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For much of my life, the word ‘joy’ hung ever before me. Taunting me like a dangling carrot I could never grasp. Others seemed to have it already, but I didn’t know if I ever would.

Joy seemed foreign. Exclusive. Most definitely, joy seemed elusive.

As I’ve wrestled to find healing for my torn-apart heart and worn down body, I’ve struggled to understand how joy could ever be present. All I wanted to do was sleep and cry. And I did a lot of both.

Joy. What is it? How do we obtain it?

When Joy is Hard to Find

James says to consider it joy when we face trials of all kinds. I’ve definitely been through a lot of those. But have I known joy? Truly?

In the Psalms, David speaks honestly and with great emotion. He expresses anger, fear, hurt, and sadness. They are all emotions I relate to very well. In Psalms 30:5 he also says joy comes in the morning. I’ve often wondered, “When will it be morning?” Or, more specifically, “Dear God, when will it be my morning?”

After an extremely challenging and intense season of serving, I collapsed in many ways. I showed signs of PTSD, acute anxiety, and depression. I experienced grief and exhaustion in deep ways. As I began pursuing healing with intentionality, I also found life’s obstacles continually encircling me. Not only did joy seem elusive but so did the healing I fought so hard to obtain.

Looking around at my circumstances only took me further down. The only way out was to look up. I knew I had to. I needed to see something beyond what my eyes told me. So I looked for Jesus, often.

I cried out in tears, “Are you there?” I grew more honest, with myself and with God, about what I felt deep in my heart. I felt abandoned and with trepidation I admitted I was angry with God.

Hey there! We’re hope & faith pursuers, right? So we know this story doesn’t end here. How about joining me over at inCourage for the rest of, “When Joy Is Hard To Find”. I’d love to connect with you over there.

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