It’s a new year, and I choose joy! Notice I said that’s what I choose, not necessarily that joy is what I feel from moment to moment. See if you can relate to me on this: it has been a super-fun last few weeks, dotted with holiday celebrations, some reflection on what made the year great, and excitement for the promise the new year holds, but now that the celebrating is over and the decorations are down, I’m feeling a little down, too. Sound familiar?
Being a Type A “planner” to my core, I think the last few months full of perpetual sickness in our household and other unexpected things have shaken me, as I find real joy in order and organization – the complete opposite of this nonsense. These experiences, coupled with knowing this new year holds a few new challenges for me and the growing realization that my son will have to go back to school (where the sick people are!), choosing joy seems impossible, but there it is. As I sit here at the start of the new year, I have no long list of new year’s resolutions or grand plans – I just have one commitment in my heart: I choose joy – for all year, and in every situation!
This year, I picked the verse Nehemiah 8:10 as my life verse. It says, “Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” My sister gave me a daily devotional book for Christmas, and would you believe this verse is the subject of the very first entry?! The author illustrated how we are called to choose joy and to rejoice in spite of our circumstances. I know I need God’s help to allow His joy to strengthen me, so I went back to the Word to find some more verses to help me with letting go and choosing joy!
James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you are involved in various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But you must let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”
Psalm 95:1 “Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.”
I Choose Joy
If you’ve been around the blog for a while, you know this isn’t my first go around with this. I struggle with anxiety, and in my mind, I should be able to be in control and protect my family (one extreme Mamma Bear here)! Since this is a continuous effort for me, proclaiming to choose joy this year means I’m going to have to really be intentional about choosing joy, and though I pray, I don’t expect it will be super-easy. The Lord has really made it clear to me that this what he wants from me and for me this year, though, and that’s why it’s my only resolution!
I have hung Nehemiah 8:10 on my fridge, and plan to keep it there all year as a constant reminder of the commitment I’ve made, and that His joy is always there for me; I can only choose it through His strength! God has opened my eyes to some other ways to thrive in spite of my anxiety, and I’ll be referring to those, too; God has given us control of our minds, so knowing some of these has made a huge difference for me, and I hope it will for others, too!
I pray you have a joy-filled year, and I would love to hear what your resolutions are for this new year!
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