life, My Faith

Choose Joy

So I said I entered a new season when I entered this house. It’s still true. I think with this new season came a new word, not to replace the old word (“GRACE” in case you didn’t remember) but in addition to that. You see I haven’t mastered grace yet, so it must continue. But the new word I have been given is “JOY”. And, oh man, I’ve definitely not mastered that.

Joy is different from happiness. Happiness is circumstantial. You can be happy or sad on a whim. I feel like joy is deeper than that. I can be sad in a situation but still have joy. And I feel like joy is a choice, as much as grace is a choice.

I am not good at choosing joy. I feel like I first experienced real joy this year. I heard a speaker (Annie…like you would expect someone different) once say that in order to experience the fullness of joy, you have to experience the depths of grief. I hadn’t ever done that until this year, so I hadn’t experienced the fullness of joy. But I have now. And for a while it made it easy to choose joy.

But…life. Things don’t work out like I planned. My back up plan to my back up plan imploded. I haven’t managed to get all the stuff moved out of my old house yet. I am just physically exhausted. And in it all, I had trouble choosing joy the other day. Just one more thing happened that I didn’t agree with. One more thing that just felt unfair and wrong, and joy left the building.

Life is full of disappointments. I hope I always share my struggles as well as my triumphs because we all are living that life. I think every single day we have to choose joy. And every single day we have to see the good in not-so-good situations. But it’s oh so hard.

Perhaps it’s here where we need to practice a pause. I’m a reactor. I don’t like to pause. I’m still learning to be still. I want to do now and ask questions later. But I need to learn to stop. To think. To find joy. Because it’s there.

Maybe a closed door is an opportunity to fall into something even greater, something you’ve always been meant for. Or maybe it’s just an opportunity for God to work on your patience.

A friend of mine posed an interesting idea to me at the beginning of the week. I’m not going to go into details, but when she first brought it up, I didn’t react at all really. I paused. But now I haven’t been able to get it out of my head for several days. Where my original reaction would have been, that’s crazy. We could never make that work. It’s not been replaced by, but what if we could?

I have so much I feel called to do in my life, and sometimes I get so frustrated in the mundane. As much as I don’t like change, right now I want it so much. I need it so much. But the challenge is to find joy in the mundane. To find joy in the journey. Maybe opportunities like this are just opportunities to explore other aspects of life and to expand my reach. Maybe the core of my life may not change for a long time.

Maybe it will. But for now I need to fight for joy every day. Even when it feels like I’m somewhere I no longer fit in or belong. This is where God has me right now. I need to embrace the joy in this leg of the journey.

So that’s where I’m at. I’m fighting every day to see the joy in that day, even when I’m frustrated. Even when life doesn’t make sense. Even when what was once familiar seems so foreign. There is always joy. Joy is a choice. Look for the good. I will try to as well.

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