Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “joy” as 1. a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what ones desires: delightb: the expressions or exhibition of such emotion: gaiety 2: a state of happiness or felicity: bliss 3: a source or cause of delight
I’ve been doing a lot of reading, thinking, writing, and reflecting during this journey. In reflecting on some things I had read upon finishing up a book today I came to the conclusion that I don’t believe my mom ever had true joy in her life.
I’ve mentioned before how I’ve realized how very OCD and controlling she was and how I’ve had to overcome the demands of perfectionism she instilled in me. But the thought of her never having true joy shocked me a little but I realized it was probably true.
That being said I took a closer look at myself and wondered if prior to the last several years had I really had any joy. I think I can clearly state that I had some happiness but never real joy,
I looked up the word joy in an NIV Bible concordance and found 238 verses. God surely intended for us to be joyful didn’t he? We can find joy in the big and small things, the every day mundane things, and even in our imperfectness as human beings.
It’s sad to think that I missed some laughter and fun just for the sake of being joyful in the moment. I’m sure I missed some truly joyful “kid moments” because of the perfectionism aura that surrounded me.
I can’t change what was. It’s sad but I can’t go back and undo or change anything. I have chosen to go forward, dig deep inside to discover what roots I may be holding onto that are holding me back, and with God’s help prune away until new growth and change appears.
I can honestly say that with the new me I’ve discovered I do believe I now have my joy. And I know what joy is. It’s okay to be laugh at myself (and I do it quite often). I’ve learned to “lighten up”. I’m learning more about rest and living in the moment and just “being”. I find joy in all sorts of things.
But one big thing I can say is I’ve learned how to laugh, giggle, and just enjoy. I know that may not sound like much but I don’t think I really ever was allowed to just have a good old-fashioned belly laugh over something really silly, or funny, or mundane, or anything! Life was just too serious back then. Laughing til the tears flow, giggling yourself silly. If you haven’t tried it you should. It’s really fun.
Joy. Such a short little word but so powerful. I enjoy (there’s that word again) studying God’s Word, learning more and more about who I am, and unlearning and correcting who I’m not (even the pruning part while not pleasant, results in joy and freedom when done).
Joy in who I am. I’ll take that and the laughter and giggles too.