“Wow, you’re life is a mess”
The honest words from a true friend after I had updated her on my life.
At first, I wanted to be offended by that. But, I mean, it’s true. My life is a joke right now. I am taking 18 credits after just barely being allowed to come back, I work, I lead YL, Ethan died less than a year ago, I’m attempting to fight an eating disorder that seems stronger than ever and to add to all of that, I have been hurt by some people that I trusted the most in the past few weeks.
My life is actually falling apart.
Even in the midst of this, I don’t feel overwhelmed. I don’t feel hopeless. I am choosing joy.
What does it mean to be “choosing joy?”
Let’s break it down:
Well, first it is a choice. I have the option, I am not forced. I do not need to choose it and no one else has the power to force me to do it.
The -ing means its ongoing. I have not chosen joy, I am not going to choose joy. I’m choosing it, constantly. I have to remind myself over and over and over. I make the decision every moment of every day.
Finally, joy. It is not happiness. Happiness is a fleeting emotion that is dependent on your surroundings. If I had to choose happiness I would be screwed. No one would be happy living my life, and no one should. Joy is not dependent on your surroundings. Recently, I was reminded joy is just being aware of God’s grace. Because it is not dependent on my circumstances it is always an option (PTL).
Choosing joy means choosing to believe that Christ really is enough.
Here is what it does not mean (I get this confused all the time):
It is not ignoring my feelings. It is not trying to pull myself together and hold it all in, or smiling when all I really want to do is cry. Its not living in a false reality. It is not just being fine.
Anyone who knows me knows I am really bad at choosing joy, but its fine (see what I did there?!). I know that God is good and Jesus really is enough for me, even when I am really really bad at remembering that…which makes it truly fine.