Confessions of a Joy Bringer:
I woke up on Thanksgiving day and quickly found myself in a foul mood. Of all days! Everything was compiling as thing after thing created a mound of bitter, frustrated, and out right nasty thoughts that churned my emotions into a hot and volatile mess. I knew what was happening and I’m thankful I had the wherewithal to control my outward expressions, for the most part. I knew my thoughts and feelings were irrational and plain untrue. I knew that the enemy had all arrows aimed and firing at me. I knew that the only way I could turn the situation was to carefully communicate.
I kept thinking, “Joy Bringer, you know what to do! Be grateful, forgive, be flexible, and rest!” But it was not working! Then I realized, my flesh didn’t want to let go of the emotions. There was some place deep in me that thought it felt good! What?! The truth is it felt GROSS! But it was so hard to convince myself to release it. It didn’t want to be brought to the light. I was keeping all of it buried inside. The bitterness and selfishness was telling me to keep it quiet. I was also convincing myself that if I shared it would start a fight and I would sound crazy. I was determined to keep it inside and force it down till it disappeared. Walls up!
In the car, on the way to our holiday family celebration, my husband lovingly placed his hand on my knee and gently asked what was wrong. Crack. When I blew him off, he pressed in, still gently. Crack. I took a risk and spoke. I began to acknowledge my emotions and irrational thoughts out loud. I knew that they weren’t true but I needed to voice them. As I was speaking I could feel the walls begin to crumble. My husband was a rock star and didn’t react. He didn’t take it personally or fight back. By the time we got to our destination, the wall was in a pile of rubble.
I was then able to do the things I know to do to maintain joy.
“Be grateful, forgive, be flexible, and rest”
And suddenly the rubble was swept away.
The discovery is this. Our thoughts and feelings can gain control over us if we do not bring them to light. Even the most joyful of dispositions can be hijacked by secretive, destructive thoughts and emotions.
Speak, Joy Bringer! Use your words and fight the power of the enemy by exposing the darkness! Trust those around you to help shepherd you back to joy. And if you don’t have someone with you in a moment, speak it out loud to the Lord. He’s always with you and cares so deeply about every thought and feeling.
“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible–and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” Ephesians 5:13
Back to joy,