Have you heard about One Little Word? It’s a project that has been popular in the blogging world for several years and one in which I have participated. The idea is to choose a “word” that will be your focus for the year.
Last year, I chose LEARN as my word with a goal of trying to learn a lot of new things. I even had a charm stamped with my word on it to put on one of my many bracelets.
I guess I should have made a large banner instead, because as is my all-too-frequent habit, I started with big plans and then promptly forgot all about it. I did learn new things, but I didn’t focus on the enjoyment of the learning process like I intended.
The New Year brings a new chance to start over, so I did. Back the first of December, I decided my One Little Word for 2015 would be JOY.
I had a feeling that our family was going to face some hard times, knowing our sister, Amy, needed a kidney transplant and her husband, Robert, was the best match. I imagined long hospital stays and many doctor visits and the need for quite a bit of care-taking. She had walked the transplant road before, so we knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
However, I wanted to FOCUS on the JOY not the struggle.
God had other plans for Amy, and she went to her heavenly home and total healing on January 3.
The irony of my OLW has not been lost on me.
However, I haven’t forgotten or abandoned my word even though this has been a very sad time for all of us. I am learning about JOY in a different way than I imagined. Now, I’m learning there is a big difference between being happy and being joyful. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit not a result of my present circumstances.
Joy is a gift that I choose to receive.
When I awaken each morning and face the fact that Amy is no longer physically with us, I am understandably sad all over again. But, I am trying to make the choice to be joyful anyway as I look for the blessings God has for me this day.
These beautiful blessings have come in many small ways- in nature, kind words, the perfect song at just the right time, comfort from scripture, the sweet release of tears, hugs, and peace that can only come from my Heavenly Father. I have had glimpses of JOY in the midst of grief.
I don’t know the struggles that you are facing, but I am sure you have some. Want to join me in choosing joy in the midst of them?
“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23