Finding Your Joy

“Figure out what fuels your joy, then do lots of that.”

-Bob Goff

I heard this quote on the radio this morning, and it couldn’t be more fitting. Lately I feel like life has just gotten so crazy and hectic, and this year really didn’t start out how I thought it would. I’ll be honest, Satan has been trying really hard to steal my joy away from me and I think I’ve been letting him. 

My husband Jeremy and I were having a conversation last night about this very thing. I was telling him how I feel kind of like I’m just doing the same thing everyday, like I’m living on repeat. Wake up, drive an hour to work, work all day, drive an hour home, pick up my son Grayson, eat dinner, get Grayson to bed, go to bed, wake up, and do it all again. There are times that I feel like I’m not getting the satisfaction I’m wanting from my job, thinking that I’m not really making a difference with the things I do. Really I’ve just been wanting more. I think we can all agree that we have all felt like this one time or another in our lives. 

We look at others and compare ourselves to the jobs they have, the talents and qualities that they possess, and then we look at ourselves and wonder, “Why can’t I be like that person? Look how successful they are, and all of the amazing things they have done. What am I doing with my life?” 

Sound familiar? I know I am guilty. 

I think it was in middle school that I started feeling this way. I started having confidence issues and anxiety, and I was known as “the quiet girl”. I was bullied and a lot of times I dreaded going to school because of what other kids would say to me. 

It’s crazy how some of the things from your past will creep up and still haunt you even into adulthood. Yes, even after all of these years, my anxiety still follows me everywhere I go. It follows me with every group gathering, every time I get up in a group setting and have to speak, etc. I guess what I am trying to say is, we all have our struggles. We all have our insecurities, and you know what? That’s okay. 

We are all so different and unique in our personalities and we all have our own way of dealing with things. 

There comes a time when you just have to accept those struggles and insecurities and know that they are just part of who you are, and it DOESN’T MATTER what anyone else thinks. We were all made by God for a purpose in this life, and we all have something to offer this broken world. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t be here. This life we are living isn’t meant for us to dwell on all of the things we aren’t, but to find all of the things that we ARE. 

Jeremy helped me to realize this, and I know now that God intended for us to have that conversation last night. Since we met, Jeremy has been encouraging me to find something I love and enjoy, and for me to put aside some time just for that. I am only just now realizing what that is for me, and I’ve had it all along. It’s writing. Writing is my way of releasing the things I keep bottled up inside of me, the things I can’t express through speaking alone. I have never been a speaker and half the time when I do speak, I stumble, and I can never truly get out the details of what I really want to say. Through writing, I feel like I can freely express myself and it allows me to share my deepest thoughts and feelings with those around me. This is what I’m passionate about. This is my therapy, my coping mechanism, my way of dealing with the stresses of life. 

I believe God gave this to me so that I could encourage others. And if you are reading this, He gave you something too. My prayer for you is that you will find what brings you joy and what you are passionate about. God will lead you to it, you just have to be patient. In the meantime, try new things, be adventurous, and put yourself out there. Find YOUR joy. You never know when it could be right in front of you. It was for me.

Copyright © 2019 Angela J. Stout.

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