I’ve sat down to write this post numerous times over the last month. But, I wasn’t feeling very joyful—quite the opposite actually—so I had nothing to say. Now, I think I’m feeling a little more normal and have a better perspective. So here it goes.
This year has been incredibly difficult for our family. A sudden loss, a devastating diagnosis, a pregnancy spent on bedrest, financial concerns, and to top it off, our baby, whom we were expecting to be perfectly healthy, was born with a defect that will affect him for the rest of his life. The last few months I have had no joy in my heart. Not one ounce. As someone who has difficulty coping with the post-partum period anyway, these issues have brought me to the end of myself and have had me wondering if it’s possible to have joy in spite of everything going wrong.
Joy is not based on circumstances. It’s based on the One who gives joy.
Happy, sad, mad, tired, frustrated…think of all the emotions we experience on a typical day as our circumstances change. The joy that God gives…knowing that He’s in charge and loves us no matter what…cannot be taken away by change because He never changes.
There is always something to be grateful for even when life is at its most desperate.
Even though we have difficult life-changing things going on, I still want to be grateful for the little things. The kisses from my daughter, the food on our table, the roof over our heads. The sunsets, the smell of jasmine, new boxes of crayons…they’re the simple pleasures that add up.
Joy is not an absence of pain. It’s choosing to carry on in spite of pain.
I’m not saying that choosing joy makes you happy all the time. It doesn’t. Because happiness is based on circumstances. The joy comes in knowing that no matter what, everything will be okay in the end. Good will come of whatever trial you’re enduring, and that God has plans to prosper and not to harm you.
This last year has undoubtedly been the most difficult time of my entire life. It seems like we’ve struggled with one thing after another after another. If the situations hadn’t been so devastating it would have been somewhat comical. But, I trust that the One who gives joy will help me see it no matter what even when I fail.