When I asked God for a theme for 2009 I wasn’t really surprised by what I thought I heard…~Tickled by Joy~ (I wrote about it here, if you haven’t read it)
I have been lacking in joy since my mom left this earth three years ago. But towards the end of last year, without warning, I’d just get those little joy butterflies. The unexpected joy was a welcome, welcome relief.
But, just so you know, when I (I think) heard God’s whisper, “tickled by joy” I didn’t expect a cake walk. I’ve been asking God for a theme for years and honestly, it never turns out like I think. His ways aren’t my ways after all. As a matter of fact, here’s a quote from my post in December about my theme for the new year…I believe my theme for 2009 is:Tickled by Joy!
I’m cautiously optimistic about all I’ll (hopefully) learn this coming year! If there’s one thing that’s for certain…the journey is never boring when you’re walking it with the God who made the universe!
What I didn’t expect was that He’d start teaching me “Tickled by Joy” lessons right off the bat. I mean in ’08, when (I think) I heard Him say my theme was: “Love Extravagantly”, I got half a year to practice my idea of loving extravagantly before He opened up a deeper meaning. But it’s 2009 and my Heavenly Father has hit the ground running with my lessons on joy.
(I feel a bit like I have a bulls-eye on my forehead, kinda like I just prayed a public prayer asking for patience…you know what I’m talking about.)
Since right after Christmas, which is the anniversary of Mom’s departure from this planet, I’ve had a heaviness on me. A heaviness and this internal anxiety that takes me from 0-100 in about 10 seconds…I’m close to tears all the time. Nervous, sad, anxious…
So, to deal with it…I have dismissed it. Given in to it. Fought it. Prayed about it. Faked it…still it weighs on me. Yesterday morning here is my phone conversation with my pregnant daughter Stephie:
“How are you this morning Mom?”
“Are you really okay?” (she can read my mind not to mention my tone of voice)
“Yea, I’m kinda underground right now” I told her.
“That joy theme isn’t working out for you right now is it?”
HELLO!!! WOW! That woke me up. Up to that point, I hadn’t connected my saddness with my God Theme for the year. (I’m slow like that, you see what God has to work with!) Clearly this is not simply grief or depression or (Help me Jesus…) Peri-Menapause…
This is a God thing. He’s trying to teach me something. So I started talking to Him about it. This morning I was going through one of my old journals (I have tons of old journals that I use when I’m writing) from 2003. Now, 2003 was a really tough time for The Husband and I. Tucked between the pages of my journal I found this handwritten note…it’s from my dad.
January 31, 2003
Happiness depends on external circumstances, but joy is based on our relationship with God.
God develops peace within us by allowing times of chaos and confusion…we choose to trust God in circumstances in which we are tempted to worry or be afraid…
I don’t know where he got this but it’s good! And the day Daddy wrote this, January 31.2003…that’s my little brother, David’s birthday. David would have been 34. David’s birthday is always difficult for Daddy, so he was writing this to me out of his own pain. He knew what he was talking about…
As I read the note this morning over and over, I hear my first lesson on being Tickled by Joy…
****Sometimes being tickled by joy starts with an act of trust *****
I’m not sure how this will flesh out but I’ve no doubt that Someone knows. I’m choosing trust today and I’ll let you know how it goes…love to you and prayers for each one of you today~