Joy. it can be a fleeting moment, or something you can experience for a lifetime. Every day you can either choose joy or push it aside. There was a time in my life when it was hard for me to choose joy. I chose anger and frustration most days. Life was different for me then as I didn’t know God. It was as if I was walking around in a fog. Joy was right there and I just couldn’t see it. A sweet and dear friend of mine invited me to her church when we were stationed in Monterey, California. For the first time I knew JOY and I saw life in a completely new way. Want to know the best part? I haven’t looked back since.
This picture is one of my favorite memories of our time while we were stationed in Monterey, California. We would drive down to Big Sur to hike and the view never got old. I was completely blown away by the sheer beauty of it. Tears ran down my face as I thanked God for my time on this earth. I’d never been so grateful for the beautiful life I’d been given. I took it for granted.
Later when Bonnie was born, I was diagnosed with Post Partum Depression. I’m certain that I had it with Tristan as well. It’s brutal and ugly friends. I carried so much shame and guilt for feeling so angry and frustrated with my life. I knew this wasn’t the person I was meant to be. I turned into a recluse and avoided new friendships. I became upset over the most insignificant things. I didn’t feel depressed so I didn’t seek help for the longest time. There were days when I couldn’t stand being around anyone. I just craved time to myself. I didn’t enjoy motherhood like I felt I was supposed to. I mourned the time when I was responsible for only myself. I could go on and on about my lack of joy, but you’re not here for that! I firmly believe God sought me out and pulled me from the darkness. He saw me right where I was and saved me. He saved me from the worst version of myself.
Today, I see joy. It’s in my children when they laugh and play with each other, my husband when he holds me close, my family when I see their faces after a ridiculously long time apart, and my friends when they laugh at my obnoxious jokes. I see it when I go out and strangers choose kindness instead of hate with one another. I see it when I’m driving down a scenic road and the perfect song comes on. Joy is when you’re shaken to your core when worshiping the Lord. I had never experienced that kind of joy before. It’s addicting friends. I find joy in walking with God. I’m not ashamed to share it. Through Him, I see EVERY ounce of joy around me. I want to show it to everyone I know. Every day God molds me into a better version of myself. I can only pray he uses me to bring out the best in others.
Don’t let joy become a fleeting moment in your life. Let it consume you, take hold, and root itself deep. Yes, there will be days, months, or even years that will make it hard to find joy. You’re not alone. Joy is all around us, you just have to open your heart and let it in.