Oftentimes I find myself giving people so much power over my emotions. I allow them to dictate my thoughts and feelings that I lose sight of who I am and what I want to choose in this life. So much of my time is wasted away in choosing to focus on what others think of me and how they feel I should act. I soon realized that I have freedom.
I have the freedom to choose joy. I have the freedom to not let people conduct my feelings and steal my peace. I have the freedom to love people as Christ loves and show them mercies as The Father has. I have been given this freedom by The Father Himself. We all have been given the freedom to do as we please and act on how we feel, but amidst it all, we have the freedom to choose goodness and peace, kindness and joy.
I recently found that I was sinking into myself and feeling like all the negativity of the times had begun to consume me. I’m grateful to have caught on so quickly because I recognized myself not feeling as I wanted to feel. I felt sad and lonely, but I was neither of those things. I have a boyfriend who loves me and friends who’s gift of friendship means so much to me. Why was I feeling this way? Could I really be that miserable? My job in and of itself was great and I love where I live and who I live with, why wasn’t this enough? Then I realized, I had stopped choosing joy.
Joy is something contestant through trial and error, through pain and suffering. Happiness, fleeting. I wanted to shift my focus. Despite my loneliness and sadness, I had to realize that I had a right to choose.
A couple years back I was laying in my bed while I was on the phone with one of my best friends. I was sulking. Finally, she spoke up and said, “Stop this. Get up. Get dressed. Eat something good. Today is a new day. What’s in the past is past. Don’t let this rule you.” I was caught off guard because this friend was always gentle and soft-spoken. At this moment, she was stern and deliberate. She was right. It was just what I needed to hear. I was choosing to have a pity party and live in that mindset, when really, I had been wasting so much good time where I could have been choosing to live more fully.
I want to remember to choose joy. I want to fight hard for it. I want to remember that despite what I am feeling in a moment, does not give me the right to take it out on others. I want to be joyful even in the midst of pain. I want to remember that even though I might be feeling this way for now, it won’t last. Joy will. Joy remains. Even in the middle of my story.
Today, let us remember that the rights that the world tells us we have can be misleading and can lead us further away from joy; however, the rights that The Lord has offered to us brings us closer to truth, freedom, and fortification to forge through a difficult time or moment.
We have the right to choose freedom in this world, yes, a sweet joy in Christ.
May God give you the sweetest peace.