The Search of Joy.

You might be wondering why you haven’t heard from me in a while.

Besides rewriting my book of now 80,000 words for the last month, finishing out my portfolio which will either make or break my degree plan, and still trying to have somewhat of a social life, not much has been going on.

But, I’m sitting in my car (supposed to be writing that 80,000 word novel) and instead writing a blog post. I am realizing that the semester is about to end.

Life is speeding forward dragging me along for a bumpy and yet wonderful ride. I’ve been thinking about the biggest thing I’ve learned in my first year of college.

When I started this adventure, I thought the most important thing I would learn is how to study, or how to live independently.

Turns out, a year later… I still rarely study. I guess old habits die hard. On top of that, I was already pretty independent so not much more to learn there.

What I really learned was how to find Joy.

Paul is always talking about it in his books. I’ve often read through his words and thought how nice it must be to have it. To experience it. Why couldn’t I?

So I started an adventure to find it. Here is what I found:

  1. Sometimes finding Joy means seeing the good–even if tiny–in the bad situations. 
    • God doesn’t leave us alone in our pain. I remember this past summer being slammed into the highway. I was trapped in the car. I was in shock. The guy who hit me just watched as I climbed out of the car on the opposite side. When  I got out I realized that if I had climbed out of the car through the drivers door I could have very likely been hit by a car whizzing by the scene on a busy highway.
    • In a strange way I found joy in this. I knew that despite that unsafe situation, God was creating a road of safety for me.
    • Psalms 51:12 – Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
  2. Sometimes finding Joy means appreciating the small moments of laughter in the midst of the pain. 
    • In my darkest days, I found that if I found someone I enjoyed to hang out with and laugh with, it made all the difference. If I isolated myself, the days only got darker. Laughter is truly one of the best medicines. Sometimes, it’s not the advice someone give that is encouraging, it is the bright spot they created in your day.
    • Joy includes laughter. Joy includes loving the life God gave you. Jesus came so that we could live abundantly. To love Him and to love people. If we are doing anything less we aren’t going to have joy.
    • Job 8:21 – He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.
  3. Sometimes find Joy means letting go and having the right priorities.
    • Even as Christians we hold onto the silliest things. They weigh us down. How can I have joy if I’m more concerned about the petty fight I had with my boyfriend then the eternity of the person beside me?
    • Joy is choosing the right battles and knowing that no matter what we are victorious because we are on the side that has already won.
    • 1 Chronicles 16:27 – Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy are in his dwelling place.

Hebrews 12:1-3 – Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

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