Choose Joy

“If you want to know where your heart is, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.” -Anonymous

As people, we naturally focus on the bad.  The negative things.  What’s happening to us.  The brokenness that’s in this world.  As somebody who has walked through many tough valleys, I spent a good part of my life worried, surviving, and bracing myself for the next bad thing to happen.  It’s all I knew.  I thought it was just the cross I was to bear.

I had just gotten out of a pretty traumatic, abusive relationship when Shauna Niequist came to speak at my church.  The sermon was on re-writing our stories.  This was the beginning of one of the most valuable & important lessons I have learned in my life.

I have a choice.

I do not have to be a victim to what has happened to me.  And I do not have to wait for the next storm.  I can choose to enjoy my life, and trust that the sun will peek through the clouds.  Maybe not every day.  And some seasons of darkness will feel like they are lasting forever.  And sometimes the rain is so heavy, we feel like we may drown.  But God promises sunshine after the rain.  And I serve a God that is good & holds true to His promises.

I can choose joy.  Even in the middle of a Tsunami of a season.  I have a choice.  And I choose joy.

I follow a lot of fun, small, Christian based companies on Instagram that I adore.  One had a special promo where we could donate a given amount for a charity & all proceeds would go to the charity & she was going to send us a fun goodie bag in return.  One of the items she sent is the journal you see above.  “Thanks God.  You overwhelm me.”

When the sun is shining, there are pretty birds chirping & gorgeous rainbows to take in, it is so easy to be thankful.  But how do we have a heart of thankfulness when we suffer such great loss that our entire insides feel like they just got ripped out?  What then?

I have a choice.

So I decided to use this journal as a gratitude journal.  To focus on the good.  Because even in the rain, I know there are sparks of sun.  But I would have to choose to look up.

These past few week have been really challenging for various reasons.  And I found myself spiraling face first into a negative space.  So I stopped & reminded myself of the truth I know.

I have a choice.  And I choose joy.

I really pushed myself to journal every single night & take time to focus on the things I was thankful for that day.  There were days where I was literally only thankful for coffee & red wine.  But in those moments, that coffee & red wine were my saving grace.  I noticed something happening to my heart slowly.  I was finding peace.  Because in the middle of the storm, I was choosing to see God’s grace.

Storm’s are a part of this gig.  They aren’t fun.  They are messy.  And they truly are heart wrenching at times.  But they will not break us.  God is right there with us every step of the way.  You just have to choose to look through the rain to see Him.

I encourage you to focus your heart & your soul on the things you know are good.  And take the time to thank God for walking every step of the storm with you.  And know, there will be sunshine again.

And if you would like the adorable journal pictured above….here’s the link 🙂

https://www.etsy.com/listing/202878497/gratitude-journal?ref=shop_home_active_3

4 thoughts on “Choose Joy

  1. Katrin mosto

    You are part of the grace in my life. I adore every last inch of you and can’t wait to see the what God has in store for us. I love you to the moon and back s the sweet angel!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks so much for this, Bethany! It is so freeing to know that we are not defined or held back by what has happened, and that God redeems our stories anew every morning, and in every new season. Thanks for reminding me that JOY is our choice, You have a voice, girl! I’m thankful I found your blog today.

    Liked by 1 person

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