Friday, October 23, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Joy

My slightly creepy JOY face.
Joy scares me.  What if I am fundamentally incapable of not feeling joy?  I've always had one reason or another to not have joy: young kids, a stressful job, a husband with a stressful job, responsibilities.  Blah, blah blah.

I am approaching a new day in my life.  One week from today will be my last day at work.  Forever?  Probably not.  But definitely, for now.

There are so many things that I want to do with my life, so many directions it could go.  I am excited for sure, but do I have joy about it?

A couple weeks ago my pastor preached on joy, saying it was one of the hardest sermons he's ever delivered.  I get it.  We all think we should have joy.  We all want others to think we have joy.  But I am going to be transparent and say when my heart is hurting, and life is all confused, it's ok for the joy to feel a little less.  Because in that way when we do recognize the joy again, it will feel so much stronger.

So back to my last day at work.  Writing for these few minutes have given me more joy than the last 14 years in mortgage lending.  I know that whatever comes from these changes I'm going through that I am making the decision to do what my family needs.  And so, yes, I guess there is joy in that.

When God Doesn't Call on You

Today I met with my younger son's teacher (Mrs. J) and speech teacher (Mrs. M) for what's known as an IEP.  For those of you who don't have children with special learning needs, an Individualized Education Plan (or IEP) is parent-teacher-specialist collaboration that meets with varying frequency depending on the needs of your child.  Josiah has never had major speech delays (he speaks enough for two kids if you ask me) but has never been able to perfectly pronounce certain words.  His major challenge right now is the letter R when in the middle or end of a word, and for this he meets with a speech teacher once a week for 25 minutes in a group setting.  The inability to articulate the letter R probably doesn't seem like a big deal until you consider all the words that have the letter R in it!  And actually, if he lived in Boston he wouldn't be in speech at all.  Park the car in Harvard yard.  I digress.

As I was saying, this morning I met with my son's speech teacher.  I was sharing some concerns with her about his reading skills.  She told me she wasn't concerned and then shared the GREATEST story with me.  I know my both my sons are sensitive souls like their mom, but this story touched my heart beyond measure. One day in speech therapy, Josiah repetitively raised his hand to answer the questions Mrs M asked of the group.  Knowing that Josiah knew the answer, and wanting to give all the kids an opportunity to answer, Mrs M called on all the other students.  Josiah eventually broke down in tears.  When questioned, Josiah sobbed to Mrs M, "You don't like me."

As the other students left to return their normal class, Mrs Mr reassured Josiah that she does in fact like him and let him in on their "secret", that she had to give the other kids an opportunity to answer because she already knows how smart he is.

I began to wonder if sometimes we don't treat God in this same way.  Sitting amongst our peers in the classroom of life, we eagerly raise our hand when God asks a question.  Some time goes by and God doesn't act like He sees our hand, so we raise it a little higher.  As more time proceeds we push our arm so high into the air that it feels it may rip out of it's socket and shoot straight into the sky.  But still, God doesn't call on me.  And at that moment I know, yes, I know that God doesn't like me.  Why else wouldn't He call on me when so clearly I know the answer?

I want to encourage you know, friend.  If your are in a life moment where it seems that God just won't call on you, stay the course.  Rest assured that He has a plan for you in His right time.