iChooseJOY is a devotional I wrote because I have learned that JOY, once a foreign concept to me, is a choice.
I was once afraid of the unknown, afraid of the idea of eternity in both heaven and hell, afraid of the growing evil in this world, afraid of the uncertain days ahead. You can’t experience joy when you are full of fear.
How many of you know that whatever is inside of you will come out of you when life squeezes you? You know you’re not getting shampoo when you squeeze your toothpaste in the morning. There should be no surprise here.
On our second date, my husband figured out what I was made of. He took me to an amusement park and convinced me to ride a roller coaster with him.
I didn’t know what to expect so I put on a brave face and got on that long line with him. I pretended to be okay because I didn’t want him to know my truth–I was a big ole chicken and I didn’t want to disappoint him. Sometimes we do that. We wear masks to cover up the insecurity and fears that live beneath the surface.
As we started that first vertical drop from 150 feet in the air my brave face fell off. There was only one way I could endure this so I immediately assumed the position–I closed my eyes, held my breath and waited for it to be over. For almost three minutes I could not breathe as I was tossed around by every hard turn and each new drop. 🙈
When we got off that roller coaster Jakub was laughing and high-fiving his brother. A few feet away I was trembling and rendered speechless. That would be my first and last roller coaster ride.
How is it possible for two people to have the exact same experience and have very different reactions?
Proverbs 4:23 (NCV)
Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life.
My heart was once filled with fear and insecurity. In the face of uncertainty, I could only respond with what I knew, fear. My husband, on the other hand was a pro at this, he was confident on roller coasters. He loved every bit of it – unexpected drops and hard turns. He knew we would be okay even if he didn’t know exactly what was ahead.
Our lives can sometimes feel like an out of control roller coaster ride. And depending on what you are made of or what is inside of you, you may have a very different experience than the person sitting right next to you.
The thoughts we allow ourselves to entertain will run our lives. Those go-to thoughts will dictate our responses. If, like me, you live in a constant state of fear then you are going to respond in fear. What is in you will make it’s way out of you.
When you find yourself on life’s roller coasters and you are facing a 150 foot vertical drop, how will you respond?
I CAN avoid the amusement park roller coasters but in our everyday lives we can’t control life’s free falls. When that happens, unguarded thoughts will defeat us and leave us shaken on life’s inevitable roller coaster rides.
Fear is no longer my go-to reaction. I have changed my mind and I want to help you change yours. I changed my thoughts and those changes have changed my heart and life. Joy runs deeper than my fears. Joy is stronger than my insecurities. I don’t have to hold my breath and wish for the best. I have been walking in confident JOY for five years and I promise, you can too.
The iChooseJOY 5-day devotional will give you some basic truths that will help you begin to change your mind. As you spend time with those new thoughts I pray your heart will find new strength. A few minor changes can change your life.
You can live a joyful life in all seasons and all circumstances.
Join me. Change your mind. CHOOSE JOY.