“Oh my gosh! Have you seen the movie Inside Out? You are totally the character, Joy!!”
This has been said to me, without fail, every weekend at church for the last year. My family smiles because they see it coming. Yes, I’ve seen it. And yes, during the entire movie I was smiling because it was like seeing my inner self blown up on the big screen.
I am joy.
What a statement! I am joy. Yes, I receive that.
But it’s really more than that. Forgive me for this cliché response, but it has to be said…it’s not me, it’s Jesus.
Please, before you roll your eyes and stop reading, let me explain.
I have always been a genuinely happy person. My parents said people used to stop them all the time to remark about what a happy baby I was. I have also always known and publicly professed my love of the Lord since I could talk. But that’s not the full story.
I’ve been through a lot of pain and difficulty.
Fired (twice), check.
There have been times of real mourning and difficulty for me, but there was always joy. Joy is not happiness. I don’t see joy as an emotion, it is a state of being. Happiness is effected by circumstances. I am not happy when I come home to a messy house after a long day at work (and my family is sitting on the couch, ugh!). I am not happy when I run out of iced tea. I am not happy when I am disregarded. I am not happy when I am cold. I am not happy when the bank account is in the negative.
But, I am always joyful.
The joy that I have is not circumstantial. In fact, joy is the most consistent thing about me. You see, this joy comes from my status as a daughter of the King. It is a result of the fact that I have been chosen, saved, loved, and given eternal hope. My relationship with Jesus can never be taken away from me. His love is what produces this joy in me. The joy I have in the Lord, is the strength in which I operate. I don’t operate out of my own strength, I operate out of joy. It is what propels me through life.
People often say that they want what I have. I know that they see my smile, the energy that I put out, and ok, maybe my hair, and they think that it’s something they lack or can’t have. YOU CAN! First of all, do you know Jesus? I mean do you really know Jesus? Do you know that with Jesus comes hope, life, victory, freedom, and even fun?! Do you know that with Jesus there is always more? Do you know that God is always good? He will NEVER let you down. Do you know that you can trust Him more than anyone in the whole world? Do you know that you, yes you, were the joy set before Him on the cross? That’s love. Have you ever really been loved like that? Well, guess what? You are.
You can have this joy.
*You can also have my hair….you have no idea how many people tell me how they wish they could cut (or color) their hair like mine. YOU CAN! JUST DO IT PEOPLE!
The circumstances in this life will always be shifting, but my God remains the same. He is my joy, and therefore my joy will never change. You get to operate in this as well. It’s what He died for. Freedom to be joy.
I am joy,