A Curious Case of Joy and Mourning

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I know that my blog is called “The Joy Detective.” That may seem to call for a certain set of expectations.  That said, would you believe that sometimes the greatest joy can be birthed in the greatest sadness? Many people experience deep joy at the other side of deep pain. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that way, but sometimes it is.

Lately, I have gone through a bit of a season of mourning. It has been much needed. There have been a lot of things I needed a good cry about:

I needed to cry when I had to say goodbye to friends I discovered did not have the best intentions towards me. That was a bummer. But you can’t make anyone love you . . . so, goodbye and bless you! (Wow, that hurt!)

I cried after I watched people I know fall to pieces on Facebook attacking each over political nonsense. It’s so stupid, and people are being played against each other like puppets. (Angry cry.)

I cried after someone I looked up to as a mentor posted hurtful, stereotyping things on social media about people who look like me.  (Bit of a sucker-punch!)

I cried after I went through a break-up. (A lot of people can understand that one!)

I have cried after watching young kids frequently go about pretending to be someone who they are not in order to gain acceptance. (I get quite mad about anything that goes after kids . . .)

I cried realizing that I was afraid to learn how to love again. That one came as a bit of a shock, but there you have it! (I didn’t expect to ever be there!)

The good news is: in all these places I have cried, I have been able to meet with my best friend, Jesus. We have had some good chats right in the middle of all this craziness. He’s good at giving hugs and talking things through and just being there with me. Knowing that, makes me happy deep inside. The pain’s right there, but I am not too keen to avoid it because Jesus is right there, too!

And something very curious is happening to the pain . . . it’s starting bit by bit to look like a pearl.

 

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Treasure-Hunter: Unapologetic Idealist

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I like layers. Layers fascinate me.

There’s the stuff on the surface. You know, the stuff most people see at first glance.

Then, there’s the stuff underneath—what happens when you run a cross-section at the lab. The stuff beyond. The 4D and the 5D beyond the 3D. (We often severely limit our perspective by assuming that there’s only one way of looking at things!)

We often underestimate our own glory (and as an extension of this, fail to see the glory in others). I couldn’t be that good, could I? Doubt. Doubt in our own worth. Our own meaning. Our own glory.

So, what did you hear growing up? What messages were you sent? I know of some girls who grew up hearing their fathers talk to them like they were street-walkers. I wonder what sort of standard that sets for how a woman allows herself to be treated? I know of men who were told that they were this or that because they showed an interest in music or art or dance. Lots of messages from people who, ideally, we’d like to trust.

Humans.

Humans who probably heard the same messages from those they trusted.

What kind of life are you living based on what you believe about yourself? The messages you internalized as true? Do you like what has grown from that? The fruit of your beliefs? Are they tasty, succulent fruits? Poisonous, rotten, maggoty nastiness?

Metanoia. Change the way you think. You don’t have to believe everything you hear. 

Especially if it’s killing you.

What if I told you that you are perfect? What if I told you that God does not make crap? What if I say that Heaven declared your worth by what it was willing to pay for you? Only the best, my friend; only the best! What if I told you that you are no longer subject to sin or sickness or disease or death? What if I told you that Jesus Christ included you in His death and resurrection? All that bad stuff isn’t you; you get all of who Jesus is! You are not an outsider; you are an insider! You are not rejected; you are accepted! (Refer to Isaiah 53 and all of Ephesians.)

What if I told you that you were included before you were even asked for a say in it? You were loved before you even had a choice in the matter, dear ones.

If you really, really want hell, you can go there . . . but God’s certainly not the one sending you.

Those gates in Revelation 21:25 stay open for a reason. 

PEACE!

The Joy Detective

 

What’s Your Story?

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The messages that we internalize as our reality have a profound effect on the way we live our lives. If you have a miserable narrative, you often experience a miserable life. If you have an epic, amazing narrative, you probably experience an epic, amazing life.

I am going to hit on some lies I believed growing up.

