Joy versus Happiness

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Joy and happiness are two distinct things. Happiness is an emotion but joy is a state of being. Let’s say today, you found out that your child received an award in school. So if that is important to you, so, that will make you happy.

Another difference is happiness is dependent on happenings. It is conditional and based on circumstances. Who do you draw happiness from? If you’re a mother, you draw happiness from your children. If you are a career-driven woman, you get your daily fix from high-fives at work.

Can we also say that happiness is fleeting? It’s temporary. When there is no more trigger, the emotion dies down in a few hours or even minutes.

Joy is internal

Joy is different. It is accepting the truth of who you are and your circumstances and being content with it. Joy is internal and deeper. The source of joy is intangible that only the soul can feel and describe.

Being joyful does not mean all is well. It’s not you jumping for joy when your child is sick or belly laughing when you lose your job. Joy emanates despite the difficulty or pain because it is not dependent on external things. It is the stillness of the heart that keeps you hopeful. It’s a sense of peace that overcomes your weary soul.

What will you choose to have? Joy or happiness?

I choose joy but it won’t hurt to have some happy episodes too. Knowing that I am in the right place and at the right time gives me joy. There is joy in this season of my life. Because I am confident that God has carved this out in his book.

He has planned everything from the time I was in my mother’s womb. All the mistakes, triumphs, tears, laughter, doubts, and fears that I have gone through are part of His bigger plan.

What brings me joy

Relationships bring me joy. I am not the perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, and leader. I am flawed just like anyone else. The people in my inner circle helps me become better. Most of the time these relationships become challenging because we are all imperfect. We have our uniqueness that is not in tune with the others. But that’s okay. I find joy knowing that we can all live harmoniously despite our differences. The key to that is grace. Oh, grace that abounds to all who seek it.

Reasons why am I doing what I am doing today. Why I am homeschooling? Instead of ordering takeout food, why do I choose to cook from scratch? My husband and I don’t always agree, but why do I still support him? Why do I work from home? Why? All these why’s have a personal reason. My reason for getting up in the morning and doing all my motherly duties is because I love my family. Being a work from home mom is not easy but I want to do it.

I am able to redo my life and change my behavior.

Restarting my life. After a tumultuous 2017, the Lord has given me the opportunity to redo my life this 2018. Then, I was able to hear from Him during the church-wide prayer and fasting. He gently rebuked me to own up to my sin. And the Lord was not done with me. My husband and I had the great opportunity to find healing in the Glorious Hope Recovery Program. I have discovered a lot about my past and how it has affected who I have become. Slowly, with the tools I have now, I am able to redo my life and change my behavior.

Rekindling an old love. No, I’m not talking about an affair with another person. I am talking about my love for writing. I have forgotten this first love of mine. It has been hidden for many years. Life went on until, at the opportune time, the Lord reminded me of my love affair with words. Now, after many years of uncertainty and waiting, I am doing what I love. Today, I am getting paid to write. One day, I will be able to publish this book that I have worked on for the longest time.

These are a few of the many things that give me joy today. At the same time, I also found peace and hope. My life is not a bed of roses, and I know it will never be. But I am joyful despite the seemingly imperfect aspects of my being and my circumstances.

How about you? Will you choose joy or happiness? What brings you joy today?