A weekly post from my childhood to grown-up friend Carrie ~
sharing her awesome life and her desire to have community while doing it!
Here I am today. Today, TODAY, TODAY! I am full of joy as I sit down to write. Not the happiness kind of joy, although I do feel that too, but the unadulterated, completely content joy. I feel the deep satisfaction that ALL IS WELL. It’s the kind of joy that looks around at all that’s happening and says “You got this!” This joy had been missing for far too long and the gratitude I feel having it back it almost inexpressible.
To bring you into my now, I must take you to my before. Here are some words that sum up my before: tired, fearful, misunderstood, misguided (at times), stress-filled, and striver. That may sound intense and, let me tell you, it was. I had allowed the lie that said “you must perform for others because who you are is not quite enough” to creep in! So I began to change, trying to be someone else, and quickly became overwhelmed. This wasn’t done from a place of shame or as a façade, it was honestly out of complete disorientation. I was questioning every decision I made, frustrated that my best self wasn’t coming out.
I longed to be brave and gracious and humble, and I knew I could be those things, but I consistently got in my own way. Don’t get me wrong, there were some phenomenal moments in my before, but that’s all they were: MOMENTS. I was tired of moments of great; I wanted perpetual greatness. You see, when those great moments were over, I was still putting my head on my pillow feeling frustrated. I needed more than that. So began an almost five-year process of healing, learning, and growth.
I am learning to yield to the process because it’s perpetually with me. LIFE IS PROCESS. I have found that the people who inspire me the most are the ones who have submitted to the process. I want to be like these constant learners who are always looking to grow. I have adopted their “never having arrived but always learning” mentality, knowing this is part of the process.
So, now that you know my before, welcome to my NOW, my present! Here I am, yielded and assured that joy is worth sacrifice. I would even say that there may not be true joy without it. Welcome back Joy!
How did I get here? When did I get here? Let me tell you -- it wasn’t that long ago. And now that things are going well, and I can feel joy again, it feels like I arrived here overnight. But it did not happen quickly. It was a process. It was heart repair, piece by piece, both while I rested and in every intentional decision. It was caring for my soul as much as I cared for my body. Was there prayer? YES. Was there tribe? YES. Was there heartache? YES. Is it worth it? Every time, YES. I hope to never have search for joy again. I hope it stays forever.
Where are you on your Joy journey? Are you worn out? Are you filled? Joy is a solo, inside job. Your tribe is there to support you and call out the best in you, but it’s up to you to go after it.
Here is a statement I rehearse to keep myself yielded during the process: I was made for joy. In grief I choose joy. I do not depend solely on feelings; I entrust my heart and my emotions to the One who so delicately fashioned them. Today I choose joy.
You are a stunning human and I speak joy to you today and always!
See you next Tuesday!