Thursday, January 24, 2008

Make a Joyful Noise...

I want to be joyful. I just spent an amazing few hours with a wonderful friend, and right now, I should be snuggled in my bed, the feeling of cheesecake warming my belly, drifting off to dreamland, but instead, I want to be joyful. Oh, I was actually in my bed, but I was not snuggly. I was restless. I felt like I had not completed my night. Had I missed something I was supposed to gain from this precious time, had I not listened as well as I thought I had? No, I did, and I plan to take each bit of advice I was given and use it. Ok, so what? Why can't I fall asleep? I have to be up SOOOON. I need to sleep. I want to be joyful. Right, so you want to be joyful, good, now close your eyes and joyfully go to sleep. I want to be joyful. Joyful is not going to happen unless I go to sleep. No, I want to be joyful. Get out of your bed, and pray. Pray for joy. And so, I prayed a simple prayer.
" Jesus, please show me how to be joyful. Help me to be joyful to honor you. Amen."
Back into bed. Snuggly, warm, sleepy...eyes pop open. I want to be joyful! I want to be joyful! I WANT TO BE JOYFUL!!!

The dictionary definition of joyful is:

1.full of joy, as a person or one's heart; glad; delighted.
2.showing or expressing joy, as looks, actions, or speech.
3.causing or bringing joy, as an event, a sight, or news; delightful: the joyful announcement of their marriage.

I want to be joyful. I can honestly say that I have never thought about simply being joyful before. I don't know why. Perhaps because I tend to have a kind of Eeyore outlook on life. I could make a mile long list of the things that are NOT joyful in my life. BUT, I want to be joyful. What brings me joy?

My husband brings me joy. He is my best friend, my support, he makes me laugh, he respects me, he's so many joyful things for me.

My girls bring me joy. They are silly, innocent, active, unconditionally loving, and joyful!

My parents bring me joy. They love me for me, they respect me, they love my husband, they love my girls, they are supportive, and we have fun!

My friends bring me joy. I have the most amazing friends! They are my network, they are my confidants, they put me in my place when I need to put in it. They love me for me.

My God brings me joy. He loves me unconditionally.

So why am I just now declaring that I want to be joyful? Here is where the doubt and guilt try to creep in. Should I be joyful right now? After all, this has certainly been a year that could kill any kind of joy I might have had. Do I have the right to be joyful right now? Shouldn't I still be harboring my grief, and anger and wonder over my brother? Is it ok for me to be joyful when I see my parents who are certainly still in a state of strong grief and bewilderment? Don't get me wrong, I am grieving. I will grieve for my brother for a long time. I love him, and I miss him, and I truly don't know when I will get to a point where it doesn't put a knot in my stomach to think about it. At the same time, I want to be joyful. I don't want to be in a constant state of "well, I'm hanging in there, but it's still so hard". I know it will be hard, and part of me welcomes that in a strange way. I fell almost a loyalty to Jon for this to still be hard for me to deal with. I want to be joyful. I wasn't joyful before my brother died either. I was a miserable grouch, just like I was until tonight. I want to be joyful. I need to be joyful. How wonderful would my days be if I could find even one thing to say "Hey, that makes me joyful"!

I will be joyful.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.


Kim S in SC said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. Your writing about joy and the loss of your brother really struck a chord. Dear one, what a question, how to be joyful when grief surrounds you? I am so very sorry for your loss. I'm so glad the God who comforts us in our loss also offers the good news that the joy of the LORD is our strength...His Joy..our strength. Praying that His joy will give you strength to face your grief. For your parents as well. His joy of knowing that He endured the cross for us so that we can, with Him, stand in the presence of our God. So I pray that as you will rest, really rest, in HIM that each sweet precious memory of your brother will also bring you joy!
I'm looking forward to coming back and reading more, but right now, I'm off to dreamland!

Kim S in SC said...

Dear Big Dreamer: I am back after reading so much more of your blog. After reading, I see why your grief is still so very fresh. I have prayed for you and your family much of the night and will continue to do so. Kim

Elisa @ Extravagant Grace said...

My dear friend! I am so thankful for the work God is doing in your life. I saw that joy begin in your eyes tonight. I know God has put it there and plans to do a mighty work in you. I am so overwhelmed with joy that you are answering His call, His way, and with His timing. Just answer, dear. Don't worry about how or why or where or when. That is up to Him. But when you know it is Him speaking, respond -- just like you did tonight.

You are so beautiful (and I was even thinking that tonight--more than ever before!). God has you in the palm of His hand, from the beginning until now. He weeps with you, and He also brings you the joy you feel/desire. It is exciting to see how He will work it out for His glory and the good of those -- you -- who love Him.

Off to get breakfast going!