Choose Joy

Life can get pretty messy sometimes. We get busy, people disappoint us, we fail at something we desperately wanted to succeed at, or dreams look too far away to ever be attainable. Sometimes, just thinking about the things we have to go through is enough to put our day in a thunder cloud of darkness, everything negative pouring in and soaking us to our cores, the commotion of it all too loud and overwhelming to get our bearings and get out. In these seasons of life, it can be hard enough to open our eyes and get out of bed in the mornings, let alone face the day and be joyful about it. These are the days that test us, the days that force us to make a hard choice; are you going to let your day beat you or are you going to choose joy and beat the day?

Its crazy easy to say we’re going to choose joy, but it’s an entirely different story to actually do it. This is the kind of choice that seems ridiculous when everything that is happening to you screams “there is no joy here!” It’s a choice that can be removed from thought in an instant because joy seems too far and too much. But hear me out,  it’s not too far, and it’s certainly not too much. It’s one of the most important choices you could make in the face of this battle. This isn’t a joy that looks like laughter and rosy cheeks, this is the kind of joy that’s mixed with a little hope and flickers far off in the distance. It’s a light that looks so small and so unreachable that you don’t think it will ever warm your heart.

Listen to me in this moment; choose to believe in that light. Choose to focus your eyes so intently on it that when you close your eyes, it's been burned on your retinas. Choose to fight through the battle, fixing your eyes on the flicker. Train your eyes on that light and will it to fan into a flame. Let that light come closer and closer as you fight towards it, until you can watch it erupt into an inferno and its warmth soaks deeply into your bones.  Allow yourself to be wrapped in its embrace, let it fill you until you you are able to look around and see how far you've come. It won't take long before you feel the flames burn away the heaviness and those thunder clouds part, revealing the sunshine that was blocked from your view. It won't be long until that flame is internalized and your smile comes from within again.

Because It's okay to admit that sometimes you're not joyful. It's okay to give life to your feeling of sadness, disappointment, and heartbreak.  But in the midst of all of it, choose joy. Choose to find the silver linings even if they’re tarnished. Make time in the day to look outside your situation and see that it's not all bad. When we choose joy, we aren't swallowing our pain and not dealing with it, we’re choosing to not let our pain swallow us.