Being the 19th day into this awesome series on thanksgiving, I am intimidated, to say the least. I also do math all day, so writing is not my forte’. All that aside, I know that we always have a story to tell!
I have been meditating immensely on the human coping mechanism of “foreboding joy” recently. This idea is not mine, but from my favorite researcher, Brene’ Brown*. She presents that when the vulnerability of pure joy comes our way, we try to counter that deep joy with a splash of reality so that we are prepared if/when the source of our joy goes away.
How silly is that!? Instead of basking, dwelling, and enjoying our JOY from a blessing or answered prayer or little gift from God, we “sterilize” it so that we’re not as disappointed when/if it goes away!
For example, I have some new, wonderful friends that have taken my husband and I under their wing, since we’re the newbies in town. I can barely wrap my mind and heart around the fact that they are my friends, love hanging out with me, and are intentional about our time spent together. We have conversations about meaningful things and silly things. It’s so enriching and energizing to have them, to need them, and to be needed by them.
I realized, after meditating on the concept of foreboding joy, that I had been “splashing” this blessing and the joy that it brings me with the foreboding “Joy, you’re going to mess this friendship up! You’re going to do something that will turn them off to you. Then, your relationship will slowly fade away and you’ll grow apart and distant from each other.”
Just writing that out makes me shudder. Thankfully, Brene’s research gives us a great counter action to these silly stories we tell ourselves. The Holy Spirit has been telling us the same thing: “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). The perfect reaction to pure joy is gratitude.
[clickToTweet tweet=”The perfect reaction to pure joy is gratitude.” quote=”The perfect reaction to pure joy is gratitude.”]
The next time I’m sitting in the middle of a blessing (i.e. having a glass of wine with my friends, walking my sweet dogs on a beautiful day, reading a really good book, etc.), I am going to smile in my heart, mind, soul, and body, giving deep thanks to our wonderful God, who wants us to have pure joy when he gives us gifts and blessings. I am going choose not to listen to the foreboding joy tapes our enemy likes to replay in our heads.
Let us move forward, letting God’s full glory shine through our thanksgiving instead of numbing it down to protect our hearts. Let us play the tapes of child-like joy instead of adulting all the time. Let us thank the giver and fully take the gift!
*I have read her book, Daring Greatly and am currently reading Rising Strong. Both will rock your world.
About the Author:
I grew up in SC, but now call Chicagoland my home. I am a wife, dog mother of 2, and do math all day as a risk analyst. I love seeing how God is in all moments, people, and arenas of life, and am personally called to be in the “secular” space. My days are usually filled with one or more of the following: chatting over a glass of wine with a friend, walking my dogs along the Fox river, or reading a book after dinner (currently, my husband and I are reading The Chronicles of Narnia). I love cooking for people, so if you are an adventurous eater and chat as if nothing is forbidden to talk about, we would have fun in my kitchen!