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6.11.2014

moments for the journey | true joy

Hey there Rivers and Roads readers! I am thrilled to be guest posting for Meg here today. My name is Paige and I blog over at Moments for the Journey. I write about my outdoor adventures, journaling, faith, and the small everyday moments that make life special. I would love it if you would stop by my blog sometime!
  The source of true joy...& how to find it

In college I struggled with depression. There were times when I felt so alone, worthless, and sad. My roller coaster of emotions left me feeling broken. I can't even remember how many times I prayed to God to take away my depression. I couldn't tell you how often I looked at verses like John 16:24 that says:

"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete."

And try as I might I couldn't figure out why He didn't take that sadness from me. I sought joy everywhere - in antidepressants, in efforts to make friends, in faking happy (in hopes that one day I wouldn't have to fake it anymore).

But none of that worked.

Then one day I realized that every time I prayed, "God take away this loneliness and sadness," I immediately went back to wallowing in self-pity as soon as I said "Amen." I sought joy in everything but in the one person that could actually supply it - God. I wasn't seeking God. I wasn't trusting in Him. I wasn't living by this verse:
  Psalm 28:7

Guys, as soon as I realized that my life took a turn for the better. I'm not saying that my depression was gone overnight - to be honest I still go through bouts of it - but I am saying that each day that I spent seeking God things got brighter.

In that moment of realization I decided to seek God more. I decided to read my Bible more, and I decided to write down the moments of God's blessings in a journal each day. And when I did that I noticed that the sad, lonely, bad moments of the day were overshadowed by the exponentially better moments.

Now, 6 years later, I still have to remind myself in times of depression: How can I expect to have genuine joy if I am not making an effort to strengthen my relationship with the source of true joy?

I'm not saying that I never have a bad day or that you or I will never be sad again. In saying that God gives true joy it doesn't mean life will be sunshine and rainbows all the time. On the contrary, read James 1:2-3, Psalm 27:6, and John 16:22. Sorrow and hard times still happen, but we have the assurance that God is with us.

The dictionary provides the following synonym for joy: rejoicing.

Isn't that the perfect word to describe real joy?

True joy is found in a heart that seeks God and rejoices in His goodness and constant presence no matter the circumstances.

Here's a song by Rend Collective that says - in a much more elegant, concise way - what I am trying to say. Enjoy!

2 comments:

Jess Elyse said...

Love this post and encouragement and that song by Rend Collective! It is one of my favorites! Great post, Paige! :)

Megan McIlvaine said...

um yes. rend collective is my jam. such a great song!