Turn Gray Skies Into Blue

Each weekday morning I start my day off with logging into my g-mail and reading the daily Girlfriend In God (GIG) message. Each issue of GIG starts off with a scripture reading and is followed by a story that helps to illustrate the reading in today’s world. Today’s reading was,

“God will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy (Job 8:21, NCV).”

The parts of the message that spoke to me are quoted below. Whether you believe in God or not, please finish reading this blog entry. I am just sharing a reading that I think has started to heal my pain.

We all want a life filled with happy endings, but we seem to be living lives that could well be described as “joy-less.” Every day is lived at the mercy of the world. We are like Charlie Brown who admits, “I have a new philosophy. I’m only going to dread one day at a time.”

God is our one and only source of joy, and stands ready and waiting to saturate every circumstance with His presence. As His children, joy is ours to claim. Really? If that is true, then where is it? Why are so many of us facing each day with a sense of dread instead of a confident celebration?

Maybe it is because of the Joy Stealers who lurk in the shadows, waiting to crush joy wherever they find it. I have great news for you, girlfriend. Nothing and no one can take your joy without your permission. So, don’t give it! Choose joy instead.

Choosing joy requires us to identify and eliminate the “joy stealers” in life. You may be allowing a person to take your joy. Maybe some painful experience from a shadowed yesterday is an obstacle of joy in your life today. Perhaps a fearful circumstance or a broken dream is the culprit.

I know life can be painful. I know it is often hard and unfair. I also know God is in control. So if God really is God (and He definitely is), then we can and should be people of joy. I have read the final chapter of the Book, and we win!

After reading today’s GIG I began to think about the concept of choosing joy and removing the “joy stealers” from my life. I have been allowing my mother’s death to be an “obstacle of joy in my life.” Perhaps instead of believing mourning has to involve a lot of pain and anguish, I can explore my relationship with my mother (as short as it was) and the questions I have. Instead of dwelling on the void that was left in my life I can explore the ways she has affected my life. Taking this perspective may have moments of sadness but I can also have joy.

Even though I have choice, I believe God is in control. Believing and accepting that brings me joy. Tonight I choose joy. Tomorrow I may feel some sadness but I won’t let it overshadow and steal the joy of my day. I will experience the sadness and let it pass.

Perhaps I am really on my way to not mourning but accepting that she is gone and being thankful for the time I had with her and for the gifts she gave me (even gifts I haven’t realized I have). Stay tuned for tomorrow. As good as my intentions are, stating this and living this can be a challenge. Why don’t you choose joy with me and if you identify a “joy stealer” don’t allow it to be a thief and own your day.

I believe this is the correct link to GIG if you are interested.