Well, I am not completely sure what to write about today. I do try ever so hard to post more than once a week, but things in my life have been so tough lately that I find I just seem to be missing joy. I’m been thinking a lot about joy lately. It is one of the fruits of the spirit. One that I typically overlook or take for granted. With my Grandma in the slow process of dying, the stress affecting each one of my family members, my Dad traveling around the world this week, my best friend’s dad passing away, work, being in my final week of a full-time classes, and just the basic stresses that sometimes accompany life, I often don’t have much joy. In fact, lately, even people at work have been asking me if I am okay, and I think this is because I just haven’t been as bubbly around the office. It is not so much that I am sad all the time or depressed or angry, I guess the best way to describe it (at least in the office context) is that I am missing that extra bit of easy laughter I usually have or the hint of sparkle in my eye or a sort of playfulness.
As a fruit of the spirit, the Lord tells us that people will know we are His by the fruits of our lives. I believe that because I am a child of God I have no choice but to choose to embrace the fruits of the spirit. In other words, I have to intentionally choose joy. I need to be joyful even in my trials because at the end of the day, I am a loved, saved, and beautiful daughter of God. How can that truth not make me full of joy? There is joy in the Lord. There is joy in the Easter season that Jesus was raised from the dead. That He is a living God. There is joy that my Grandma may be dying but when she does, she will be in Heaven, meeting her Beloved Savior and her beloved husband, my Grandpa Russ.
There is joy in suffering and there is joy in the small things that make up a day. Life is never all or nothing. It is never black and white. Never simple. Life is full of gray. It is full of happiness and sorrow. It is full of pain and joy, which makes it okay to embrace, search for, and choose joy.
This will be my new challenge for the week. I want to choose joy. Maybe joy doesn’t have to look like all smiles and puppy dogs and rainbows, but, I do believe focusing on my joy in Christ will bring that sparkle back to my eye. That knowledge that I am loved by a big God who is not thrown off by the life plans that continue to surprise me. Nothing is a surprise for God. He knows all and He is there with us through it all. He is THE source of strength, comfort, and JOY. So I will choose joy.