Misery Has No Hold On Me

Your alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button, but today is different. You don’t fall back asleep for a half hour longer, risk running late and having to go 10 miles over the speed limit. You get out of bed (you might even make the bed) with a little pep in your step. “Today is going to be different.” You tell yourself. 

You make yourself what you believe will be the best pot of coffee you will ever make, and you smile at the rising sun and the way the light is beaming through your window. Usually you would push your cat away as she snuggles on your lap while you try to read the morning paper, but today is different. And the way your cat is purring over your now crinkled paper brings you back to being a small child. The way you would sit on your mothers lap as she read her favorite magazine. Her breath smelled like morning coffee as you lay your head on her chest and hear her heart beating. Yes, this is a memory of joy. 

Now you go outside, thermos in hand, and face the world. You’re singing to every song on the radio and you smile at strangers at the gas station. You give change to the homeless on the corner of the street and you don’t think twice about what they will do with the money. “Today misery will not overcome me.” You tell yourself. “Today I choose joy.” Because the routine of getting caught in rush hour has finally outrun itself and allowing others thoughts and opinions and allowing others problems affect you severely has run it’s toll. 

And even when your boss asks you, “Can’t you do better?” And even when your friends would rather not be by your side. Even when you can’t afford that beautiful coat I’m sure you deserve. Even when for once your spouse lovingly tells you “No.” Even when things just aren’t going your way. Yes, even when you aren’t treated with respect. And even when the entire universe feels as though it is laying all of itself on your shoulders. You choose to sing. You choose to skip through the grocery store with your small child. You choose to kiss your mate in public because you are shamelessly in love. 

When you spill your morning coffee all over your pants while you’re already running late you choose to laugh instead of cry. You choose to dance in church because you finally let the glory of The Lord permeate your entire soul. And instead of always venting about your problems you choose to put effort in changing them. You choose to be the best friend, mother, father, sister, brother, lover, that you could ever possibly be. Not because you want something in return but because today you decided to choose joy. You decided that no matter what disappointments came your way today you would choose to be happy. That you will not react out of anger. And today you choose to not let emotions control you. 

  You choose to seek wisdom and answers. You stop wondering why things aren’t in your favor or why you haven’t found a husband or wife yet. You stop worrying about money and you stop posting all of your dilemmas on Facebook. You break the bondage of misery because it has no hold on you. You have that choice. Yes, today you choose joy.

  

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God is a compass

I have been wandering to find Him and my happiness is so great that it weakens me like a wound. And this is the marvels of marvels, that He called me beloved, me who am but a dog.

I remember as a little girl, not really ever knowing Christ, my older cousin reading to me The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I thought God was boring but I loved these stories. I loved the promise of Aslan (my cousin got a cat and we named it Aslan, even). And then my cousin would always take me to a sheep farm, and she would tell me, “Katie, Jesus loves you”, but I was a little girl surrounded by baby sheep and what she was saying didn’t sink in. But I loved the sheep, so much. We would drive down the road and my cousin would put a cassette tape in, and the singer would sing about a God shaped hole and being stranded. I didn’t know what that even meant but I would play that cassette tape over and over again until one day the tape got crazy and spilled out (I will forever LOVE Plumb). And before my cousin left the country for a while, she gave me a ring. It was an old ring with a cross and 6 hearts. I didn’t care for the cross, I just loved it because it was hers. My fingers were so small I wore it on a silver linked chain, I still wear it on my finger today.

I look back at these years and see how God was evident in my life even when I wanted nothing to do with Him. He was in the sheep pasture, whispering I love yous as I held on to the baby sheep. He was in my music, telling me that there is room for Him in my heart. And His cross wrapped around my neck, on an ugly silver chain, and lay over my heart. He was in my story books, telling me about His son through a lion that I loved so much. I have loved Jesus all along. I was wandering to be filled, to be loved, and He has been here all along. If you feel abandoned or that there is absolutely no room for a Savior, look around you. He is always present. Even when you don’t believe, He has mapped out your way in the most perfect way.

Dearest daughter, I knew you would not be long in coming to me. Joy shall be yours.
-the lion,the witch & the wardrobe