I went back and reread this from an old blog I kept before this one. I wrote this in August 2013:
This year has been one of spiritual growth for me. I have pursued the Lord harder than ever before and He has shown up big. I’m reading through the bible in the year and I’ve been having these amazing coffee times in the morning just reading the word. It’s amazing that even though I’ve been churched my whole life and I’ve read the bible all the way through three times before – I am learning so many new stories and verses. The best part is, suddenly my life is relating back to scripture because I actually know it.
That’s my preface to share what the Lord has challenged me with this year. He is teaching me what it looks like to choose joy. One of my favorite verses to come out of this year in my bible reading and from my summer small group which studied David faithfully for 7 weeks is this: ‘The Lord is my shepherd: I lack nothing’ from Psalm 23. Any of you in a season where you need to wake up every morning and remind yourself that the Lord is your shepherd and you lack nothing?
Now hear me when I say that I don’t mean that to say this is a bad season of life. In fact, it’s a great season of life. It is not however an easy season. Good, big, healthy things are happening but on the day to day there’s been some hard days. I am walking through a tough season alongside my family. I have recently walked away from a close friendship. I am going through some transition in my job that has challenged me and stretched me.
I am learning in this season to choose joy daily. The bible is so clear that we are meant to be joyful in trials of ‘many kinds’. But as I was talking this thought process through with my Mom I said, ‘I’m learning to be steady’. That’s what choosing joy has looked like for me. To be steady in my joy no matter what storm I’m weathering.
As a kid I had a lot of attitude. I know this shocks you all but it’s true. When I would tell my Mom just how mad I was she would say, ‘well, that’s your choice’. I hated that. Actually I’m feeling annoyed just thinking about it now. The worst part? She was mostly right. I don’t know that we really can choose to turn off an emotion completely, but I do think we choose our attitudes.
I think in every season of life we have to choose to be joyful in our circumstances. For me, the best way to do this? Stay grateful. Whenever I particularly crummy day or circumstance I call up my best friend and we play ‘high/low’, a game a few of my fellow bloggers will appreciate came from a great fiction read. You talk about the high and your low of the day. It’s nice to be able to acknowledge the crummy but even better to celebrate something that went right about your no good day.
If you’re in a tough season try it – a high and a low everyday. Teach your heart to be grateful for what you do have, who you have, and what’s going right. Somehow it makes the crappy other stuff seem smaller.
It’s overwhelming to read this now. 10 months later this still perfectly describes where I’m at. I am still figuring out what it looks like to be stead in my faith regardless of circumstances. When times are good, when they’re tough, and when things don’t turn out they way I want – I still want my faith to be steady.
2014 has been a crazy year. If I had to it to do over are there a few things I’d do differently? Sure. But as I read back through the writing I keep only for me I was reminded that in a year that has been full of highs and lows – my faith has stayed stronger than ever. I am more in love with the word and my Savior everyday. Through new relationships, tough friendships, breakups, missions trips, job changes, and family matters – this year has seen me hold steady in my commitment to Christ and that is a huge win for this girl.
I expect that this year which is not quite half over has some twists and turns still to throw my way but I hope when I finish this blog off for the year in December I will be able to say the same. I have made some mistakes, I have screwed some things up but my faith has stayed steady through the thickest and thinnest of times.