Joy and I are (thankfully) not strangers, but we're not intimate.
By temperament and upbringing, we are not accustomed to each other. Lately, God has been nudging me to become better acquainted with joy and to not be afraid of it.
As I walk around our neighborhood breathing in crisp cold air and visually feasting on golden-hued trees, I feel His gentle tug on my heart.
Make room for joy.
Don't be afraid of dreaming, hoping... can you relate?
Maybe, certain key people have disappointed, even hurt me, deeply, as in the pain of rejection. Sure, there have been losses. But that is no reason for me to stay in the hurt.
The losses and the rejections won't change, so I must transform.
I have experienced the truth of the Beatitude: Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted (Matt. 5:4).
Now that I have spent several years "mourning" on and off, because honestly, who has the time, energy, or desire to mourn full-time? Definitely. Not me.
Learning to mourn was an exercise in trusting God for me - which is one reason it took me a while plus the losses were on-going. I had to trust that the grief would not overwhelm me because God would catch me. And He did.
He also sent some wonderful friends (which includes my husband) at various points to hold me up.
Part of learning to mourn was to actually acknowledge that I had "X" and "Y" and "Z" to mourn (i.e., that these things were mourn-worthy [my made-up word]). It meant being honest (with God and myself) about my sadness and about my losses.
God couldn't comfort me, if I didn't mourn. If I didn't mourn, then I couldn't grieve. If I didn't grieve, then I wouldn't find joy at the end of the grief cycle.
Hopefully, I am coming to the end of the grief cycle: I am open to something new.
Welcome in, JOY! Thankfully,we haven't been strangers the past several years; we've chatted. Sometimes, we have even felt comfortable enough to simply sit - quiet together. Kind of like friends.
But I want our relationship to become more serious. Really. I am ready to go to the next level with you.
I am learning that joy is Jesus' presence with me and not the absence of pain and loss. Joy is Jesus with me as I experience all of life's ups, downs, and sometimes sideways to and fro.
Where are you on your journey to joy with Jesus?
P.S. I am trying to follow L.L. Barkat's advice in her excellent book, Rumors of Water, and not try to say everything in one post. I hope I did that with this post. My next post will also be related to my journey toward joy so come back (please) if you're interested.
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