Hi. My name is Janelle, and I am a life that is changed. I've come to know and understand the difference between 'happiness' and 'joy."
There are many things that make me happy; hearing one of my grand babies call me "Nana;" seeing one of my kids succeed at something they have desired or worked for; spending time with my girlfriends - these moments are "situational" and don't last; well, maybe except for being called "Nana!"
On the other hand, joy is something that comes from inside. It's more about an attitude, a state of mind; or a condition of the heart.
1 Peter 1:6 says: "There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while."
Everyone goes through hard times; or trials. We don't have the same struggles or experience the same losses; however, the promise is the same. If we endure through the hard times there will be joy!
Endure, or endurance, is simple the ability to continue doing something over a period of time.
For athletes, it is reasonable that while competing in a sport, there is a knowledge of how long they will need to endure; or how far. In basketball, it's reasonable to assume that you need to have enough endurance to physically and mentally last for two halves; for a runner starting a race, you know how far you have to run.
It's different when struggling with an illness, a struggling relationship or the consequences of our bad choices; there is no way for us to know how long we will need to endure.
It's during these times that we are re-made; every circumstance, every situation, every decision plays a role in who we are and who we will become.
We don't have a choice in our future; but we do have a a choice in our present and I believe that God uses our experiences and trials to break of of our own will and independence into a life of surrender and dependence on him.
I love the song by Ben Rector, "When A Heart Breaks." "This isn't easy
This isn't clear
And you don't need Jesus
Til you're here
Then confusion and the doubts you had
Up and walk away
They walk away
When a heart breaks"
I have struggled in my life; struggled with the consequences of my bad choices before I met Jesus. It's through my struggles and heartbreak that I got "there" - to a point of surrender and a realization that I need Jesus and wanted him to help me through my life.
I experience happiness in my life; but more than that, I have deep joy. Even as I continue to struggle and endure in my life, I have peace that comes from the joy of knowing Jesus as my personal Savior.
I continue to be a life that is changed.
"When A Heart Breaks" by Ben Rector