Joy?

In my previous post, I talk about joy – how it’s easy for me to be happy. I sometimes had a little niggling that maybe that was just because everything was going my way. Sure, I had to do jobs I didn’t like, be around people who weren’t my perfect match in personalities, and tackle hard things… But still, for the most part, I knew I had it easy because despite working long hours, I was doing just what I wanted to do.

In times like that, I would sometimes wonder how my attitude of joy would survive if I was tossed into a situation where I wasn’t able to do what I wanted. If I wasn’t working my dream job. If I didn’t have control over what was going on around me. And if my situation is what determines my joy, do I actually have joy? Or am I just a happy person?

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Then, ya know, this happened – this as in the world shutting down. I had come home to help my family with a project for a week, just before everyone was urged to self-quarantine.

During that week I had fun. I was excited to be back in Ohio working. I enjoyed the tasks that I had chosen and that had a deadline. Being back with my family was great and I enjoyed hanging out and helping them.

My car was packed and ready to go when I got word that the Museum was shutting down for a couple of weeks. I sill had work if I wanted it, but I knew it would be more helpful for other people to get the work instead of me, and my family could still use my help, so I stayed in Ohio.

As we all know, the shut-down period of time that we’re experiencing in the USA and the world feels like it keeps expanding. And along with that lack of control, that unknowing, and that inability to make any concrete plans has come a whole new level of me realizing just how hard it is for me to have good attitudes. And I fail far too often (I would say just ask my family, but please don’t actually do that).

Every day I still feel joyful, but that joy is zapped far too quickly. Sometimes I’m far more inclined to add to the stress of the situation than the joy. Each day I wake up and ask God to help me have the right heart and mindset, and each day I fail far more times than I’m okay with.

It’s hard.

It’s hard to not know what’s going to happen next. To know that my life as I knew it has come to a halt and I don’t know when it will resume. It’s hard to feel like all control has been taken away from me – and yet all control isn’t. I still have control over my attitude and actions, even when I act like circumstances determine what is okay instead of resting in God’s love and let His peace flow through me.

Today I’m working at letting go and seeking God’s face. Today, I’m working on not letting my emotions take over and create stress instead of projecting God’s peace. Today I’m still learning and growing.

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