Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Viciously Choosing Joy

Okay.  So here's the deal.  I'm back to forcibly choosing joy.  Viciously choosing it almost.

Last night was powerful.  I was blessed to enjoy a powerful evening of worship.  I was blessed to have time in the midst of that time of worship to talk with God about the current places I'm existing in.  There was some grumpyness.  And some confession. A few deep moments.  And a healing warmth that stole over me, carrying peace and joy with it again.  And some renewal of a committment to trust. 

Trust is not my strong suit.

I was thinking this morning that it's been particularly hard the last few years to trust God's handling of my life.  It has often seemed like the places he's led me have been cruel.  The results only painful.

It's easy to forget the beautiful ways those seemingly cruel seasons have shaped my life and deepened my walk with God.

I spent my bus ride to work this morning in two ways.  Obsessing over something that's bothering me, and berating myself for letting that obsessive, controlling fear steal the joy and peace I had.  Letting it interrupt the time of worship and prayer I try to make space for on the bus each morning.

I got to work and discovered that for the first time in months, I'd forgotten last night to swap the empty pill containers in my purse for full ones.  Since I was already obsessing, that was not a calming addition.  The many supplements I take daily make a significant difference in my ability to cope with a day.  Since I was already in a tenuous, tearful, obsessive space, my immediate tendency was panic.

I'm fighting that tendency for the moment.

So, I'm viciously choosing joy.  It pretty much sucks as a process, but I've seen the results over the last several hundred days of making daily 5 lists, and I've learned that on the worst days, sometimes I just have to be vicious about the thought processes.

No, I won't let that thing that I'm obsessing about steal the peace from special moments with Jesus during a worship service last night.

No, I won't let the panic over how I'll cope with the day without the many supplements that balance my mood and energy levels drive me to a place of having a bad day just because I expect to.

Yes, I'll probably have to viciously choose those "no's" and others over and over and over.

Like I said, as a process, it pretty much sucks.

And it requires trust.

Trust that I really can make a different choice and stick to it.

Trust that my emotions aren't some totally wonky thing that I have no control over.

Trust that joy isn't only about a happy and perfect life.  That it exists in the pretty ugly, mundane days too.

So that's my plan for today.

To somehow, viciously push the other things away, and choose joy.