Sometimes the problem with life is you don’t know how bad its been until it’s good…. As human beings we are really great at making the best of situations. Mostly we just accept what comes at us and deal with it. Especially if you have Positivity as your top strength and especially if you have just immigrated or moved into a place where “normal” is being created day by day because everything is new.
One of the great things about moving to New Zealand is that Gary and I started doing our walkie talkies, it literally saved our marriage in those first few weeks of moving here, because we were (even if I wouldn’t admit it at the time) stretched and stressed beyond anything we had ever experienced. Nothing is certain and there is a heavy pull to “unbecome” who you are and become just like everyone else. Not to mention stepping into a role that has a whole lot of new demands. Without realising it I kicked in to the “proving myself life pursuit” which diminishes you day by day. When you feel small you are less likely to show up.With all these things pulling at your person you are bound to kick into a rut, I mean a routine, that creates some certainty for you.
One of the things I lost however on the journey was Joy, that unspeakable, insatiable and powerful joy. One of the reasons is that I stopped doing some of my joy building activities. Last year I stopped writing, reading and walking by myself. The walking by myself was a biggy, because my habit is always to listen to talks, sermons and/or music when I walk and that, as I discovered the other morning is what fills my soul to overflow. I was so overcome that morning as the waterfall of joy pour over and in to me.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying this has been a horrible year, it has been mostly great, I am also not saying I have been sad this year, in fact it has been a very happy year apart from some really sad moments, joy has nothing to do with day to day happy, having fun and living on purpose, I am talking about that deep river of joy that creates meaning and gives you the power to navigate anything and everything.
I was listening to Bill Johnson that morning and he said something that caught my attention as I stomped the streets of Cambridge, he briefly mentioned the verse that related to when the wise men found Jesus in the manager, it says they had “exceeding joy”, that original word means violence. It doesn’t mean they went out and did violence, but their Joy caused a violence in the realms of darkness, it was then that I realised how important it is to get back to a place of joy. The Bible does say that the Joy of the Lord is our strength. After the message, I started to listen to music, it filled my soul and the river inside of me that had become a tiny bubbling brook was flooded and the full force of it overwhelmed me to the point of tears.
If you have walked a journey with me, you will know that I am a very visual person. As the joy filled me up it was like it sent shockwaves from me into Cambridge, discouragement, depression and darkness of the soul obliterated. Buy the time I got home I was beaming and brimming and felt compelled to write. And the beautiful cycle of unspeakable joy continues….
What are the practices you do daily to fill up your joy?