I Choose Joy

When I wrote Woman of Courage a few months ago I was in the middle of making a huge life decision. It was new, it was exciting, and I felt empowered. I’m at a really fun stage of my life, being young and making a big move. But then reality set in. Yes, it’s a really fun stage, but it’s also a really scary, unknown, and often uncomfortable stage.

When things didn’t go my way I felt lost. I had the means to chase a dream in a big city, to pick up my life and move just because I want to. I was making a decision for myself and no one else. I’ve been incredibly blessed to do this! Yet because it wasn’t unfolding wrinkle free I was unhappy. How foolish! I wanted to do something and I was making it happen, yet the second God didn’t deliver on my timing I start to doubt Him and feel sorry for myself.

Every morning my mom sends a text with the scripture of the day. One particular day she sent me this: “Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises.” Romans 4:20-12 (The Message) That put a lot in perspective for me. I was not living like Abraham. I was wavering and not bringing glory to God in my present situation.

God promised me that He has great things for me (“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11), but He never promised things would be smooth sailing, or that he would fulfill His promises on my time schedule. It’s going to be hard, people will try to make me second-guess my decision; heck, I’ll try to make myself second-guess my decision! But I finally recognized that just like I chose to move to Chicago, I could choose my attitude about my sometimes-challenging situation.

So last month, when I was exactly one month away from my move, I made my choice. And I chose joy. It’s a choice that I have to continue to make every day, even as I’m now living in Chicago. There are days when I second-guess if this is where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing. Let me tell you, moving to a new city without a job is hard! But God led me to this point, I made my choice to follow the dream He has given me, and I’m not turning back. I will continue to choose joy.

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