Where is joy?

In this quest to find joy, it seems I forget where joy comes from.

A couple days ago I spent the morning reliving what life has been like since moving home to Minnesota. In my journal, I wrote out every detail I could remember – the good and the bad – hoping that by reliving those moments, I’d be able to find an answer to my continued state of depression and dissatisfaction.

I know I sound like a broken record, but I’m constantly afraid that I will never be happy again. I know you can’t understand, but I was the happiest I’d ever been when I was out there. It’s devastating to have that and lose it.

But there is hope. And that hope lies in Christ alone.

I’ve been slowly reading Broken Escalators by Peter Haas, and this little section got my mind racing,
“In the past, I had experienced three- to six-month depressions and then suddenly snapped out of them. But what do you do when the rain cloud refuses to move? Staying faithful to God in that season was an hourly chore. I finally knew what it meant to ‘live by faith, not by sight’.  (2 Cor 5:7). There were no quick victories or answered prayers to revel in. There were merely seeds of faith, watered with tears. “

I picked up my journal to start up my deep analysis of the past two years again. That’s when I wrote the intro to this post, “In this quest to find joy, it seems I forgot where joy comes come: Jesus.”, and was immediately reminded of my first year in Colorado.

Looking back, it was not good. I don’t want to take the time to go into why it was so hard, but let’s just say that being 100% alone in a brand new state with terrible jobs and a car that won’t fix, is scratching the surface. However, I think how I handled it made the difference and ultimately resulted in the full life I experienced.

I got up – every morning – before the sun rose and spent time with Jesus. I prayed desperately for Luke and his job. I prayed for our vehicles: that they could get us to work and home again that day. I prayed we’d have enough money for groceries.

Soon, my very real and daily prayer was “give us this day, our daily bread.”

Jesus became that to me. And I believe that it was out of continually and actively putting my trust in him that my joy became full.

Although I have not left him, nor forgot about him or shunned him, I also have not sought him since moving home. I have not desperately knocked at his door for wisdom and understanding. I suppose I’ve been living with the passive hope that I will be scooped up and rescued, and life will be as it was. But no – there is a battle to be fought. I can’t idly sit by and let the enemy’s threats continue to be what I believe as truth. But if I am not seeking truth, how will I be able to tell truth from a lie?

There is joy to be found and a new level of life to be experienced. There may be more steps to take and battles to fight, but he is with me. He is right beside me. The only thing I need is to seek him first, stick close to his side, and trust him with every step, emotion, and circumstance.

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
Stuart Townend


IMG_4632Kristen Larson started writing in 2011. Since then, she has contributed to the Faith Radio Network blog, wrote devotionals for Daily Wisdom for Women 2016 with Barbour Publishing, and got her dream job working on book covers for Bethany House Publishers. She and her husband live in an adorable rural town in Minnesota, where they love spending time together working on home updates and renovations.

For more information, visit her About Page.


 

Cover Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

 

 

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