flashthoughts

I CHOOSE JOY

Posted on: December 25, 2018

I CHOOSE JOYSunday night (Dec. 23rd) as I lay down to go to sleep, thoughts of the day were whirling around in my head of all the different emotions I had gone through. I should have gotten up and written them down then; but, I didn’t. I sensed the Lord was giving me the words to sort it all out; yet, I still refused to get out of bed to write it down. The last thing I remember thinking was, “I choose joy!” and then I was waking up at 3:15 a.m. Now, here I am, at 12:14 Tuesday morning, and I feel He may be giving me a second chance.

I couldn’t quite put my feelings into words Sunday. I couldn’t even figure out WHAT it was I feeling. One minute, so many different things at once; the next minute, nothing! I felt pretty good Sunday morning. I sang in a choir cantata with people I had met only two weeks before! My husband, daughter, son-in-love and granddaughter were able to attend and that made it even nicer. After church, we all went to eat lunch together, which was also great! Any time spent with even part of our family is a good time! (My husband had been to Urgent Care the day before and found out he nearly had pneumonia! He got a couple shots and started medicine when he got home, so the fact he was feeling better enough to attend church Sunday morning was incredible in itself!)

This same church was having a special, candlelight service Sunday evening and I felt led to attend. (Hubby felt he needed to stay in out of the night air, due to his illness, and I agreed – even though it made me sad he couldn’t go with me.)

Mom moved to Heaven this year – May 6th, to be exact. Maybe I cried through nearly the entire candlelight service because I was missing her, maybe it was because I was thinking how much she would enjoy a service like this, if she were still here. Again, I don’t know. I only knew I couldn’t stop the tears. I DO miss my Mom. There have been many times I wanted to pick up the phone to call and share something with her, only to remember I can’t do that anymore. Mom and I were very close, we liked the same kind of shows/movies on television; we loved going to singings together; we enjoyed LIVING together, which was incredible! When I remarried in December, 2013, Mom and I didn’t necessarily talk or see each other every single day; but, we didn’t let more than a couple days go by without at least a phone call. We only lived a couple blocks from each other, so we still saw each other often! Yes, I’m sure some of my feelings Sunday came from really missing her and that is okay!

What would not be okay, in my opinion, is to WALLOW in those “poor, pitiful me” feelings! Why? Because those feelings, while perfectly natural in short time increments, are what the enemy can use to cause deep depression and wanting to withdraw from everything and everyone around me! Not to mention, my Mom would tan my hide good if she knew I was spending time wallowing in self-pity and feeling sorry for myself because I miss her! (and, if you’re too young to understand what “tan my hide good” means, ask someone older than you – LOL) Like I said, she would definitely understand me missing her – she had times when she missed my Daddy terribly – but, she also wouldn’t allow herself to “wallow” in those feelings.

So, as I lay in bed Sunday night, trying to sort out all my feelings, I kept coming back to JOY! Does choosing joy mean I am happy and smiling all the time? Definitely not! It means I CHOOSE to remember my joy comes from the Lord and is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), unlike the joy of the world, which comes from “the fleeting pleasures of sin” (Hebrews 11:25). By remembering this, the enemy no longer has a hold on me and I remain FREE!!!

Yes, it’s okay for me to miss my Mom and have days where I cry over the craziest, silliest, out-of-nowhere things; but, I will not allow myself to stay there and wallow in it – for these reasons:

  • God sent His ONLY Son to live on this earth in a human body so I could have relationship with Him
  • Jesus loved me enough to be willing to die on the cross for MY sins, even though He was completely innocent
  • I know Mom would NOT like it one little bit and absolutely would NOT approve – she wouldn’t want me to STAY sad, she would want me to be HAPPY for the many years we had together

We all grieve in different ways and grief is a perfectly normal thing to go through when we lose someone we love – especially someone we were very close to! I just don’t want to allow the enemy to use that grief to bind me! Yes, grief can become a chain used by the enemy, if I allow it.

So, on those days when I’m feeling a little sad, I allow myself to feel sad; but, I also stay in constant prayer on those days, reminding myself to CHOOSE the Joy of the Lord and not get caught up in or overtaken by my “feelings” of grief. The devil would like nothing better than for me to allow that to happen because he can not stand for me – or anyone else, for that matter – to be FREE!!! However, the (sad for the devil) truth is that I AM free! (John 8:36)

What will YOU choose each and every day – no matter what your ‘feelings’ are? I hope you CHOOSE JOY 🙂

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