Finding Joy in the “Meanwhile…”

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I wouldn’t call myself a particularly impatient person – but I do function best when things keep moving. For me, a life that is stagnant and boring might be the most atrocious punishment possible. So living at home with nothing but a part-time job to occupy me, waiting for funds to come in so that I can finally embark on my new adventure, has been driving me up the walls for the last few months.

But I’ve come to the realization that I am the one allowing that to happen. That I haven’t found joy in this in-between time for one reason only.

I haven’t been looking for it.

I’m not talking about happiness. Happiness is more situational; defined by emotion and attitude. It can be faked in front of others but it can’t be fabricated. I’m talking about joy. Joy, unlike happiness, is a state of being – not a pure emotion. Joy is something which is born out of hope. True joy is something that can be found only in the person of Jesus Christ.

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our heats by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:2c-8, NIV)

Joy is a choice, not an emotion.

And it’s a choice that I’m not always very good at making, at least not during a dry time in my life. At a time that, in a story written about my life, would be glossed over, given no more than a single paragraph and more than likely a “meanwhile” as the author moved on to describe the adventures of a more interesting character.

But that doesn’t make this time any less important.

Although I wouldn’t call my time of restlessness “suffering,” it will certainly produce perseverance, character, and hope, each in its own turn; characteristics that I will need when I finally reach the field at the end of this time. This time is important. And necessary.

Which means I need to find joy in this season. To work through my restlessness and not allow my frustrations to creep into the forefront of my mind, covering my thoughts in shadow. To focus on joy and move forward in this phase – because it’s important too. And that’s a choice that I have to make each and every day.

 

A quick update, in case you were wondering…

As of last week, I am 57% funded! – this means there’s still plenty of room for you to jump onboard and join my team of supporters!

I still don’t have a concrete start date – we’re currently aiming for somewhere between mid February and early March.

Thank you to all who have already joined my support team!

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