Joy Thieves with Fallon Danae
Hey guys, Ashley here! I’m so excited to have some beautiful, strong, and talented ladies write for you this week! We are still on the topic of Joy Theives, and today’s post is by a wonderful friend, Fallon Lee. Fallon and I met at church, in our hometown, many moons ago! We are both military brats, only children, former hometown pageant queens, and lovers of Jamberry nails! Keep up with Fallon at fallondanae.com and please welcome her to Kindness and Chaos!
Hi all! I’m Fallon and I’m SO excited to be a part of Ashley’s series on joy thieves! I met lovely Mrs. Fuhr in Altus, OK when we were wee little things (okay, high school..but we were tiny!), and she was always a big role model of mine. After high school I shot off to Baylor, and after graduation, my husband and I moved to DFW area where we currently live with our 1-year-old son, Everett, with baby #2 in my belly! I am a stay-at-home momma (which has always been my dream!), and recently started blogging, too! Keep up with me at fallondanae.com. Okay, now for some joy talk =]
Let me tell you, writing about joy is pretty difficult when you’ve had a crappy day (read: crappy attitude). In fact, this is my second attempt at a post. My first was written with little conviction and a lot of anger, so I decided to start over. Was my day that bad? Not really. It was just another day. Sure, it wasn’t perfect, and it was a bit more frustrating than most of my days, but it’s inevitable to have an off day occasionally. I did learn something today, though. Do you know who my biggest joy thief is? It’s ME. Sure, the receptionist at my doctor’s office wasn’t as kind or helpful as I would have liked, and my son was a little clingier than normal, but I am the one who let my heart wander from joy.
Why is it that joy is such a hard thing to come by? I think the answer lies in our definition of joy. My human heart desperately wants joy to be this fuzzy emotion that really means everything is going my way. Scripture says to “count it all joy when [I] meet trials” because I know that it tests my faith and gives me a steadfast heart. Those aren’t quite the same, are they? And I’d say I pretty much failed my trials test today.
Did anyone steal my joy today? Absolutely not. I let my own selfish attitude cloud the everlasting, “unstealable” (if you will humor me with that made-up word), joy that my soul finds in Christ. How do I better tap into that joy? Charles Spurgeon says that “the greatest joy of a Christian is to give joy to Christ.” Seems a little counter intuitive, right? To be happy, I need to put all of my effort into making someone else happy? In this case, YES, a million times yes! We so easily forget that God desires our ultimate happiness in Him. Please do not mistake this for a health and wellness, everything-will-go-your-way gospel. Joy in Christ will never mean that you constantly “feel good” about your current situation; it means that the Holy Spirit will be gracious to remind you of God’s faithfulness to you. When you don’t deserve it. When you don’t thank Him for it. When you don’t find joy in it.
Some days, staying joyful means confessing to God that you really don’t feel all that joyful and asking him to give you joy. It means looking to the Word of God for what it means to be joyful and blessed instead of letting your sin-ridden heart convince you that your life sucks.
John 15 is a highly-referenced Christian Scripture, but I noticed something about the passage that I hadn’t given much attention to before. This is the “vine and the branches” passage, but the end of this section tends to go unnoticed.
By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:8-11)
Jesus is telling us that fullness of joy is found in keeping his commandments! Our fiercely independent hearts want to flee from the word “commandments,” but Jesus reminds us over and over again that his are meant to bring us LIFE.
So, this is my challenge for you and for myself. Find your joy in obeying the Lord. Stop pretending that joy is determined by mood and find it in the Giver of all Joy. Fight for your joy and don’t let anyone steal it, including yourself.