The Joy of the Lord Is My Strength – Karen Castleberry

Bible Verse

“I will answer your cry for help every time you pray, and you will find and feel my presence, even in your time of pressure and trouble.” — Psalm 91: 15 (TPT)


It was the second funeral in three months. The first was my mother-in-law, June, who battled lung cancer for over a year. This past year with June was a journey of being part of God restoring relationships. Her funeral was a bittersweet joy of ushering her into the arms of Jesus. The second funeral was her brother, who was going through his own struggles.

2020 will be known in history as the year COVID-19 changed the way we congregate. We had private funerals to cut down on the risk of the elderly siblings being exposed to a crowd. This changed the dynamics of family and friends being able to support us as we laid our family members to rest.

The group of ladies, family and friends that journey through life with me, that I affectionately call my tribe, were honoring of our request to limit the crowd. I didn’t realize how much I needed and wanted their support until the day of June’s funeral. God heard the cry of my heart and sent my niece with love and breakfast before we left.

Coming home from the second funeral, feeling beat up with all the emotions that come with laying a family member to rest after so much struggle in life, I was greeted by beautiful winter flowers.

Photo by Karen Castleberry

I immediately thought of this scripture, “Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!’” -– Nehemiah 8:10 (NLT). Again, God had heard the cry of my heart. Through family and friends, my tribe, He had sent just what I needed. The joy of the Lord’s presence came through the love and support of my tribe which gave me strength.

Photo by Karen Castleberry


Lord, I invite You into my present struggle. Comfort me with Your presence and guide me with Your wisdom. Amen

Photo by Karen Castleberry

Faith Step

Remember God’s promise in your time of trouble. He will answer your cry for help as you pray.

Copyright © 2020 by Karen Castleberry


Karen Castleberry is a Missionary of Prayer. She lives with her husband, Gary, and 2 dogs, in a little cottage nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia. Their son, Jeremiah, lives and works nearby. Karen loves reading, writing, photography, knitting, and all things creative. Her greatest joy in life is spending time with Jesus, her family and friends.

Christian writer, Christian photographer

Return to Fall 2020 Table of Contents