Day 4 || JOY
To date the Life Behind My Lens Series has touched on the more somber feelings, so today I wanted to move to a more positive emotion, joy. One beautiful and confronting definition I uncovered for joy was 'an emotion comprised of feelings of happiness, contentment, and harmony'. Wow, what a killer combination. Are you happy? Are you content? Are the areas of your life moving in harmony?
Those three elements make joy something very sought after, very powerful and endearing. Have you ever come across an individual who is full of joy, that no matter what life is hitting them with their joy does not waiver? I have. There is a particular individual in my world whom I admire greatly, I am certain she has no idea how much her joy for life even through her darkest days inspires me. It is incredibly admirable and it draws me to her and the source of her joy.
Let me give you a little back story. This beautiful lady lost her baby just before my second son was born. I was so incredibly nervous about how to handle our first interaction afterwards. I didn't want to upset her, say the wrong thing or have the presence of my new little one be too painful. Of course I was a complete mess as soon as I saw her, I had prepared myself to not cry and I failed miserably, but she had a strength of joy I had never before encountered. Despite being in what I can only imagine to be one of the toughest and saddest times she had genuine and sincere joy for me and a joy in her spirit that shone through her tears and her pain. It was literally one of the most profound encounters of my life. It tested my faith and made me question where my joy was rooted. Hers was clearly rooted in Jesus and how could I not want that too. I think until that interaction I had always thought my joy was not in my circumstance but in reality it was. I had just never had it tested deeply before that moment.
Life is truly a rollercoaster, or at least mine is for sure. If I were to base my joy on my circumstances and daily emotions I would more often than not lack joy. Since God challenged my joy on that day in I have consistently chosen to source my joy from Jesus. With rooting my joy in that which is steadfast and unchanging I can have joy in every situation. I am not saying that I always do, I am saying that I can. Like the other aspects in this series, joy is like a skill I work on perfecting. When troubles come my instant reaction may not be that of joy but with time and some re-focusing it comes and I embrace the freedom it brings along with it.
The first blog in this series talked about loneliness. Although this is truly something I am currently experiencing it does not steal my joy. Having my joy solidly planted on firm ground means I can work through tough times and challenges with a joyful heart. It sounds mental I know, but it is true. It is not easy to be joyful 24/7, 365 . It is a conscious choice. At the end of the day I am human and I like to keep it real. My instant reaction is still not always that of joy but the more I choose it, the more it becomes natural and instinctive.
Where do you find your joy? Does it rely on your situation and circumstance? Or are you rooted with joy no matter what you face?