Return to Joy | Bev DeSalvo

Can You Return to Joy when God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayers?

Join me in welcoming Bev DeSalvo, author of Return to Joy: Finding Healing in the Arms of Your Savior, to the blog today. This joy-sister knows suffering and she also knows the healing hand of our Savior. Be encouraged along with me as she reminds us that God is faithful and shares hope for returning to joy even in the midst of suffering.

Can You Return to Joy when God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayers?

Guest post by Bev DeSalvo

My world was rocked four years ago when my husband, Gary, was diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma, a rare eye cancer that has no known cure and typically metastasizes to the liver. After consulting several well-known specialists, he chose to have his right eye removed and went through a clinical trial at a reputable cancer center. We breathed a sigh of relief with each clear liver scan in the following years and our “scanziety” was finally diminished. Friends and family all over the world had been fervently praying for us, so clearly God was answering our prayers for a miraculous healing…or so we thought. My breath was taken away when Gary’s oncologist gave us the news that his latest scan revealed a suspicious spot on his liver.

After an MRI and biopsy, our greatest fear was confirmed. Gary’s cancer had traveled through his blood and metastasized to his liver. Knowing that statistically this meant that he only had a 10% chance of survival in the following year, we wept in each other’s arms. My heart was broken as I wondered how I would be able to survive without the love of my life (who is a bigger than life man). Gary was deeply troubled because he longs to care for his family, minister to his flock and be with us in the good and bad times to come. We’d spent our lives sharing the joy of the Lord with countless people all over the world. But with this news, we wondered if we would ever be able to experience that joy again.

In my book, Return to Joy, I state that “The strongest force in the first two years of a child’s life is the desire to experience joy in loving relationships. Finding comfort from a nurturing caregiver in the midst of pain brings restoration to a child’s emotional balance, and the child is able to get down and play as if nothing painful ever happened. Psychologists call this returning to joy.”

After several years of counseling and working through painful memories from my childhood, I had found healing from traumatic physical, emotional and sexual abuse. During that journey, there were times when my pain was so excruciating that I felt like I would die. But as I worked through the baggage from my past, my hardened heart slowly softened as God replaced the lies from the evil one with His truth. And as I drew near to His heart in worship I began to nestle into His embrace and find comfort that I’d never known before…and like a small child who finds comfort from her loving caregiver, I was able to return to joy.

Free printable,

Enjoy this week’s free Bible verse printable! To save/print simple click on the image above and a .PDF file will begin to download. If you do not see the file please check your internet connection as well as your downloads folder. Copyright 2017 Page of Joy.

But that was healing from past hurts, what about my present situation? Had God’s character changed overnight? Was He still the loving Father that I’d finally learned to trust?

After the initial shock of Gary’s metastasis, I considered my fear and asked myself a hard question:

What attribute of God am I doubting?

Was I doubting that God was sovereign and that this incident happened without His knowledge? Or was I fearful because I didn’t think He was big enough to carry us through whatever the future might hold?

In desperation, I fell on my face before the Holy One and thought about how He had been faithful to me in the past. I remembered that He was with me and would never abandon me and slowly my fears were relieved. And miraculously, I found comfort in my heavenly Father’s embrace and was able to return to joy… even though He didn’t answer my prayer for my husband’s healing.

“But may all who search for You be filled with joy and gladness in You. May those who love Your salvation repeatedly shout, ‘The Lord is great!’ (Psalm 40:16)

Like the Psalmist, when we seek the Holy One in worship our hearts are strengthened as we use our spiritual eyes to see the Lord in all His power and holiness. And when we’re in this place of refuge our joy doesn’t depend on whether God answers our prayers the way we want Him to.

In God’s glorious presence our joy is based on who our heavenly Father is.

So when, not if, your prayers aren’t answered the way you desire, will you choose to doubt God’s attributes and become fearful and downhearted…or will you go into His presence and worship Him? You will find divine comfort in His embrace and be able to return to joy, no matter your circumstances.






Bev DeSalvo
Author | Speaker
Helping Women Return to Joy
Bev DeSalvo describes herself as a worshiping woman who has been on an amazing spiritual journey. Raised in an abusive home that created a deep fear of intimacy, God has used her pain as a magnet to draw her to His heart. Now she takes this message of hope to hurting women all over the world and has a book, Return to Joy, that was released in July, 2016 by NavPress. Find out more at 

Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you choose to make a purchase through one of these links there is no additional cost to you but your support helps to maintain this blog. I only promote products which I believe will benefit you, the reader, however it is your responsibility to perform due diligence before making any purchases. Enjoy!

“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Fruit of the Spirit | Galatians 5:22-23

Free Printable Bible Verse Card

Many of you submitted verses for this weeks free printable. Thank you! I enjoyed reading your suggestions and plan to use some of them in upcoming designs. Comment below and tell me your favorite Bible verse. This week I chose Lori’s idea to pair the fruit of the Spirit with these darling watercolor blueberries.

Fruit of the Spirit, free printable

Click here to download today’s free printable.

