Saturday, November 16, 2013

Juggling With Joy

So, here I am, a 20 year old junior in college. I have just 1 year left before I hit the "real world" and it gets more terrifying every day. This semester is especially hard for me. You know, you think back from when you began your journey, with all your hopes and dreams, with all your goals and friends, all that faith and love, and you wonder where it all went. I see these freshmen come in, I see their cheerful disposition and their contagious happiness, and I wonder with great sadness when we all lost our JOY.  Somewhere along the way we lost our spark for life! I have spent the last 2 years growing up instead of enjoying my youthfulness! Don't get me wrong, I don't want less responsibility, I've just denied myself JOY and that's so important!

I'm a funny person--I've always had my humor--but now it just seems like a crutch. We spend our college years growing, developing, and shaping ourselves into the people we want to be but here I am wishing I could step back. I've worked hard to be a more serious image of God's eternal glory but neglected to embrace the JOY that God provides for me! This world may not be my home, but I am to find JOY in the life I live as long as I walk by faith. At some point the lines were blurred and my JOYmy fun, my cheerfulness, got lost in the mix. 

In moments like these I can't help but heave a sigh and ask God where I went wrong. I've been praying more lately than I probably ever have before and the reassurance I feel is so...nice! I'm trying to surround myself with some of the younger students here so that I can feel that JOY again and it's doing me a world of good. Maybe with time I can get back to that JOY:

"There are many who say, 'Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!' You have put more JOY in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:6-8).

What is JOY then? Webster's describes JOY this way:
JOY : a feeling of great happiness
        : a source or cause of great happiness
        : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.

We can find JOY in every part of our life if we work to make our goals move as one. Isn't it crazy how each thing in the bible ties together so perfectly and works so well together? With God their is love, with love there is JOY, with JOY there is peace, with peace there is patience, with patience there is kindness, with kindness there is goodness, with goodness there is faithfulness, with faithfulness there is gentleness, and with gentleness there is self-control (Galatians 5:22). It's all so... perfect! All of the things we seek to have come through God and God alone! And there, there we find our JOY!

Isaiah 26:1-21
I chose this passage as my go-to-passage recently because of the fact that it so easily embodies the tribulations and doubts of man and I encourage you to read it all. "You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock" (3-4). I forget to trust in God so often and I am ashamed of that. Everything works out through God--all things! Why is that so hard to get then? Why do I constantly struggle with it? Why is it so hard for me to have JOY and grow in God's glory? The marvelous thing is, I can have that JOY again. God sends us these messages constantly as reminders of his grace and love and we turn a blind eye...

How can I be so nervous when God has promise to save us from these things that burden us? "Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who have an anxious heart, 'Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you'"(Isaiah 35:3-4).

Romans 2:19-21a: "and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth--you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself?" If I teach others the will of God and uphold it as I do so, I myself am learning with them what I need to know to receive God's eternal promise. 

James 1:2-4: "Count it all JOY  my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." JOY... in life. This life, I am allowed JOY through every test thrown at me--In. This. Life. So why have I denied myself that JOY?! I can't anymore... and I won't. I need JOY back, and with prayer and action I will get there. Do you have JOY? Have you lost it? You should join me in finding it again, neither of us will regret it, I promise, and so does God! ;)


Kim Gott said...

Very good thoughts! You are a very unique person and I love you very much! So glad I have gotten to know you!!!!!

Love Momma Kim

Rebecka Simpson said...

Thanks so much! I'm glad I get to have you in my life!