Happy, happy vs Joy, joy? #iBloom

I am a couple weeks behind on my weekly iBloom iChoose2 Love my life posts. :/   Ch 9 is about “Choosing Joy”. I admit I procrastinated writing this one because it’s a tough one for me.

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The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting. – C.S. Lewis

I’ve mentioned in the past that I have struggled with depression and anxiety the majority of my life.  I try really hard to stay positive and be optimistic and to keep that mindset the majority of the time especially on my blog, with my direct sales team and online.  No one likes a Debbie Downer.

The past few months I have really been struggling to be happy, much less joyful.  I am going through a season of extreme depression and loneliness.  I feel like I just don’t have anyone in my life that understands me, that I can relate to or connect with.  I see my parents and grandparents getting older, I see friends getting married and having kids, I see friendships slipping away because of changes in life and geographical distance. I don’t know anyone like me, 30 something career oriented, self employed, still trying to find her place in the world gal.  I feel like no matter how hard I try it is always two steps up and three steps back and that no one cares about the same things I care about or want for my life.

I wrote this in my journal a couple weeks ago:

I hate this place, I hate this day, I hate the fear that stares me in the face… I hate this emptiness, this loneliness, this pointlessness…

I miss so bad how my life was a couple years ago. I miss everything, the friendships, the fun, the feeling of purpose, of hope of passion.

It’s so hard when you just want others to care as much as you do. It’s so hard when it just never gets any easier.

I feel so selfish because I am so blessed. I feel so selfish because I have so much more than most. I feel so selfish because it is never enough.

I hate this place, I hate this night, I hate this hurt that grips me deep inside.

As a believer, a Christ follower, I used to think joy was supposed to be part of the package, that is would just come automatically.  I have often wondered what is wrong with me and why I can’t comprehend or possess this joy I see other believers have.

Happiness and joy are two different things from what I understand. Happiness is dependent on external circumstances while joy is based on internal hope, trust and belief in God and His will and promises regardless of external circumstantial. I have a hard enough time finding happiness some days, much less joy…

I think joy and being joyful is a choice though. I think joy means choosing to rejoice in the Lord and His promises regardless of your circumstances, emotions or physical state.  I think joy comes from worship and having a close relationship with the Lord and having a firm confidence in His truths and promises.

“We need to discover all over again that worship is natural to the Christian, as it was to the godly Israelites who wrote the psalms, and that the habit of celebrating the greatness and graciousness of God yields an endless flow of thankfulness, joy, and zeal.” ‘  J.I. Packer

I also think joy comes from opening your eyes and heart to the many blessings that surround you. I think joy comes from being grateful for everything that happens in your life, good or bad. I think joy comes from focusing on God and His word and not on worldly things.

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” Karl Barth

I think joy comes from trusting that God’s plan and purpose is what matters more than temporary emotions, feelings, possessions and relationships.

I think I need to work on all of those things before I can really, truly experience and choose joy in my own life.  I think I need to learn how to let go and lose myself instead of constantly trying to find myself and find satisfaction and purpose in what I am trying to do with my life…

“The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment. ‘If a man will let himself be lost for My sake,’ Jesus said, ‘he will find his true self.’ – Elisabeth Elliot

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What about you? What are your thoughts on joy? Do you struggle with being joyful too? I would love and appreciate your comments on this post! 

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Also if you are participating in the iBloom challenge and have written a post on Chapter 6, please feel free to add your link to the link up below!


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