Monday, May 12, 2014

Choosing Joy.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." ~ James 1:2-4

I'm interrupting my usual Monday series to make a confession.

I'm not a naturally happy person.

I'm not one of those people who wakes up with a smile on my face every morning, focuses on the positive, makes the most out of opportunities, and inspires everyone around them to be a better person. As much as I wish I was one of those people, I'm not.

That being said, I'm not naturally sad, either. Or any emotion really. I'm more of a "go with the flow" type of person.

If something good happens, I'm happy. If something bad happens, I go through the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance). If something horribly unjust happens, I turn into the Hulk. I react to whatever is happening at the moment.

I've talked before about my struggles with insecurity. For years I let that rule my life, and during those years, everything that happened seemed either bad or horribly unjust. So you can see where I was on the emotional scale for pretty much...oh, about the first 19 and a half years of my life.

Two years ago, I thought my life was over. I had been involved in a complicated relationship that ended badly. I was a wreck. I had no idea how I was going to get through it. 

That was my rock bottom. And it took me a year to get back on my feet.

During that year, I couldn't see how I would ever be happy again. I had poured my heart and soul into something, for what? A broken heart?

But at the end of that year, something really weird happened. It was like I woke up one morning, and I was over it. Completely, 100% over it. I was ready to move on and I was totally okay with everything that had happened.

Ever since that one day when suddenly everything was okay, I've felt like a completely different person. For the first time in my life, I can honestly say that I am truly happy.

Me and my friends, genuinely happy and loving life.

It's strange to me to come off of something so horrible and then say that you've never been happier. But that's kind of what happened with me. It's funny how God works sometimes.

Anyway, over the last 9 months I've learned something about happiness: it's a choice. It's a choice I have to make every morning when I wake up. 

Choosing to be happy isn't easy. Especially when bad things happen to you, it's a lot easier to go with it and get upset. You have to choose to see the good in it.

I was watching a TV show the other day, and one of the characters made a statement about happiness. He said, "Happiness isn't cheap. If it was, we'd all be smiling." And he's absolutely right.

Happiness comes at a price. It comes at the price of self-pity, pride, envy, apathy, selfishness, and greed. We have to give all those things up, completely deny ourselves, and choose to put God at the center of our lives. Then, and only then, we can be happy.

It's not cheap. It's not easy. But it's worth it.


The purpose of this blog is to help others, as well as myself, choose joy everyday. My hope is that everyone who reads this blog will leave feeling encouraged. I am still figuring out the best way to accomplish this, but I wanted to let you know that feedback is always welcome! Let me know what you think of my current posts or what you might like to see more of in the future. I would love to hear your thoughts.


  1. wow kayla! i've been contemplating how to ride this very blog. you've written my emotions all over it! you are such an inspiration to me to continue with my blogging! keep it up girl! :)

    1. Shari, you're so sweet! You just made my night. :) Thanks so much!

  2. Bravo, Kayla! This perspective is what people need. It turns us from being victims to activists in our own destiny! He has a good plan for you! HUGS

  3. Like that picture! Oh, and the article was wonderfully written, too:)

    1. I like it too. :) One of my favorites! Thanks!