Life doesn’t discriminate. It throws it all at us all. There will be sorrow. Disappointment. Anger. Resentment. Sometimes it’s what could have been or what was. It’s hurt, it’s pain, it’s knowing you’re wrong. It’s wishing to go back, it’s wishing to fast forward….
…and sometimes it’s just joy.
I awoke this morning in a comfortable bed in a cozy apartment with an adorable fur ball snuggled up next to me. The birds outside were singing me awake and I could hear voices outside as families began their day. It’s warm today, finally warm again, and I could feel the sun through my drawn curtains. And it was just joy.
And I think about the whirlwind that my life has been in the past few months, and I think about the way God decided it was time for a change in mid-December, and I think about the way I had prayed for that change for months, and I realize that my shock was unwarranted and that I should have known He would answer my prayer.
Reflecting on my new day-to-day, coordinating Early Childhood at a big Texas church, I smile because He knew all along. It hits me that my prayers for work that was deeply fulfilling, for work that was for children, for work that was for Him had not fallen on deaf ears at all. And in the midst of my impatience and “why aren’t You listening?” and deflation, He was spinning the universe in my favor so that I would find joy. And joy I found.
And I think about when He asks me to give up hard things and I brace for the impact of emotions and wait for it all to fall apart and it doesn’t…and I think how that’s joy. How I expect everything to be in shambles and He says, “rest in me, I’ll hold you together.” And then He does. And my heart soars with joy.
When each Monday night rolls around, week after week without fail, and I pull on my shoes and drive to Small Group, usually with a hot cup of tea in tow, and I look at the faces of people who I’ve grown to love deeply, my soul beams because He knew all along that I would find community in this group. And when my day is ridiculous or hard or comical, these are the people I call because they want to do life together and they’re my support and laughter. I think back to early August, just a month after moving here, how every morning’s journal entry was praying for just one friend, Lord, I just need one, and how I have been blessed with so many–and oh! how lavishly He loves me.
And these people I’ve met–I watch how they shine and they love well and I’m just happy to sit in the glow of their love for the Lord.
And thinking back on the pain of the past and the hurt that cut deep and how there has been healing and heart-change and growth even when I didn’t know that forward movement was possible. How today I am light-hearted, I have found freedom, and I’m no longer burdened with it all. And my chest almost explodes with the joy I’ve found.
I reflect today on the pride that has held me back from real relationship in the past for my unwillingness to be vulnerable and ask for help or support–and I know now that that part of me has died and I can be reliant and I have and I’ve received grace and support in abundance. And this has brought me unspeakable joy.
I watch Charley grow and I see the way he looks at the world through curious eyes and I love him for it–the way he ignites my own curiosity and zest for life. And when he runs wild and makes me crazy, I sit back and laugh, and this too is joy in abundance.
And all this rushed through my mind as I lay awake in bed this morning, still groggy from staying up too late, and I realized that we count our sorrows steadily and consistently–but what about our joys?
So in the chaos of my life so far, and in the will-be-chaos of the future and in the pain and sadness and hurt and disappointment that will surely come again–today I bask in the warmth of joy and I am thankful for it.
Today, it’s joy.
image found here