Joy Returns

joy returns

I hadn’t felt what I would even loosely call “joy” since entering the tunnel, and I wasn’t ready to run up any happy banners quite yet. Life at that point was too dark for joy.

Joy was like a distant relative I hadn’t seen since childhood. People who live in the extreme hemispheres don’t see the sun for so long that they forget its warmth and illuminating power. I remembered the term but couldn’t quite recall how joy felt. Yet later…

I got a distinct impression from the Spirit, a sense of permission— if not instruction— to let myself be joyful again. “It’s okay. You can have joy without minimizing your loss,” the Spirit assured me. I didn’t need to maintain a dour countenance or punish myself by padlocking my heart. I could open the door for gladness, because the Spirit’s “joy is my strength,” and without it, I would have to resign myself to permanent weakness.

Joy began to peek through the clouds…


– Originally published in The Other End of the Dark: A Memoir About Divorce, Cancer, and Things God Does Anyway (the profits of which go to Freedom House).

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