Joy: Even When It’s Tough

Hey there. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve written here. Life decided to get all sorts of crazy. I feel like this has been the year of tests for all of us. I got called back to work, and really haven’t been excited to head back when there are still so many unknowns about this pandemic. We all then, also face personal choices and issues that come up in our lives. In all of these moments, life gets really tough. We don’t know how to react, what to feel, or how we can’t make it out.

The thing I keep clinging on to and the thing that keeps my head above water is this; joy.

Yes, life still kinda sucks in a lot of ways. Maybe you feel lost. Maybe you struggle with the constant arguing that we wake up to everyday. Maybe you are struggling with your mental health and feel panicked or depressed. Maybe you are dealing with family tensions or relationship strains. Whatever it is, joy can be a difficult thing to have and it honestly tends to fall on the bottom compared to what our minds are processing.

We need joy, we need to choose to have joy in the midst of all things, because it is a choice.

Remember who you are.

I think when we find ourselves struggling and feeling a deep inner sadness, it’s vital to remember who you are. This is what God, your creator, says about you.

You are made uniquely in the image of God.

You are worthy of love.

You are beautiful, having great value.

You are awesome, an awe-inspiring being influencing others.

You are safe and free.

You have a purpose over your life.

No one can take these from you. This is found in scripture, and I encourage you to look at how God has made you and what he says about you. If anyone tries to contradict what scripture says about you, it’s a lie from the depths of hell.

Love, and love well.

It can be easy in our hurt to want to shut out everyone else. The thing is, we have been called to love others. When we focus on who God has made us and choose to press into that truth, our hearts should overflow with love to everyone around us.

I know that when I was hurt, job loss, troubles in school, and when others would talk down to me, my reaction wanted to just simply bring pain from my anger.

Anger only leads to more pain.

What I’ve found is this, when I choose to love others despite my feelings, true joy comes in.

It’s a shift in perspective. One that allows us to see this pain and know that it is only temporary. It doesn’t define you, and when you love despite your circumstances, you begin to have joy for the gifts all around you.

I’ll be honest, this season has been a tough one. On a global scale, there’s a pandemic, there is light being shined on racial injustice and class gaps, and there is a constant stream of angry people. It’s very taxing on the mind, and then, you mix in the personal struggle. In my own walk with dear Danielle, it’s trying to figure out what life looks like next and knowing where is the Spirit leading us. I took a couple of weeks off, because I need to quiet the voices and listen.

Maybe you need to do that. It’s hard to know who God has made you to be and to love well when you don’t allow yourself quiet spaces to reflect and press in to the pain.

Life is tough, so remember who you are and when you love well, joy begins to shift your perspective.

-Joshua Thomas

About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__

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