Ok, ya I guess I can see that. And where I would love to be able to slap on a smile and decide to be happy (it is a choice, right?) I felt the need to go deeper and let the change be from within. We all know that what’s on the inside will eventually come out (you can’t hide ugly) and I’m a horrible actress. Besides, who wouldn’t want to be more joyful?
I did a lot of bible study and read a lot of books on the issue. I would say my top favorites were: Enjoying God by S.J. Hill, Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster and Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey. Random selection, I know. But each one helped me in a different way.
First off, I realized I just want to enjoy my relationship with God. I have no reason to not absolutely love my life. None. So what gives? A whole post could be written about that so I’ll save that for later.
Second, I realized the things I do as a Christian merely became things I do. Celebration of Discipline is a GREAT book for that very issue. I have read it a couple of times and every time I am so grateful to have done so.
And lastly, I saw that I have some disappointment in how certain things have turned out. I try not to dwell too much on it but why does it seem that God doesn’t hear me or makes things easier to understand? I’m so grateful for books like “Disappointment with God” because I’m not the only one who has struggled to understand (and even feel embarrassed) to question God and admit I’m disappointed.
I’m still not through with this endeavor to be more joyful. It’s a fruit of the spirit and I strongly believe it’s a change that only God can do. But I can create the preconditions for the change to happen.