Choose Joy


When life gives you lemons… you know the rest. But what about when life throws you some hand-grenades? Sometimes life can feel like an uphill battle. You’d gladly take those lemons life used to offer, because you’re tired, thirsty and lemonade would be oh so refreshing. What do we do when life goes beyond the sour patches into those war-zones?

I had been in bed for four days straight. I had a bad case of the life’s got you down, real down. It was one of the lowest points in my life. I’m typically the girl that has real FOMO and will push myself to have all of the fun there is to have. The fact that I was in bed that long, meant it was bad! I had accepted defeat with a broken heart that had no signs of repair. I was lowwwww and my life seemed as if it were over.    

I rose on the fourth day, I guess unlike Jesus, I needed an extra day. Something broke in my spirit as I had a stare down with my reflection, I knew this was not the end, but a chance for something new. My inner voice sounded like she was motivating an army. Really she was just getting a rough looking girl with a bad case of bed head, up and on her feet! The words flooded me like a river,          "You’re life is too precious for this! This can’t be the end of your story!"

I got up, showered and got ready for the day. I remember the expression on my mom’s face when she came to check on me. She approached me with caution, like she wasn’t quite certain of the person that stood before her. I can't blame her, after all I was the creature that had made my bed my constant place of habitation those past few days. I got all dressed up that day, went shopping, had dinner with a friend and ended the day with a movie at home. I still laugh at the expression my mom had toward me, as if the body snatchers had came and replaced the dying creature with one full of life and promise.

You see, something clicked for me that day. My circumstances didn't change. I didn't get a call with good news. No one transferred a billion dollars into my bank account. Nothing in the natural changed for me, but my mindset did. That day I chose joy. That day I decided that regardless of what was happening in my life, my emotions didn't have to match it. “The Joy of the Lord is My Strength,” became my anthem. I said that verse every day, multiple times a day. I had to tap into something beyond me, that was greater than me; His joy. 

My life may have been in shambles, but I had to make a choice. Should I continue to wallow in my sorrow or rise above my circumstances and put His word into practice. When I chose to accept His joy to be my strength, I was acknowledging a way that was higher than mine. I was accepting to trust in Him to carry me through. His joy is something that is unspeakable, light, and refreshing. 

When you choose joy, you’re saying that you trust Him to see you through. That you know there is something beyond what you can see. Even though life may hand you a hand-grenade and it blows up in your face, He makes all things new. Choosing joy is saying that it may be your end, but it is a new beginning in Him

So today, whatever circumstance you may be in, great or small, invite Jesus to come and do what nothing else can do. Ask for His joy to come and fill you with strength. Know that it’s not over and greater days are ahead of you. Today, choose joy!