Why I Chose Joy

My word is “joy”. It started as “choose joy”, then became “fight for joy”, and now it is “consider it all joy”.  It’s been a growth process that has landed on James 1:2.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”

I adopted the word “joy” for my own one night when I couldn’t sleep.  I tip-toed out to the living room and curled up on the couch. The only light in the room came from the three wooden letters that sat, lit up, on a shelf.

J-O-Y.

And I thought of the past 5 years and how hard they have been and how, especially in the beginning, it seemed like God was silent. It seemed like I had to fight for joy in the darkness. After persevering and fighting for joy, and clinging to God for survival, I am finding that He is growing a new kind of joy in my heart. A joy that is not dependent on my circumstances, job, or on others approval and acceptance.

It’s a joy that only God can grow. I think it must grow best in the dark and in the seasons when we feel lost and like God has forgotten us.

Then, one day, your eyes are opened to what He has been doing, and you become aware that it’s there. Joy. And it can’t be snuffed out by anything. Yes. There has been a lot of loss, change, and tears, but there has been so much GAIN. The kind of gain that cannot be taken away. And He didn’t forget me. He never forgets me. He is always working. Always.

Joy. There are still some days I have to fight for it, but it’s there. I just need to focus. Focus on God – and joy.

God lovingly allows us to grieve our losses, carries us even when we feel like we are alone, and is doing a work in us even when we feel like there is nothing left inside for him to work with!

Joy. It’s my word.  If you walk through my little house you will find the word hung in random places. It helps to remind me.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” James 1:2

God has changed me!  After having experienced loss–the loss of a ministry/job and the loss of two parents. And then there was the surprising and abrupt entrance into the unfamiliar world of anxiety and depression–and change. So much change! But God has been faithful and has provided in every way.  He has changed me, molded me, humbled me, and caused me to depend more heavily on him.  So, I consider it all joy!

The following are some posts that I wrote as God has been ushering us through the past 5 years.  They are evidence that God has been working. He is always working and growing me up!  I am very grateful!

Joy! Pure JOY! Great JOY! Nothing But JOY! 

What Good Is There In Depression?

Anxiety And Showing Up

Life Goals

Finding Calm in the Chaos

When Nothing Makes Sense

When Time Seems To Stand Still

Brought To Life Again…So That I Can Give It Away

Waiting For The One Who Will Make It All Better

A Prayer For When You Battle Depression