Romans 15;13 (Amplified)

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing (through the experience of your faith), that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.”

Do you have it? This joy thing? When is the last time you really experienced joy? Is it something you are longing for or something you can grasp easily? In hardship, is it still there? What does joy look like to you?  These are questions that have been rolling around in my head so I thought I’d ask you too.

Conversations can get heavy with my husband.  A lot is there to constantly sift through as we keep moving forward in this crazy life. One of the things we’ve said is, we’ve lost the lightness, the laughter, the fun.  It’s inevitable that life is gonna constantly throw us nasty curve-balls but I’m starting to understand what people are talking about when they say, you CAN have joy and choose joy in some of the dark places we walk into. The reason being is joy can take on different forms. Joy can be at its purest when we are literally feeling nothing but happiness and love because things are just right.  This would be a glass of wine in hand, sun is shining, there’s a beach, my children are….i don’t know, somewhere, there’s someone cleaning my house…… just trying to give you a glimpse of my pure joy ha! You know you are right there with me. But then there’s this crazy feeling that you get, this calm in the middle of the storm that rests in your soul. This peace that comes inside of you even though you know that with everything happening around you, you should be losing your you know what. That can be your piece of joy. I don’t give myself and these moments enough credit and I’m sure you don’t either.  We don’t see or acknowledge that Jesus and His joy are meeting us right there too. We assume that we need to get that big ole smile on our face in order for all those around us to experience and see what we think is real joy. Put a face on, a little ‘fake’ joy. No, I don’t think so. That’s not who Christ is. I don’t believe that He created the fruits of the spirit with bullet points underneath each one saying how you are suppose to feel and what they are suppose to look like. He doesn’t call us to be fake emotionally. He didn’t create us all to feel the same. God isn’t a God of pretending everything is ok. When we are real with where we are at, there actually is a sense of joy because it’s a sense of relief.  You open up your heart for peace in a crappy situation. That’s joy. That’s where you get tears when you get a huge hug from a friend you so needed, or tears flowing while you are singing a song that touches you.

Allow joy to be what you need joy to be today or any day.  It could be an honest to goodness dance party or it may be a good cry to release the pain and then walk in the sunshine. I’ll never stop preaching that Jesus meets us where we are at. He created us so unique and special so your joy is gonna look just that way…..unique and special!

“Choosing joy is being able to see God’s goodness even when life is hard and messy.”

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