As I lay in bed with another bout of insomnia and twitchy legs from restless leg syndrome it dawns on me how silly the world is.
Commercials and media push us to be happy. And all these false promises (er distractions).
What new flavor of pop tart could their possibly be now?
What new trinket collectible toy did they invent for your kids to beg for & then you’ll later step on it and wince in pain?
What must have outfit does target have this season?
What unaffordable vacation is tempting us now?
What about joy over happiness? And when are people finally going to speak up about it?
Does any of it really make anyone happy?
After 5 years of treatment and surgeries... my body is aging faster than normal. I’m having to grow accustomed to things that are not normal for a 37 year old body. I admittedly have struggled to find happiness, but joy has burst through.
Aging and physical changes are tough for the psyche. Since 2017, I’ve constantly struggled with truly adapting to the fact that I am different than the average person my age and I have to do things differently. Which is disheartening.
Despite my naturally spontaneous self, I cannot go on a whim and wear a swimsuit without full coverage because the sun will find every single trace of skin and burn it. (Burnt my hands and lips the beginning of summer).
These days, I could never just jump in a car without my medicine and without a plan for a bathroom.
I remember before I had my hysterectomy my OB/GYN told me my ovaries looked like a 60 year olds.
The latest installment is my hair is falling out... again. 💔
“But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her...” 1 Corinthians 11:4
It has thinned by about half (or more). And for those of you that know me, my hair has always been one of my favorite qualities. Long, blonde, thick hair.
It’s been a quality I always took for granted as a kid and a blissful young adult ... until I was bald.
July 6, 2017 I kissed my vanity goodbye.
But when my hair finally grew back, it came back thicker and even curly. I almost for a moment slipped right back into that mode of believing I was back to normal. And it’s hitting me hard. My PTSD is high.
It’s in my constant battle that I think so much is wasted on this false, worldly promise for happiness.
There’s so much more out there and so many important aspects of life that are being missed out on when a culture pushes people to seek their own happiness. Which verges on selfish seeking pursuits.
My lens on life has shifted to notice these things more than I might outside of this journey.
My clock of life ticks away almost as a blaring reminder of how much I need to soak up the joy God has given me in this life. I have had many say to me, “well we could all die by anything at anytime.” And while that may be true, it minimizes someone who is battling for life.
While happiness has been a struggle with all that’s thrown my direction. I’ve learned a life altering lesson.
Happiness is not the same as joy. Joy exists despite circumstances, as it is deeply rooted in the steadiness of God‘s faithfulness.
God has been reliable in my most challenging struggles with cancer. He has shown up even if it wasn’t in the way I anticipated or planned... through people in my life, through Gospel music, through continuing to push me out of my comfort.
I share not to garner sympathy, but to give God all the glory. It is not my strength, it is not my bravery that I am here, breathing, standing, sharing as I am today... it is all Him.
This summer I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone, because God did not call us to be comfy and happy. He called us to do things different. He called us to love others before ourselves and this sparks true, unexplainable JOY.
Jesus was the biggest radical who pushed cult norms in every way.
Commit to challenging yourself to seek to serve & ignite joy.
Bake bread for a neighbor
Play a game with your kiddos
Hop off social media for a week or so
Use your words to heal
Start a walking routine with a neighbor
Compliment someone at the grocery store
Drop diapers off at a new moms house
Find the forgotten and be a friend
Love like Jesus
take a trip and don’t feel obligated to post about it or have to take a zillion pictures
At the end of the day what matters most is presence. Showing up. Acknowledging those that are less likely to be noticed. To soak up time with your sweet babies and spouse. To live and love like Jesus with other kiddos, other families, other married couples.
When we pray verses such as Psalm 39:4, “Show me, LORD, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is,” it helps us to enjoy the days with our family and those around us instead of taking them for granted.