Monday, January 23, 2012

Is it really possible to have JOY in the Mourning?

(This is really a follow up on an article on JOY from my Names of God on Rocks blog posted yesterday in  Rock4Today.)

At the time I wrote the book Joy in the Mourning, I was often struggling to find that JOY!  There would be moments of JOY which would sometimes come bursting in at the most unexpected times.  I wouldn't know whether to enjoy the moment or to feel guilty for having this JOY in the midst of my grief, because it almost seemed inappropriate!

I think my little sister Phyllis spoke with much wisdom when during one of these times of JOY she said to me, "I don't think you can really appreciate JOY until you have known the depths of sorrow!"

Possibly that's what David was thinking when he wrote in the Psalms, "Weeping may endure for a night, but JOY comes in the morning."

To me, that unexpected joy may be triggered by a small thing, like a call from a friend, a smile from a child, a beautiful sun rise, the song of a bird, ...or just a good cup of coffee!

At other times, like my daughter Sarah wrote in Choosing Your Feelings, you have to pursue joy, chase it down and make it your own.  (Click on above link and scroll to end to read Sarah's brief book.)

My counsellor friends from Ozark Family Ministry say it this way, "You can't choose your feelings, but you can change your thoughts, and your thoughts can change your feelings."

If you are needing a little JOY in your life today, "May God, the source of hope, fill you with JOY and peace through your faith in Him.  Then you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  (Romans 15;13 from Names of God Bible)

Linking with Winsome Wednesdays, Brag on God Fridays, and Spiritual Sundays!


Tracy said...

Hi Esther-Joy - This is such a lovely post. Its so true that one can only appreciate true joy once you have experienced pain. I also love how you pointed out little things bring great joy and joy in the moment.
Going to see if I can track your book down over here.
God bless

MommaMindy said...

thank you for these sweet thoughts on joy, it was good for me to be reminded of this. i'm thinking about that contrast between joy and sorrow and thankful that the lord promises joy WILL come. He is so good to His people, isn't He?

Splendid Little Stars said...

joy in mourning--that is a treasure! I spent some time exploring your "choosing your feelings" link.

Leovi said...

Joy in the Mourning? A really interesting topic.

Lola said...

Agree with above comment - such an absorbing subject.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a good weekend and look forward to *seeing* you again soon.

Lisa notes... said...

I agree that we do have to pursue joy; it won't always come to us wrapped up in a pretty package. But if we seek God--delighting ourselves in Him--he eventually returns joy to us, even in grief.

Good post! Thank you.

Charlotte said...

I love the word joy. I love what you've written about it. Thank you for sharing on Spiritual Sundays.

Sarah (Nikki) said...

I think your sister is so right. Yes joy is amazing after the mourning. Hope your weekend is the best.

Make a Joyful Noise all ye Lands said...

Hello Esther~
Thank you for this post. Joy is a beautiful word.. So differnt from happines.. The Lord spoke to my husband and I several years ago on the word Joy.. We loved the word so much we named our daughter Abigail meaning JOY..

Renee said...

Beautiful post. I really enjoyed reading what you said about joy and how we cannot choose of feelings but can change our thoughts....etc. spoke to me in my heart. Renee from over at my blog Adventures in Faithful Living ~

Pamela said...

I found in sorrow that I had to refind my joy. I started writing down one small thing each day -- my daughter's pigtails, clear amber tea, Christmas lights...that and when the mourning crowded in, to put Philippians 4:8 into practice. Lots of wisdom in your post.