the question of my joy

A friend recently asked me a question from an observation she’s made about my life.

The question: How are you always so upbeat and joyful?

The answer: I don’t want to give a church answer, but…Jesus.

I’ve been on the highest highs and lowest lows in the last year and a half. My friends have listened as I cried and yelled and tried to work out all my issues. Prayers have been raised for our marriage. But over and over I get up most days with a reason to smile. For me, throwing myself into Jesus with everything that I have is the way to joy.

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Knowing Jesus hasn’t just been about going to church. It’s not a Sunday morning fix. If I’m honest, Sunday’s are not always our easiest days. Sunday is just another day. It’s the every day, first thing in the morning, knees on the floor, Bible open, tea cup in hand meetings that have grounded me. I miss days – there is so much grace – but being with my Savior first thing, before the day gets loud and messy, has changed me. Hello Mornings has helped me with this discipline, but it’s not just that.

It’s realizing that it’s not about me. My life. My marriage. I know that I’ve said it before (and I promise that I will say it again), but it’s true. My life is not about me. So much pressure is off! I’m free to be thankful. Helpful. Loving. Kind. Hopeful. Joyful.

The tides will rise in my marriage (and all the other aspects of life), but my response is a choice. Will I be consumed by difficult times? Or lean into the hope that I have despite my circumstances? It’s difficult. My moments are less than perfect – sometimes I fail immediately – but there is joy in Christ. I have more than a reason to smile.

The question: How are you joyful when it’s all so difficult?

Here’s my simple answer: I can be joyful because of my Christ.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy, and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 (ESV).

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