Choose Joy

When I moved into my new house, a few months after my separation from my husband, I had this moment,

a moment when the moving was just about finished and most of the help that I had, had left. I sat down on my couch next to my dad, and as he put his arm around me, he said “This place feels good..” talking about the house, and my new living situation. He wasn’t talking about the state of my marriage, or the tough stuff that I was going through, but rather the place that God had divinely given me (story for another day). But I am a planner, I like to have my ‘ducks in a row’, and all of a sudden I was a single mom facing divorce, neither of which were in my plans, because after all what kind of good christian can’t keep their life together … right?… Anyways, in that moment all I could think was yeah but…

Yeah but I’m sad….

Yeah but it isn’t right for me to be alone…

Yeah but this isn’t fair…

Yeah but I’m angry…

Yeah but I don’t want to be a single parent…

Yeah but, Yeah but, yeah but…

And I started crying. He didn’t tell me to get over it, or to stop crying, he acknowledged my pain and let me cry for a minute. The moment quickly passed and we moved on with our day but then a few weeks later, he came to my house and handed me this plant saying that everyone needed a little housewarming gift. The plant was in this jar that said Choose Joy and I giggled to myself.

I guess I should tell you, I am not a gardener….I once killed a plant bringing it from the store to my car… no joke… so I thought it was funny that he was bringing me a plant. However, my dad being the smart man that he is, brought me something that was a constant reminder to choose joy.

Because it is.a.choice.

It isn’t always an easy choice and in the face of loss of any kind, joy is the farthest thing from our minds, it feels wrong, it feels foreign, and it feels like something we don’t deserve. But is that actually the way we are supposed to live? I don’t think so.

I think that God has something greater for us, but sometimes we have to make the choice to be joyful in order to experience it.

Days when I feel completely overwhelmed with life, my emotions, my circumstance, or my pain, I see those words and I am reminded to choose joy. Sometimes it means choosing to focus on the joy in my children. Sometimes it means I have to spend extra time in prayer, surrendering my pain. Sometimes it means I need to remind myself of all the things I have to be thankful for (and let me tell you that is a huge list). Sometimes, just reading that phrase helps me to change my attitude.

God hasn’t created us to live lives full of pain and hopelessness. He lets us walk through difficult things so that we learn to recognize our need for him, and sometimes those difficult times last longer than we would like, and there is a time for mourning, in the face of the breakdown of a relationship, the loss of a loved one, or many other situations there is a time to be sad! BUT  He doesn’t want us to get stuck there! He wants us to be creatures of joy, love, peace and life!

No matter what you are going through today, no matter how big or small, try to choose joy, try living even for a few moments in the joy that God wants you to experience and rest in the knowledge that He is there to bring you life!

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One thought on “Choose Joy

  1. Aimee, you have expressed so clearly pain and God and joy. I am so touched by your choice. I am praying for you. And the kids. And Dan. We love you! Many blessings on you and the new home. We are proud of you! Love, Cindy

    Liked by 1 person

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