“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.”
This is my absolute favorite definition of joy. It’s so rich and deep… something you read over and over again discovering a new truth each time. Go ahead! Read it again.
So good right?
When I first wanted to start a blog, I knew it would be something about joy. This emotion has been intricately woven into my life over time. There isn’t enough time or paper to explain how joy has transformed my life, but I will share with you my first encounter of recognizing it, and my most recent conviction with joy.
December 2012 I met an amazing little family. 3 young kids and a mother came with us on our young adults retreat. The college guys had so much fun swinging the boy in the air and all the other things one does as dudes. The ladies took the 2 little girls and played with their hair, snuggled them on the couch, and tickled their bellies till they no longer had breath. Their mom could easily be found wrapped up in someones arms on the couch enjoying coffee and smiles with the women. I had no reason to believe that they were anything but happy and content in life. So when I heard what had happened just 5 short months prior to the Christmas season, I was in disbelief.
The Gray family was in the thick of grieving the loss of a husband and father.
I had no idea that this little family was dealing with loss, hurt, sadness, and the other emotions one tends to link to death! Their response to a life altering event began my personal journey of recognizing and choosing joy in sorrow.
Heather, Nyah, Garret, and Ava are a huge part of my life to this day. I was the Gray Family Nanny for a couple years after meeting them and Heather is a mentor and friend I highly value. They have impacted my joy journey in more ways than one. Heather even renamed me Joy! That’s a story for another day though.
With joy being such a huge part of my life, it was no surprise when it showed up once more.
For my baby shower, I received a piece of wall art from a good friend of mine, Emily. (I have some pretty great people in my life, no?!) It simply states, -You have filled my heart with greater joy. Psalms 4:7-
-Wall art in the nursery and the beautiful friend who gifted it to me-
When I read that statement, my body, mind, and spirit felt overwhelmed and confused. I began to ask the question, ‘What is greater joy?’
I do believe that the Lord has convicted me to search for and put on joy in my daily life. I’m still learning and processing what greater joy is. But in order to hold myself accountable in looking for it, I started this blog. It’s a way for me to share and record my joy findings.
My hope is that you will join me as a fellow sojourner in this adventure.
Where have you seen joy in your life? Do you struggle to even take hold of the joy placed before you? Is joy an emotion that is foreign to you?
I don’t have all the answers to these questions, but I’m ready to seek and find. Are you?