  1. Perfection is something you must strive for.
  2. Father God only loves me because Jesus bribed Him with His death.
  3. When guys lust after me or act inappropriately around me, it’s my fault.
  4. God doesn’t trust women; He won’t let them lead in church except with their husbands or as a children’s pastor.
  5. My sexuality is bad, and I would be better off without it.
  6. “Left Behind” portrays an accurate representation of what God is like and what our future looks like.
  7. If I don’t confess all my sins to God—even though I prayed “the prayer”—I will go to hell. #peformperformperform
  8. God only does miracles when you are doing stuff for Him, like mission trips.
  9. When you mess up, God is disappointed in you. #performperformperform
  10. I’m a sinner.

So, add all that up . . . and crap self-esteem. Very performance-based. Up and down. Up and down. A bit misogynistic. A bit doomsday. Umm . . . anxiety, much? Talk about running day and night on a hamster-wheel of religion. I was in a relationship with a divinity with multiple personalities and narcissistic tendencies. (Jesus loves me; Father hates me, but blood appeases Him?!? Also, it’s all about Him and serving Him and doing stuff and jumping through hoops for Him so I won’t be eternally tortured. That sounds like a nice, healthy foundation for a relationship!)

I was miserable, but I was told  this was it . . . so like it.

I knew I was created for love. I knew I was created for worship . . . but dang. Not like this.

Since then, I have learned some different messages. It makes for a better life story.

  1. God really thought I was a great idea and made me perfectly; I am freakin’ awesome!
  2. Women are amazing, display a beautiful part of the heart of God . . . and are born to co-lead!
  3. People acting dumb has do with whatever’s going on with them; they’re better than that anyways and just haven’t figured it out yet.
  4. Jesus and the Father have the same heart towards me. The Father was always 100% for me.
  5. God is not a narcissist; God is relationship.
  6. God is not a hierarchy; God is a Divine Love-Dance.
  7. Holy Spirit does fun stuff like miracles because Holy Spirit likes to and is really, really good.
  8. The theology of abandonment is a bunch of satanic b. s.
  9. I am fully included; the cross was basically a giant God-hug. He used our rejection of Him and turned it into a great display of His acceptance of us. He is in no way disappointed in me.
  10. I am a saint.

My life feels a whole lot better now. I like it a lot more. Guess it matters who you let narrate your story! Now, I have this whole wide world filled with goodness to explore. I have a Trinity I can’t but help fall head-over-heels in love with. I like being a woman. I’m not scared of hell. I like who God made me, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to judge other people—no matter what whack-a-doodle stunts they pull! I feel happy.

Love you! Hugs!

The Joy Detective

Unexpected Journeys

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So, it’s been a bit since I last wrote. I recall feeling psyched about an article I was writing about one of my best friends who is a fantastic artist and who was doing an art show. There are some people so amazing that you just want to show them off to the whole world, and she is one of them. Brilliant, frickin’ awesome human being.

She moved. One of my best friends in the whole world moved. Back to Texas. I know that she is stepping out and doing what she is called to do with her life, and this is part of it. I am happy for her, but I also feel a little sad because I miss her.

And then I moved—about at the same time, actually. I left some highly familiar settings and ventured off into another city. So, it’s been a bit of a full last few months. Maybe sometime I will get around to publishing the article I wrote. I have it on dock; I just want to go over it with my friend first to check some stuff for accuracy.

I have been learning things and doing things that I don’t know that I would have previously imagined learning or doing. I have some things that I have been pondering as a result that I think will be quite worth writing about.

Until Next Time . . .

The Joy Detective

 

 

 

Coming Soon: “Joy News”

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Heads up, everybody! I am embarking on a new project to start reporting some amazing things taking place in the world around us.

I have noticed that generally what we focus on is what we tend to have manifest in our lives. On that note, I would really like to see ALL of us have wonderful things happen!

Starting this month, I am going on a hunt for the “gold”—wherever it may be found. I am searching out treasure in hidden places.

My vision is to cover topics ranging from miracles, beauty, good deeds, grace, compassion, wisdom, honor, noble things and just sheer occasions for joy. I want to promote artists whose brave creativity is making the world a better place. I want to find business people with honest hearts who desire to see everyone prosper. I want to find the ones who dare simply out of a firm conviction that God is good—and that everyone was created to be blessed out of their mind!

My first official article will cover up-and-coming artist and recent SCAD graduate Christine Burney’s recent art exhibition in Atlanta, GA. Be on the look out for this article! You will not want to miss.