Do you ever feel discouraged and want more joy? Can you manufacture lasting joy by your own strength? In my book, Renewed Joy: 5 Simple Steps to Lasting and Powerful Joy in the Lord, you’ll discover…

“Upon salvation, the Holy Spirit dwells inside of you and produces the fruit of true joy in your heart and life! There is joy to be had in every moment as we walk in peaceful trust of the Spirit at work within us, regardless of our circumstances.”

What a relief it is to know that the true source of joy does not rest upon our own efforts but the work of the Holy Spirit within us. Join me in praying that the fruit of the Spirit will be evident in our lives.

Discover renewed joy in the Lord.
 Check out this special offer: You can purchase Renewed Joy for free (you need only pay shipping & handling)! Limited quantities available. Click here.

One more thing! If you love the fruit of the Spirit verses, then you might also enjoy our luxurious gold-foil on heavyweight linen cardstock version. This set is a spectacular gift for the Christian women in your life (pastor’s wife, mom, sister, grandma, friends, teachers and more). Shop the Premium Set | Bible Verse Cards & Display Block here in our online store. 

Fruit of the Spirit, Page of Joy (credit: @ohmissmeghan)


Comment below and tell me your favorite Bible verse!

“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Clothed in Strength & Dignity

Free Printable Bible Verse Card

“Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.” (Proverbs 31:25-26, ESV)

Clothed in Strength and Dignity, free printable from


This verse is more than just a popular quote on social media or the latest Christian t-shirt slogan… May it truly be our prayer today, as women of God!

The Amplified Bible, Classic Edition translates this beautifully:

“Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she rejoices over the future [the latter day or time to come, knowing that she and her family are in readiness for it]!

She opens her mouth in skillful and godly Wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness [giving counsel and instruction].” (Proverbs 31:25-26, AMPC)

Let us eagerly dive into the Word of God, that we might abound in strength and dignity standing securely on the knowledge of God. Let’s be filled with His wisdom so that when we open our mouths it’s kindness, wisdom, and godly counsel that spill out. (#preachingtomyself)

I’ve made a new, free, printable for you today! To download your “Strength & Dignity” verse card simply click on the link below. Be encouraged and feel free to share this beautiful Scripture with friends!


“Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

Bible Verse Cards for Kids

Grab the Limited-Time Offer!

This Limited-Time Offer has ENDED. However, don’t fret! The Bible verse cards are still available for purchase here.

FAIR WARNING: Today’s *NEW* printables may induce a chocolate craving… Watch the following video with caution (wink)…


Are you a grandparent, teacher, Vacation Bible School volunteer, friend or parent who desires to influence children’s lives with the Word of God? I’ve taken the guesswork out of choosing verses and created an engaging set of cards for you!

Kids LOVE these adorable animal-themed Bible verse cards. This premium set is unbranded (no Page of Joy logo) and retails for $18.95 in our shop…

But I’m not going to charge you that…

Bible Verse Cards for Kids,

Grab your set of Verse Cards for Kids for only $11.97 (save $7) during our limited-time special offer and you’ll have unlimited personal printing rights (Churches and Non-profits are included too). Use these again and again to inspire hearts and attitudes with Scripture.

Shop the limited-time introductory offer here, before it ends!

(Pssst: I rarely create “kid” themed verse cards because my mission is encouraging women toward renewed joy in the Lord… However, MANY of you have an opportunity to influence children this summer. I hope this set helps to equip you for your ministry opportunities!)

Psalm 118:24 | This is the Day the Lord has Made!

Free Printable + Why our website is included on freebies

Listen to this story about a woman named Nancy…

Nancy prints off the free Bible verse cards that I make for you and shares them with women residing in a women’s correctional facility. We have never met, but she tells me that the women receiving these verse cards hang them on the walls in their units…

These women need heart-correcting (just as much as I do) and they are hanging God’s Word on their walls… just like I do.

What an incredible privilege to be a part of Nancy’s ministry to women! (Isn’t her story inspiring?)

This is the day that the Lord has made! Free printable from

One Page of Joy friend recently sustained a serious brain injury and she is finding hope and comfort by renewing her mind in the Word of God using our printables…

Others share these cards with friends who are battling cancer, grieving the loss of loved ones, or facing discouraging times. (Way to go ladies, you are true JOY-SPREADERS!)

God’s Word is powerful to change lives (do you agree?). We include “” on the free printable verse cards because we want…

-women residing in a correctional facility…

-ladies undergoing cancer treatment…

-new widows facing a sorrowful loss…

…we want ALL women to find more encouragement in the Lord.

When you give someone a verse card, then they can come back to Page of Joy and find more (free) Biblical encouragement.

A few have written us rude notes (they shall remain nameless because I don’t want to embarrass anyone) criticizing us as self-serving for including our website on the bottom of the free printables. I’m surprised that people are offended by the way we choose to design a FREE gift… However, I hope that by reading the stories I’ve shared here today you’ll gain insight into the “why” behind our method.

We exist to help women discover renewed joy in the Lord through His Word.

Would you comment below and share how you’ve used our printable verse cards? I’d love to know.

Today’s free printable is a result of wedding and baby season! I thought it would be nice to have a cheerful verse to attach to shower gifts. (No need to thank me for saving you $3.95 on a greeting card… wink!)

Psalm 118:24, ESV- free printable from

Click here to download your free printable.

I think I will hang this one on my wall…



Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.