i remember thinking back then, how could ANYONE ever be sad at Christmas? presents! food! stockings! family! presents! things! oooo. needless to say, i had a hard time "identifying" with my character.
15 years later, and I can understand why that precious soul, Angel O'Hare, had lost her joy.
this is one of my favourite pics.
when you lose your joy, it doesn't matter what is given to you, it is never good enough.
i wish i could say this is a post about losing your joy at christmas... but it's so much more then that.
for years - as long as i could remember, really - i have struggled with comparison. i thought i would find my joy in feeling that i was superior... good enough... worthy. i thought i would be happy when everything on my list had a check mark next to it. over the last year i have learned that joy is so much more then being happy and comfortable. it's about an internal enlightenment, that reflects in everything we face, and do.
upon searching for a few mean mugged pics of myself, it turns out this is a repeat offender.
doesn't need a perfect circumstance, it can be found in all seasons.
rejoices with those that rejoice. it is so important to be happy for other people. i am discovering that i am happiest when i am genuinely happy for those around me.
doesn't need "stuff" to be complete.
understands that just because my life is different, it doesn't mean it's not great. because when we compare ourselves to others, you can almost always find something to be envious of.
isn't a momentary emotion. its a constant condition of the heart.
is rare, and something to be sought after.
the older i get the more i just want to be a person who is joyful. i hate the struggle, the internal fight. it takes so much energy to keep a happy face, when you are internally miserable. and it's so not worth it. i hate to think of all the burned bridges, lost friendships, and horrible first impressions i have made.
for so long i believe that a bitter, sarcastic, and opinionated presence meant i was unbreakable. i thought that it was something to be envied, and that people would realize that if i was nice to them, they were special. how sick in the head is that? the truth is is that joy speaks louder then bitterness EVER will. the people around you can always see through your mask.
i am so thankful that God is constantly chipping away at me. little by little. forming me into the woman that he has called me to be.
in these last few days i have been thinking about all of the things that i want and need in order to be happy, i have discovered that this may be the first time in my life that my list is full of things other then jeans, perfume, gift cards, etc.
i am desiring a joyful home, a great marriage, deeper friendships, more wisdom, greater insight, a heart that longs to minister to others, less anxiety, more peace, less pride, a humble heart, restored relationships, more honesty, the ability to be real! and the list goes on.
the great thing about God is that it doesn't matter how many times i act like an idiot - He always forgives, and He is the God of the second (and third, and fourth...) chance. he sees my heart, and where i have been, and he gently guides me into the path that i am sometimes unknowingly longing for.
i am so glad that this year i have realized that what my heart is longing for is anything but stuff. it is longing for the things that his hand has been guiding me to, for years:
i couldn't find a picture of me dressed up as Angel O'Hare - but I did find this grade 8 gem. that's me in the middle. the one that looks like zac hanson.