Once upon a time... no, that's corny. Ok, I'll start out by telling you that I was once an extremely joyous person. I had wonderful family and friends and good health and I would sometimes marvel at just how incredibly blessed I was.
Then life happened. Challenges invaded my perfect world. I lost part of the essence of who I was, my joy was gone, but nobody knew it -- not even me. I was relatively happy, doing the things that relatively happy people do, but my joy had left the building. She left no note so, poor me, I didn't know that she was gone. (Yes, my joy is a girl!)
So I just kept doing the same things I did back when she and I were best buddies. I went to the same places, I did the same things, and even hung out with many of the same people. I attended Sunday School and church every Sunday. I sang in the choir and did all the things that grown up "church girls" do. But my joy? She was gone.
Then there was a major shift in my atmosphere when I left my husband of 14 years in July of 2012. Slowly, but surely, some of the wants and desires that I'd stifled for years came back to the surface and I began a sometimes painful, but oh so remarkable, journey back to "me." Sensing this, joy saw that the coast was clear, and she came back!
I soon found myself looking better, feeling better, and simply doing better. I found my already solid relationship with my family strengthened as I had to depend upon them like never before. And I found my trust in God increase as I had to lean on Him and believe in Him, even when it felt as if His back was turned to me.
So now I do my best to live in the key of joy! Not because everything is perfect, in fact things are far from it (which I'm sure I'll be writing about). But because I have learned that I'm stronger than I thought I was and that God is greater than I ever believed Him to be.