Journey with Joy
Many of us have broken areas God is healing. Know that's okay. You're okay. I know it’s natural to put up walls to protect yourself when you’re in pain, but please, please keep yourself sensitive to God’s presence. When you remove yourself from the elemental joy of His process of becoming whole, it’s opposite, bitterness, occupies your heart and mind and leaches into everything you think, say, and do.
Rather than boxing yourself in, let joy be your shield as you keep moving forward. I know how that sounds—like a florid one-liner from a Sunday sermon. But joy is no "fake it 'til you make it" religious performance, it's your state of union with God, empowering you to live in and overflow love, peace, hope, and faith into the darkest of places, including your own thoughts.
I think joy is purposefully listed between love and peace as one of the gifts of God's Spirit in Galatians 5, because it’s the bridge between the essential nature of God and the foundational state of His children. Far more than an emotion, joy connects you to God’s perspective of who you are in Him, a whole, brilliant, powerful son or daughter, empowered to overcome any challenge in His unending grace.