Journeying into joy when you feel joyless

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Joy may be my name but it doesn’t always describe my nature. I’m inclined to let my feelings run away with me sometimes, especially those that slide toward life’s dark side.

This season of diminishing light usually means I sit more with sadness and SAD becomes my defining characteristic, as well as a condition I battle with.

And it’s probably because of this propensity that God has lain a word on my heart about the need to deliberately pursue joy in the midst of challenging circumstances.

My journey into joy may sound easy and delightful, (and I hope it will be!), but experience tells me I have a natural bent toward discouragement. It’s one I fight continually in my desire to reveal God’s hope and joy to others.

So I am going against my feelings, aiming to see joy as more than an emotion, and seeking to unearth the fruit of it as a woman of faith who could really use a fresh infusion of joy in her mind and heart. Maybe you do too?

Before we start (October 1st, God willing), I am sharing a poem written at a time when feelings overwhelmed and faith had a fight on its hands. Because we need to acknowledge where we have a joy deficit before we can move forward toward a greater awareness of what sparks joy for us.

Joyless

Today’s events tied me up in knots of stress,

taking captive the better part, no less,

while my worst emotions became unravelled

loose like string, leaving patience looking

patchy, worn and thin. Life will leave

us lifeless, fired up with feelings

which dissipate like a fading wind

 

And I seem to have swallowed a stone

I can’t shift. It sits heavy as iron,

wrinkling up my soul, pressing sharp

edges into my insides. A sour

twisting, turning acid with each

remembrance of how I have failed

to live with joy – as one already blessed

JoyLenton2016

As you can see from the poem above, I really need to fight for joy, to make space each day for happiness and contentment.

It’s not going to be plain sailing because my current life and health challenges make for choppy seas, and daily writing is a big ask for me. However, this wobbly faith warrior has a steel core of confidence in God seeing her through. I believe God has inspired me to undertake this journey and I trust Him to provide as I depend on Him.

I greatly value your prayers, and would love your company here as we learn how to walk with more joy over the days ahead via an eclectic mix of poetry and prose. Come join me? If you would like to follow along, you can do so by signing up via email. See you in October! 🙂

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14 thoughts on “Journeying into joy when you feel joyless

  1. Oh Joy, I am so glad to follow along with you on your journey into joy! I know that all too often, I feel this: “while my worst emotions became unravelled
    loose like string” that you expressed so beautifully! I am right there with you, feeling that sometimes the more I seek after joy the more elusive it becomes. I am eager to see how God will honor the choice to follow Him into His joy-filled paths! May you find extra strength to take up this writing challenge my friend! –HUGS! XOXO

    • Bettie, I am honoured to have your company! I hardly know what to expect, or how God will lead and direct my thoughts over the next month, but it will be made more enjoyable to be able to share this experience with you, my friend. I pray that you, too, may have creative energy, spiritually sustaining strength and joy as you pursue your own writing challenge. Blessings and hugs! xo

  2. You are so brave to take the 31-day challenge, Joy. I pray God gives you extra strength and enlightenment! I’m looking forward to pursuing joy with you. It can be so hard to grasp and hang onto it, but God’s grace is always greater than our fears and discouragement. I see this in your writing time and again. Blessings and hugs to you!

    • Trudy, at this stage I really don’t know if it is brave or foolhardy! Extra strength and enlightenment are welcome indeed as I take on this new challenge. Joy often feels elusive for me, too, but I hope to discover it hiding in plain sight as I deliberately journey into joy during October. Thankfully, God’s grace extends and covers our fears and discouragement. And there is always more to be had when we ask God for help. So blessed to have your company, sweet friend! Bless you. ❤

  3. I think we all feel like that at one time or another. Psalm 30:5 is one of my fave verses. “Weeping may come for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

    • That’s a beautiful verse and one of my favourites as well. Thank you for reminding me of it, Tara, and for visiting here! May the joy of the Lord be with you as you go through the rest of the week. Bless you, friend. 🙂

  4. Joy,
    What a beautiful and very honest and real poem. I, too, battle with depression (and OCD). Like you, too often I look for “joy” to be a feeling and I’m learning that joy is more of an abiding sense that God is with me no matter what…that even in my pain and really difficult days I can still have the joy of the Lord in my soul – even if my heart feels sad. I believe that joy and pain can co-exist at the same time. I will pray for you, sweet sister, as we head into fall. I know, for many, this can be a difficult time. God knows your struggles and loves you dearly just for being you and for being His!!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Bev, you’ve outlined the main thrust of my forthcoming #write31days ‘journeying into joy’ series with your insightful thoughts! My aim is to begin to push past feelings, discover joy stealers and learn more about how faith impacts and shapes what joy truly is. Are you sure you haven’t had a sneak peek at my draft posts?! Just kidding…but you have come close to underlining the place joy has in lives surrendered to God. We’re definitely on the same wavelength, my friend! Thank you for your kind words about my poem, and for sharing so openly about your own struggles. I’m also grateful for your discernment and perception, because I do have a tendency to forget just how much God loves me just as I am, and for being His – even though that’s what I tell my readers. They are words I shall be reflecting on, absorbing and appreciating in the days ahead. Bless you for caring and sharing here. ❤

  5. Joy, I am so glad you are doing this! I’ll be sure to follow along. I pray God will give you the strength as you write each day. May His blessings rest on you and you find much joy!

    • Gayl, I am so blessed to see you here, and delighted you are joining me for 31 days of journeying into joy! I hope and pray you will discover hidden pockets of joy in your days. I’ll try to pop over and read your posts as often as I can. Bless you, friend! xo

  6. I think taking on this challenge is timely and valiant and inspired. The photo is stunning. I hope someone who loves you gave you that bouquet. Cheering you on. I’ve been in a poetry slump and would love to feel stirred again in that direction, if that’s what God has for this season.

    Onward, into JOY . . .

    • Laurie, after writing my book I had several months of feeling flat-out with fatigue as life became extra demanding. Months where writing anything at all became impossible for a while. So I completely sympathise with your poetry slump.And I began to sense God drawing me toward a renewed vision, though I didn’t expect what has occurred! This writing challenge will definitely stretch me in every way, but I am so thankful for new words emerging and to be steering toward joy for a change. There will be a bit of poetry being shared, and prose pieces, too, because that’s also how I roll. Your cheering presence is greatly appreciated, my friend – yes, onward into JOY!! xo ❤

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