True JoyBy: Shirley Touzin-Diarra

There’s a myriad of reasons why people are happy, and a plethora of reasons why people are sad. I’ve come to the conclusion that being happy is predicated on the things that one has, and sadness comes from the lack there of. The reason I wanted to start off with happiness and sadness is because these two emotions are usually the emotions that we often deal with when we are expressing ourselves due to the gain, or loss of something. Joy on the other hand is not predicated on anything, but contentment and the knowledge of who’s you are.

For a long time, I searched for happiness, hoping that if I found the right man, the right job, wore the right clothes than I’d attract all those things that would make my life happy. After wearing some nice clothes, working with great people I realized that it all was a bunch of hogwash I was none the happier, and whenever I’d be happy it would only last a moment until I realized I needed, or wanted something else.

1 Timothy 6:6 says “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” When I began to really utilize that I really began to see a change in my life. I wanted things to make me happy and true joy doesn’t come from any of these things. Falling in love with Jesus in me and allowing him to show me who I was apart from anything else began to work wonders in my life. Most of all it began to work wonders in my emotions, forever changing me mentally. How I viewed myself through the eyes of the beholder (Christ) began to change I started appreciating the little, but yet most valuable things life had to offer. Like life, health, and strength. Like the ability to clap my hands, the ability to hear the sound that my hands made when they clapped against each other priceless. I started being thankful, and grateful for every moment, every second of air that I was allotted didn’t go unnoticed. I started to utilize the gifts that he gave me for free, and not just look but see the rainbow, not just sniff, but smell the roses, not just touch, but feel, I wanted to do more than hear, I wanted to listen, I had to do more than exist I had to live, be what he said I was awesomely and fearfully created!

Joy is a way of life, knowing that when I’m at my weakest that’s when the Lords strength is made perfect makes you joyful because the joy of the Lord is our strength. Strength is Joy! We have to appreciate every bit of life we have left. We mustn’t try to be anything more or less than who we are created to be. Be happy with whom God designed, and stopped trying to alter the shape of our identity to fit in, to be a part of what seems to be ok, or happy. I’ve come to the conclusion in order to experience true joy; you have to experience real love. We must come into the full knowledge of why we were put on this planet to begin with. When I look at myself in the mirror and I see the time that it took God to make me, every sinew, every tendon, every fiber of my being was made so that I can make his praise glorious. I’m elated, and delighted. Joy has to be present, when you know your purpose, who you are, but most importantly who’s you are! When we can let go, and simply let God for real true joy is inevitable.

Life by no means is easy, and we will definitely be hit with some rough spots, I’d be a liar, and the truth found nowhere in me if I said that there’s no gray areas in what seems to be just a ray of sunshine, but the truth is even the cloudy days bring a sense of joy when you know that the sun will come out again. I’m ever so thankful for life experiences that give me more reason to cling on to the joy of my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. He’s allowed his joy to be embedded deeply in my heart, so even when I should be walking around with my head hung low; God allows my head to be lifted. Even when the pain of rejection continues to peeks its ugly head out at me, I’m still confident in the fact that Jesus loves me for free, for no reason at all. There are many reasons for me to be sad. Hey let’s face it, life seems to be getting harder as the day goes by, but God becomes sweeter than the day before. Knowing that an almighty God loves you, and is here for you at your disposal you can’t help walk around rejoicing. I’m praying that if you don’t have joy that you reach for it, it’s right there. Leap for it! Go ahead it’s yours experience the true joy of life. Jesus loves you!