bump #47: choosing joy

This verse is written on the chalkboard on my wall, in my agenda in my purse, on my calendar on my fridge, and imprinted on my heart.
I see it everywhere, but it's not sinking in.

I originally titled this bump "finding joy" like it is something lost you have to seek out.
But I know joy is not something you find like keys in a couch cushion or a penny on the ground,
joy is a choice.
Life is made up of a gazillion choices and you ultimately decide how you want to be and who you want to be. We are not destined to be Debbie Downers.

This season has been a tough one. I know you can relate. Beyond infertility, as all-encompassing it's toxicity is, everyday life is ridden with challenges of its own. Everyone is weighed down with burdens. The thing is, I have let those burdens rob me of the joy that the Lord has given all of us.

Instead of choosing joy, I have chosen pain, anger, sadness, and more anti-joyful things.

It takes almost no effort to harbor resentment and be impatient. It takes a lot of effort to look beyond the hurt and reclaim the joy.

I want to be joyful, really I do. But sometimes it's easier to be numb, to not feel. My logic is that if you don't allow yourself to feel the joy, you don't have to suffer through the pain. As if there is some middle road of indifference.

But joy is not a pendulum. It is a constant.
We can experience joy even in the midst of our pain.
I am still learning what that looks like.


I am praying that God will meet you right where you are and provide for your every need as He fills your heart with joy.



And now for some smiles...

An amazon review I read for "fertili-tea"
which I did not end up buying, though it sounds pretty effective :)

Comments

  1. Great insight as always, and thanks for the laugh at the end... does Andrew tell people, "My wife want me put baby inside of her"? If so, tell him to stay away from his accordion teacher.

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  2. I can't move past the Amazon review. Oh goodness. I died laughing! That is insane, ridiculous, hilarious! I don't understand why you didn't buy that product.

    Okay, I'm done with the Amazon fun now. In all seriousness, I need you to be my joy coach. For the last year, I've totally forgone joy. I've sacrificed quality of living by giving up the fight. It takes so much effort to be joyful. And I think, partially, I wonder if I appear joyful, will anyone notice, recognize, care about the pain? But you're right, the pain, sadness, anger, and all the other mess aren't worth it. Joy is worth the fight.

    I have a mentor who asked me the other day if I was enjoying this chapter of my life. I kind of wanted to punch her. She then told me about a very difficult time in her life and marriage that occurred several years ago. She said she was miserable and simply waiting to get out of that stage of life. But one day, she realized that she was literally wishing away her days. Wishing away her time here on earth. Wishing away the gifts from God. She decided then that she would ENJOY that time. Even in the midst of the pain, the frustration, the uncertainty, she would seek, find, make joy. I may not fully get it, and I'm certainly not good at it, but I think her point is super valid and her question is worth asking.

    Thankful for you, friend, and your words of inspiration.

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    Replies
    1. Wow! Your mentor sounds amazing and I definitely agree that wishing away these days isn't the solution. But I suppose I would want to punch anyone who seriously asked me if I was enjoying this chapter in life right now too :) I've really struggled with finding joy in this season because I honestly felt like God was withholding blessings in my life. Like He has a boat-load of babies at his disposal but He won't give me any. (I know that sounds silly, but it felt that way.) And then one day at church we were praying "that the things that break God's heart would break our hearts too." And I realized that infertility breaks God's heart. He isn't holding out on us or abandoning us in our darkest hour, He is grieving with us. And somehow, there is joy in knowing that He suffers alongside us and seeks to comfort us. It's not a "put on a happy face" joy, but an "it is well with my soul" joy.


      Thank you for the encouraging words! I'm not qualified to be anyone's joy coach, but I would love to be your joy cheerleader! "GIVE ME A J-O-Y!!!"

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  3. Just popped over from another blog and had to comment with a big LOL at that last pic! "All kind of problem" indeed. I'm wondering if it has to do more with the tea or with an errant body appendage ... in any case, thanks for the laugh, and all the best to you!

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