This is taken from one of my journal entries a couple weeks ago.
The one verse in the Bible about happiness (that I saw) was Psalm 127:5. It talks about happy is he who has many children.
I told God this morning that I wanted to be happy today, instead of the likely starting to cry at some point or having a heavy lump in my stomach.
It’s been a tough month.
So, I felt God say, look up happy in your Bible concordance. It’s not a complete concordance, but there I found that one verse. Lots of kids=happy. Not the best news for those of us without kids.
“Now look up joy.”
There was a list of verses.
Many of those verses relate to fun things like “have joy when you’re suffering! Be glad that you get this privelege.” So, for us, joy is found in suffering. Maybe not in, but at least despite of suffering.
This past month or two have been very difficult, with so many opportunities for me to dwell in fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of one of my worst fears coming true. Sometimes there’s heaviness clinging to my shoulders, or an unsettling lump fixed in the middle of my stomach. Sometimes a terrible thought comes to my mind and I start to freak out.
However, I’ve gotten a bit better at identifying these lies and attacks and shutting them down with God’s truth. Despite all my logical, earthly reasons to be afraid or to feel hopeless, I’ve had a surprising amount of peace and hope. And it’s beyond me; I haven’t experienced it like this before. Even with that lump in my stomach, I still have the truth nestled in the back of my mind. A peace that I can’t conjure up is settled within me.
I know that part of the reason it has stayed is because I’ve tried to choose healthy thought patterns instead of letting myself think the frightening things. And of course, I still need to process the things I’m going through. For me, that often means crying. But I’m doing okay.
I’m not saying I’m happy most of the time, because “sadly,” I’m not. But joy is different. Joy isn’t an emotion. Often, it’s a gift that you choose to receive and cultivate. It’s not a bubbly personality, which is good, because that’s not me. For me right now, joy is a sense that everything will work out for good, even if it doesn’t feel like it at the moment. Some days are better than other, but recognize it and give yourself permission to live in it.