (b/c i always appreciate your expressions of your admiration for that wonderful wife of yours). and then you had me all over again with "even each weakness." loved it, scott -- all of it.

    and i'm smiling at the timing b/c just the other night, rob shared something that he could "see so clearly" for me. it was sorta general, more of a prelude than a culmination. but i just loved that like you, God gave him the eyes to see it, and the heart to be excited about it.

    this is a beautiful tribute to joy, & to the Lord, scott. thx for sharing.

  4. Oh, my gracious, Scott. TEARS. So beautiful. I'd hold up a Scott Is Awesome sign at the city gates for this one, Joy. ;-)

  5. Scott, this is wonderful! What a beautiful gift for Joy.

  6. Dude....

    Very, very awesome

  7. What a guy! There must be something about your name, Scott. I married one too and he's a Gift to me and supports my global adventures. // This is better than a Proverbs 31 blessing any day.

  8. Absolutely amazingly said. Obviously I don't know her nearly as well as you do, but from what I do know, I totally agree with you about how prepared and made for this trip she really is. Wishing her safety and godspeed on her trip and you a peaceful time at home with the family while she's away. I will be praying!

  9. This is simply beautiful. What a wonderful perspective to be sharing with Joy to encourage her and how fabulous that we got to peek in on this powerful love.

  10. What beautiful thoughts from a husband on his wife. I am so honored to be joining her in Sri Lanka and physically embracing Joy's heart that I've gotten to know online.

  11. Late to the party, but...

    Scott, this is not just a wife-admiration post. You have opened the depths of her, yourself, and especially the God who works in both of you. A fitting tribute to your wife, and God-honoring recognition all rolled into one. How can you top that? Loving her while she is away and loving her even more when she returns.

    What a pleasure to read!

    God’s richest blessings to both of you and your children.


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