I'm not entirely comfortable with my emotions. I often feel like they grab me by the hair and yank me around, careening wildly into anything in their path. 

I used to get a bit angry when someone would suggest that I could choose joy. It made me feel like it was somehow my fault that I was getting yanked around.

There have been times during my husband's battle with cancer when I have been absolutely overwhelmed - even paralyzed by fear. All I wanted was to be free from fear. Joy wasn't even on my radar.

Yet, now, 5 years into this battle, I'm learning to choose joy.

Choosing joy was a lot grittier than I thought it would be.

I got mad.

I was tired of being overcome by anxiety and fear. I'd had enough and planted both feet firmly on the ground and decided that by the grace of my Heavenly Father, I would not be ruled by fear anymore.

I would put on my Armour (Ephesians 6:10-18), stand my ground and appreciate - no take joy - in the gifts He's given me today.

Does that mean that I never struggle? That I never wake up feeling like someone dropped a ton of bricks on my chest and want to stay in bed with the covers over my head all day? Nope.

But there's a HUGE difference between doing battle to escape fear and doing battle to take hold of joy.

Choosing joy, to me, is a way of fighting back at the Enemy. What he meant for evil, God is turning for good. Even in the normal, every day: My kids' killer sense of humour, times we watch anime together as a family, a fridge full of groceries, the warmth of my husband's hugs, the soft fur of our degu, melting snow, fresh clean sheets, talks on the phone with my mom and dad … it's not like I don't have material to work with.

So today, by the grace of God, I choose joy.


  1. Yes indeed! I love how the Holy Spirit helps us not only shut up fear but overwhelm it with joy. Not just close the door on the darkness but blind it with joyful light.


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