As I have spent some time pondering what my word for 2012 should be, I am reminded that so many times over this past year, I have said the words, “I’m not going to allow that (you, her, him) to steal my joy.”
Joy. What a great word.
Why is joy so important that I want to keep it safe from anyone and anything trying to taking it away? A few minutes of searching the Scripture for verses with joy has helped piece that together for me . . .
The joy of the Lord is your strength. ~Nehemiah 8:10
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. ~James 1:2-3
Weeping may remain for a night, but joy comes in the morning. ~Psalm 30:5
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. ~Romans 15:13
Joy comes with a lot of amazing friends. No wonder we work hard to protect it. 2011 has been fraught with circumstances which I have allowed to sneak joy away from my heart. A tough diagnosis, the loss of my mom, parenting and marital difficulties, re-evaluating friendships, leaving one church and finding a new one, gossip, poor attitudes, challenging days, challenging nights, suffering friends, sick children . . . I could go on and on. We can find so many excuses every day to not be joyful. And frankly, I am sick of allowing it to happen.
So I declare 2012 to be the Year of Joy. And nothing will separate us.