choosing joy is hard

Six months into my word and I am almost, almost ready to give it up. My life wasn’t easy and it mold me in a way that I tend to be pessimistic when things don’t go my way. I am impatient. It’s a flaw that led me to decisions I made in the past that I never really thought of the consequences later on. I knew that kind of attitude will make choosing joy a struggle but I never thought it will be this difficult.

For years of doing this, it was the first time I felt my word is draining me, stressing me out in levels I don’t want to go back to. Just like my previous words, there are times that you’ll forget it, that it would somehow take a backseat. With all the changes and things happening in my life, I lost track of my word. I lost the battle of choosing joy when things get tough—when I could choose joy but I did not.

What happened last night made me ask myself two hefty questions, what the hell am I doing? Why am I not choosing joy? To give myself a little credit, I’d say that the events the past months weren’t easy, it was far from the life I thought was right for me back in 2016. The last few months were hard. They were life changing. They made me see the mistakes I did in the past and it made me think of forgiveness, of mending burned bridges, of what happens now. It made me question, why only now? All I want is to find joy, why is life making it so damn difficult? In the midst of all the chaos, I forgot my word. It was so easy to let the days just go by, be a bitch and ruin everyone’s day because mine is not going as planned. It was easy to forget joy than choose it.

So were would this lead me now?

I’m not giving up. I have to remember and constantly remind myself that joy is not a feeling, it’s a choice that has to be made. It’s not just happiness. It’s a battle to let not pessimism get the day. It’s the courage to find joy when things get harsh. When it gets too much, I have to remember to choose joy in His name.

A friend had this word a few years ago and she did tell me that joy is like this. She shared to me this quote from her favorite blogger:

Delighted, overjoyed – we so often mistake those words for happy, or, more honestly, for naively cheerful or optimistic. We think that if we name those adjectives, we’re making it sound like we (or God or both) aren’t taking hurt seriously. That we have missed suffering. That we have lost sight of the ache of the world and are applying a pink band-aid to the gaping wounds.

But it is the work of delight and joy to come close to suffering, even closer than the so-called serious realism. It is through joy, not cynicism, that we approach the unspeakably difficult.

Because joy and delight are not happy feelings: they are the choices to let love win. They are the choice to trust love triumphant. Joy is a choice to believe God when He calls what He has made very good, and a choice to draw near to that very good world in its ache and terror and sadness.

I’m letting love win, to trust love triumphant. The first half of 2017 is over. In just a couple of months we’ll be counting the days before the year ends and I decided I won’t let my word go away anymore. There will be days it will be difficult. I would have to make the conscious effort of not letting hardships to get the best of me.

For the second time this year, I’m choosing joy. And I’m keeping it.

– wl, a

what God’s perfect timing really means

when your perfect timing is not His perfect timing

One day I was reading my emails in the office when I happen to see the monthly email the corporate recruitment is sending for job openings across all sites. I saw the same position I have now in the site I was considering transferring to two years ago. The only time I was seriously looking for a lateral transfer was in January 2015 when everything that had happened for the past 16 months never crossed my mind. Well, it did though I wasn’t giving it much thought because I didn’t think of it as a possibility. Then again we all know how fate could be funny and mean at the same time, right?

As what I was saying, I wanted to move to Baguio early of 2015 for reasons my closest friends and my readers from Off the Wall knows. I was physically and emotionally drained living in the busy, crazy, fast paced life in Metro Manila for seven years. I was waiting for the right time to move somewhere else, away from the life I built here in the city. That time I wanted so much to just pack my bags and leave but for some reason, I always held back. I would talk myself out of the crazy idea of leaving a secure job and would have a thousand and one reasons of why I should not make hasty decisions. Maybe it’s not what God had intended to happen yet. Maybe in God’s perfect timing, it will.

It never happened. A bunch of things did happen but not the one I was hoping for.

Someone told me, “God sometimes give you what you really need than what you think you need. You may not see the wisdom of it now. Believe me, later on you would.” A friend also said when I mentioned the job opening to her that it wasn’t meant to be.

Seeing that email after everything had changed made me think of what God’s perfect timing really means. He knew that I would jump at the opportunity if I saw this before without thinking of the repercussions of my abrupt decision. At the back of my mind I knew that my wanting of moving away was a result of my cowardice. I was running away from things I don’t want to face back then.

Continue reading “what God’s perfect timing really means”