Real Talk: Choosing Joy Over Happiness

When you ask people what they want, many will answer “I want to be happy.” But you see, happiness is fleeting. Happiness can vary depending on your circumstances. For instance, you’re happy if you have a great job, but what happens if you lose that job? You’re happy when you have a boyfriend, but what happens if you break up? We begin to struggle. Our happiness depends on our circumstances. You see, the thing with joy is, is that it is everlasting, it’s an attitude of the heart. It is having joy even when things don’t go our way.

For me, my joy comes from the Lord. It’s knowing that he is in control of every detail of my life. It’s one of the most precious gifts that He gives all of us. That’s not to say you still won’t experience times of grief. I’ve experienced my fair share of grief from the loss of my late husband. As anyone that has ever gone through grief will tell you, it never goes away entirely. It’s always going to be there. But everyday I make a conscious decision to chose joy. Joy allows us to face hard times head on.

I remember the other day going through my iPhone and seeing pictures of me and Andy. There was one picture that really stood out. It was a picture of us at a Polar Express event. What shocked me the most, was that it was taken a few days after Fernando’s passing. As I look back now, those days seem like a blur to me. But I couldn’t believe that there I was——smiling. I was joyful. I couldn’t help but be in awe of how good God is. He was filling my heart with a joy and peace that I couldn’t even understand.

Shift Your Perspective.

It’s all about shifting your perspective. What gives me joy? Being able to look around and still find things to be grateful for. And if you think about it, no matter how dark the storm, you will always have something to be grateful for. Just being able to wake up and breathe is something that I will never take for granted. When my husband spent his last days in the hospital, it was one of the hardest times of my life. Seeing the person that you love so much slowing dying from cancer is painful.
But even in those times, when he would wake up, I was was grateful that I was given another day with him on this earth. You see, it’s all about shifting your perspective.

We will ALL face hard times sooner or later, whether it’s a divorce, death, an illness…. but my wish for you is that even in those times you are filled with joy. Know that it is possible to find joy again. So hang in there….and in the words of Dory “just keep swimming.”


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