My Ink Dance

Discovering Extraordinary Grace in an Ordinary Life

I Choose Joy

My extended family has faced some hard things recently. Not so hard that it elicits sympathy on every facebook feed, but hard enough that you feel alone and like you don’t know where to turn.  sadLoving someone with Mental Illness has a way of doing that. Leaving you in a place just isolated enough that you feel it in your core without knocking you out completely.

And my people find themselves thinking: I’m tired of being in the hard place, tired of struggling through. I just want to be happy. I want joy. 

But there doesn’t seem to be a way.

Maybe you are facing something else. Maybe it’s a job loss or a relationship ending. Maybe you’ve struggled with sickness or losing someone you love. When you’re in that place the dark can feel deeper than black and joy feels like a fantasy. And we keep running toward the horizon. The only problem with running toward the horizon is we will never arrive.

Life can be that way sometimes. We can be going through things, little things and big things alike, and we keep thinking if only we get to the finish line we will find joy. We move forward striving for an impartation of joy when we have arrived only to discover it is still off in the distance.

When we spend our lives running toward joy we forget to run to God. Even good things can be idols and joy is no different.

What if we stop running? Are we afraid we will sink into the pit of whatever it is we’re going through without finding joy? Is joy really something to be found?

Joy is not a destination. Joy is a mindset.

If we keep waiting to arrive at this place on the map, this illusive destination, we will only wander lost. You cannot find joy in one place because joy is everyplace you make it.

Joy doesn’t always look the way we think it will, but good things often don’t. We need to choose joy in the dark in order to find the light. To choose joy in the hard in order to find the grace. To choose joy when we want to give up to find the strength to keep going.

Things are not all perfect and fixed with my family right now. Mental illness doesn’t have a magic pill. We’re still in it. Still walking through the hard places. But even in those places there is room for joy.

There is room to embrace the joy if only we choose to see it instead of waiting for the hard to pass.

How can you choose joy today?


Sara Frankl’s story of choosing joy in the midst of a terminal illness is a beautiful reminder that no matter what hard things you are facing, you can choose joy along the way. I’m giving away a free copy of Choose Joy: Finding Hope and Purpose When Life Hurts by Sara Frankl and Mary Carver. Enter today for your chance to win!

 
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Linking up today with Jennifer Dukes Lee, Holley Gerth, Kristin Hill Taylor, and Susan B. Mead

 

About Becky Hastings

I am emotional and logical. I am strong and dependent. I am a juxtaposition of head and heart exploring it all through writing. And in all my mixed-up ways I am loved. I'm here to tell you that you are, too. Just the way you are.

8 Replies

  1. we have to always look to Him for our joy don’t we? Joy in the smallest of things like a sunrise, sunset, holding a baby in our arms. We miss it because we aren’t running to Him. Lovely post.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Yes! I love your examples. It reminds me of Emily Freeman’s book Simply Tuesday 🙂

  2. I loved the book, CHOOSE JOY. Sara was brave and Grace wins. Your neighbor at TWW.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thanks for visiting!

  3. Love this post and the whole “choose joy” idea. It’s what I push for on my blog as well. Thank you for encouraging others to seek joy at all times, even when it seems hard.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thanks for reading today Katie! I look forward to checking out My Joy In Chaos.

  4. I love this book, especially because it came out on the heels of God teaching me about #choosingJOY. I’m glad you linked up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

    1. Becky Hastings

      Thanks Kristin!

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