I have been battling an auto-immune disease since 2003. Some days are harder than others, but honestly, over the past several years it has not been an issue. Pregnancy sends the disease into remission, and with having had five children back-to-back, I’ve been without symptoms for many years. Today, however, it is back with a vengeance.
My body is numb and achy; I’m fatigued, and not myself. My husband doesn’t even need to ask, every morning he can tell by my expressions and tone that I’m not feeling well. By the end of the day, it seems to take more effort than I have to take a step.
When I’m not feeling well, it is hard to be myself which discourages me… often adding an emotional weight to my physical symptoms. I want to be joyful, but I can’t be because my body hurts too much. Or at least that was my excuse… until the Lord interrupted me and said,
“Joy is a choice.”
It is a choice to have joy despite being in physical pain. I don’t have to let my body determine my mood. What a life-giving truth. I can choose to smile even if I am not feeling well! When I’m tempted to wallow, I whisper, “I choose joy.” And it is amazing what that phrase is doing for my attitude.
I can apply this practice of choosing joy to everything:
When I come home to a messy house – I choose joy.
When my plans for the evening backfire – I choose joy.
When I’m waiting in a long line at the grocery store – I choose joy.
When all five children are crying – I choose joy.
When _______ – I choose joy..
I can choose joy in every area of my marriage:
When my husband hurts my feelings – I choose joy.
When he disappoints me – I choose joy.
When my husband works too much – I choose joy.
When I believe his priorities are wrong – I choose joy.
When my husband _______ – I choose joy.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit, in other words, it is a byproduct of walking with the Lord. Nehemiah tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). There are no footnotes stating the conditions in which joy is no longer accessible to a believer. No matter what my body is doing, how my husband acts, or anything else that might arise in my life, I have the ability to choose joy despite it all. And so do you!
Are you choosing joy today?
Sharing with Wedded Wednesday.