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Jen-erally Happy (but I Count it All Joy)

Happy Face Front

People who know me say I am a very happy person (Jen-erally speaking). I love to make others smile and lift them up. That is a lot of my purpose in life – to put out positive vibes and to only speak well of someone. Oh, I have had people try to hurt me, pick on me and cause drama, but I am reminded of the wise words of Thumper (Bambi movie) who said, “If you can’t say anything nice… don’t say nuttin’ at all” and I try to live my life that way.

For the most part, being happy and joyful is ongoing for me. It is easy to live life that way because I learned a long time ago to let go of things that really don’t matter. I learned that kind words calm and harsh words only stir things up. [Proverbs] I learned to let go of unfounded stress that I don’t need to take on. I learned to look at the beauty… God’s true beauty surrounding me.

Horses are something that really takes me to my happy place. Just being around them and taking in their beauty is like oxygen. Hiking and taking in God’s beauty of nature is another happy place. But what about the days that I can’t be around those things that give my body and soul refreshing?

What about the times when I am disheartened or disappointed? How can I draw on the joy that wells deep inside in a constant flow? Most people close to me are so used to seeing me up and happy all the time, that when I have a down day, they are in shock and want me to snap out of it. I say that we need to let each other have those down times, because that is when God is stepping in with more of His truths that He wants to impart.

As the enemy lies to us and tries to get us down, God is there in some way to lift us back up. We just have to look for Him. Sometimes, it is through His word but other times it can be through His people.

For the many times that I have spent encouraging others and making them smile, I find that it is given right back to me in the times that I need it most. Laughing with others is something that encourages me – even if I feel I am hiding my pain. When I get down or am uncertain of my future and the enemy taunts me, my first reaction is to cave. I want to withdraw from people who expect Jolly Jen to stay jolly. I don’t have the energy to keep encouraging or making others smile when I am in need of that myself.

It only takes a few tears alone or a little time to step out of the brightness before I crave to be back in it again.

As I am a part of the world in which I am known as the joyful one, I almost feel as though I am faking it when I have been sad. But then all it takes are a few smiles lent to me by others before I regroup and am able to stand on my shaky legs again. Laughter with my friends is also oxygen. Even if my heart still cries or faces uncertainty, my soul rejoices and can still witness God’s blessings all around me. Some things take time to come about in our lives and we feel can feel sad… but the difference in the sad times for a believer is that there is still joy. Happiness is based on the events in our lives. It is momentary. Joy is from within and it is ongoing – yes, even during sad times. I don’t seek happiness, but I count it all joy.

It is in my sadness,  that I know God is at work. I know that it is a time when my eyes cannot see what He is doing – but I can have faith that He IS doing. And what He is doing is for my good. How can one stay down or sad with that kind of a promise? How can I accuse God of not caring that I am sad? He is faithful when others may not be. He brings me joy when happiness is not found.

When I think of my Father busy in His plans and I get impatient to know when He is going to bring my prayers about, I can see Him laughing with joy because He already sees my face when He will later reveal to me His timing. But I also know that He sees my tears and He cares when I don’t see His plan … He cares when my heart hurts. And some days, that is when He sends in the clowns! My friends who make me laugh, my family who prays for me and tells me they love me… these things help when I get down.

Just because I can’t be Jolly Jen every day and life’s circumstances try to trip me up, I can take heart that God has this.

He will remove from my life what is not good for me. He will comfort me when I am sad. He will bring about what He has for my life and I don’t have to know when. I may have my focus on one thing and He may lead me in a whole other direction. But it is my responsibility to take care of what He has given me. I must take care of all the things He has been creating in me and how He has been molding me, to be the woman He wants me to be. If I am careless with these things after He has brought me so far, then I only hurt myself.

I also can’t kick myself for being human. That is how He created me. I’d like to think I am Supergirl and superhuman… but I am not (don’t tell anybody). When I make mistakes or step in front of God trying to hurry Him up… He is good to give me a chance to ‘whoa’ and to regroup. To gather those things He has given me – wisdom, grace, forgiveness, trust, honesty, Agape love… things that cannot be bought or obtained in other ways but through God’s guidance and His time… and He expects me to care for those treasures and guard them as He continues His work in me.

There will be those who want these things from me and I am reminded of God’s word where He says “don’t throw pearls at swine”. Too often in my past, have I given the beauty God created in me, to people who trampled it. I have learned from my youthful mistakes and God has brought me a long way over the years.

That is not to say that I am not to love all people and share with them the goodness that God wants me to share. But for that treasure inside (and outside) that God has meant for certain people in my life – I must be responsible and know the difference of those who will receive and know it’s worth.

The ‘swineless’ persons in my life who know how to share in my joy, my hope and my love are my true friends. The man who sees my worth and respects what God is doing in my life is my true love. I understand that as God takes His time with me, He is also taking His time in others. Where He may be bringing me or what He may reveal to me, may take someone else a little longer to grasp. That’s okay.

God will reveal or He will remove. I still must stay true to who God has made me. My joy is complete in Him. My trust in Him is my strength. He laughs with me, He holds me and He comforts me like no one else can.

Oh to be a part of His work! To be that person who is Jen-erally happy and to spread the joy I have inside, to others who will receive it. To know that I am walking in the path He has me to go. How can sadness linger? The joy inside is enough. My joy comes from Him.

But when He can use others to make me laugh and make me smile in my down times, I know it is Him putting these wonderful souls in my path.

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