Have you ever sat back and allowed yourself to feel. To feel joy, to feel guilt, to feel excitement, to feel lost, to feel hopeless, to feel hopeful. To just feel. I think we hold back on feelings because we’re scared of the emotions we might release. We’re scared of the guilt, the feeling of being lost, the hopelessness. But by doing this we’re holding back on real, pure and simple joy. The joy in the little things and not just the big things. The joy that doesn’t come from other people.
For a really long time I’ve held everything in hoping it’ll all work out. Not allowing my emotions to get out. And only finding joy in other people. So when I was alone I was miserable. Nothing could lift my spirits. I longed for joy and not just the kind that lasts for an hour or so. Real joy. Joy so great I could find it even when I was alone. So I struggled and struggled with it. I’d have days where I’d think to myself, ‘Yeah, this is joy’, but really it was just a good day. I wasn’t feeling joy but I was feeling happy. Joy and happiness, they’re not the same. Joy is much more permanent whereas happiness is temporary. Happiness comes from people or things, however joy is knowing that something good is always around the corner. Joy is trusting God to take all your bad emotions; guilt, lost, hopeless and replace them with good emotions; happy, excitement, hope. Joy is much greater than happiness
Today I think I hit a break through. Today I found myself taking in the small things and smiling at them. Today I found myself laughing at a book. (I don’t read?). I found myself going from drained to lively. I found myself walking around the town by myself (I don’t do independence?). I found joy. Joy that didn’t come from other people. Joy that was there even when I was alone. Joy so great it wasn’t like anything else I felt before, I even felt warm inside. Joy that didn’t last an hour or so but something much more permanent.
As much as I like to say I caused this joy myself, I didn’t. I’ve been reading a book about real and great joy in depths of suffering. This book teaches me to feel. To let go of my emotions to let myself feel joy, anger, sadness, excitement, hope, hopeless, everything. This book has shown me woman in the bible who too have suffered but found joy.
Let’s take Bathsheba. She became pregnant from an affair with King David. The king kills Bathsheba’s husband to cover up his sin. Bathsheba’s baby died shortly after his birth. She was taken from what seemed a good life with a good husband to horrible life having to share a husband with other women. Bathsheba had felt loss and suffering but God gave her comfort. He gave her a son, someone she could love and encourage. Bathsheba became the mother of the future king. Although she felt pain and misery, God had more in store for her. He had planned great joy for her. It’s the same for us, when life gets tough there’s always something good around the corner.
I feel as though Jesus placed this book in my hands and not Amazon or the blogger who recommended it. Jesus knew I needed this book to learn to let go and let in. To see the hope. To discover what true joy means and to experience it myself. I hope this post does this the same for you. Let all your emotions out and let God in.
Also the book I’m reading is called ‘And still she laughs’ if may of you want to check it out.