Count it all joy

The last day in 2015 really makes you think, or makes you want to forget. As I sit and reflect on 2015 I think of how I learned to choose joy everyday. James wrote in the Bible to "count it all joy," even on bad days or grumpy moments. I had to choose joy. I learned how to push away negative thinking, insecurities, hopelessness, and anger. 2015 was the year where I grew in my emotional maturity and learned how to empathize with others.

I never realized just how unempathetic I was until I humbled myself before God asking for His help and wisdom. He told me that this challenge for me was hurtful to some and could ruin relationships. This led me to look up agape love. Agape is concerned with the good of the other person; it's when you're selfless, humble, and express true love. The foundation of agape love is empathy. Love should be given. It's a gift that keeps on giving and never gets old. Give love and respect to others.

2015 was also the year of great humility for me. Just to bite my tongue and put others before myself. Try it, and you'll see the struggle! But doing that brings peace. It brings peace to relationships, situations, and brings love. The simple act of letting a person tell you about their day before you is having humility. The simple act of pouring a cup of coffee for someone else besides yourself first is caring. People notice these things, and you'll find yourself looking forward to these moments.

I'm sure there are things you don't even like to bring yourself to remember. Don't hang shame over your head and let the feeling of defeat make you drag your way forward. We can't change the past and we do carry it with us no matter what. There may be scars, but scars are still closed wounds. Forgive others, don't hold on to grudges. Be free in peace. Take in God's holy peace that surpasses all understanding. Choose joy. 

Look ahead and move forward. Make the changes you always say you wish you could do. You can do it! Just do it.

2016 is the year of newness. It's going to be a fresh anointing, awakenings, and many trial and error. But take heart, believe in yourself and believe in your Shepard. God's joy is our strength; so with joy you have strength to move forward.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds
— James 1:2

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
— Romans 12:10

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
— Philippians 4:7

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
— Psalm 27:14


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