Man, I have been mopey lately. Wow. Such a downer. I’m kind of sorry, or as my husband would say, “Sorry; not sorry.”
I told Matthew, just last week, that I am the most joyful I have ever been in my life. I have this deeply-settled joy in my heart. There are a million reasons for this, and you, like my husband, may be surprised to hear me say that, especially after my last two posts.
Well, let me tell you, I am. I am deeply joyful and keenly aware of it.
I have been thinking about this a lot. I used to worry that if I was sad or not externally joyful (i.e. smiling, laughing, singing, and such) that I was losing my joy, that some negative force was stealing something away from me that God gave me. I wonder about that now. Especially lately because external indicators of joy have not been part of my routine when I’m alone and not performing (Yes, I too wear a mask a lot of times. Not intentionally, of course, but I am guilty.). External indicators of joy cannot be the defining mark of joy. It’s deeper than that.
Joy can be present in times of mourning.
I think about a wedding. A daddy walking his little girl down the isle. Both are present. I think about the funeral of an elderly woman who lived a long, full life. Both are present.
I think about the movie Shadowlands (1993). “The pain now is part of the happiness then. That’s the deal,” C.S. Lewis said after the death of his wife.
Maybe one isn’t more valid or truer, but more present and more felt. Lewis felt joy with his wife while she was alive, and knowing she would die was painful but not as present.
This brings me to a question, I wonder if both are present, if both are true, is one more valid than the other? Is joy more valid than pain? Are we expected to give in to joy and not grief when the Word says there is a time for both?
I guess, what I think is that at any given moment, both joy and pain are true about us. In a million ways, we carry both joy and pain around with us daily. I guess it depends on the moment, time in life, or circumstance which is more present.
I think joy is about an internal reality, a spirit that is one with Christ.