It's Like This, Kat!

      ​                                                                               Question:

My stepson is graduating and my husband and I have been invited to the graduation. However, in the past I have felt that my stepson’s mother has resented my presence at any function. I am considering not attending the graduation so that everything will run smoothly, but I do not want my stepson to feel that I am not there for him. Not sure what to do.

                                                                                ​     Answer:

These are tough situations and there is no easy answer. I feel that all the adults/parents should put aside their feelings toward each other for this special day for your stepson. If he wants you to be there, then I think you should go. It is understandable if you do not sit near the biological mother, attend parties with her, etc., however, I see nothing wrong with you being at the graduation, and your presence will always be remembered and treasured by your stepson. Pray and attend with a smile and an attitude of peace and grace. God will take care of the rest!

                                                THE JOY OF THE LORD IS MY STRENGTH!

                                  The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and
                                  he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.
Psalm 28:7

I still at times find myself humming that old song, “It is joy unspeakable and full of glory, full of glory, full of glory! It is joy unspeakable and full of glory, oh the half has never yet been told!” We sing, “The Joy of the Lord is My Strength.” We talk about the joy of the Lord, we sing about the joy, and we think about the joy, but what does it really mean to have the joy of the Lord?

For many it is nothing but a religious cliché. Many of us have never really thought about it. If we have thought about it, we have not allowed it to take root in our lives and define who we are! If you woke up this morning knowing that the joy of the Lord is your strength, then right now you should have the biggest smile on your face and not one complaint she be uttered from your mouth!

To have the joy of the Lord means that you have placed your full confidence in God. You no longer think about, rehearse, or worry about your problems. You are resting in the One who has all the answers! If you believe God is who He says He is (and who you have been saying He is!), then that belief will translate into action and you will be a changed person. Others will notice that, when you are going through a hard time, you still have a smile on your face and remain positive because your faith is not in yourself or any other human being. You are proving that you are trusting God and you believe Him when He says He will take care of you! “The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their Shepherd and carry them forever.” Psalm 28:8-9

This morning I woke up thinking about a situation with one of our children. It is a time of uncertainty, however, I quickly remember that, even though I do not see the future, God’s plan is already in action! Praise God! I can rejoice knowing that God’s plan is already in action! He is already working behind the scenes, so I do not need to worry about this today. I can enjoy my day, sing a little song, skip a little, and enjoy everything God has for me to today! I proclaim JOY!

May God’s peace and joy reign in your hearts as you surrender totally to Him!


Qualifications/Credentials:  Kathy has been in the ministry for 34 years.  She is ordained with Open Arms Fellowship (, a ministry ran by Kathy and her husband Randy.  Kathy and Randy minister in Word and song and specialize in the area of relationships and meeting the needs of the world around them.  For church service info, please visit their website or contact them.  Between the two of them, they have four children and three grandchildren!  They may be contacted through e-mail: or on Facebook, “It’s Like This Kat.”

Disclaimer:  Kathy Barnes is not a secular, professional counselor.  The nature and purpose of her ministry is discipleship, not professional/secular counseling, and she has not been trained in medicine or psychology, nor has she been trained in any type of secular counseling.  Kathy Barnes’ emphasis is in the direction of the Word of God, and she trains people to search the scriptures (the Bible) for answers to life's problems.  Neither Kathy Barnes nor any representatives or contributors to this column are responsible for and cannot be held liable for, any harm, injury, or loss occurring in the lives of participants of this column.  Kathy Barnes cannot control decisions or events in participants' lives or what participants may l decide to do in the future.

Quoted scriptures taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

This weekly column is produced based on the Biblical views of Kathy Barnes individually and as a pastor at Open Arms Fellowship.  Questions/comments are welcomed, but may or may not be printed.  All comments printed will remain anonymous unless I have the author’s express consent to publish their identity.  This column is not debatable.  It is meant to be a teaching/learning tool for believers and those who wish to know more about God and His Truth as I glean from the Bible and the Holy Spirit.  Arguments will not be entertained nor will controversial comments be printed or allowed to remain on the Facebook page.  I fully realize not everyone will agree with me.  If you feel you must contact me about a disagreement, please do so privately.