Joy Is Pineapples, Watermelons, & Florida’s Chickens 


Joy: a feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

It’s a funny thing that joy.

It can swing as high as belly laugh or smiling until you cheeks hurt, or as low as an indescribable peace in the eye of the storm.

Joy can come in the happy moments, but it also can come in the crappy moments.

That is why joy is such a funny thing, because if joy means happiness and great pleasure, why is there ever a chance to feel joy on the worst of our days?

Why is there an overwhelming peace when your daddy tells you, with tears in his eyes, “I have Parkinsons”?

And why can my heart hold so much happiness when I walk up to the 4th floor of the Springfield Cancer Center?

Why then, can we still feel great pleasure when our lives take a turn for the worst?

Things in this life are indescribable, horrific, beautiful and worrisome all at once. Life can flash before your eyes while taking that turn too early. A living person can be formed in less than 9 months by two simply becoming one. Your heart can more than ache when a loved one is lost. And walking the edge of the Grand Canyon is breathtaking at the least.

But how can we feel joy in those beautiful moments? How can we feel joy when getting out of bed is the only progress you’ve made today?

Honestly, all I can say is Jesus.

Jesus is why you feel that joy in the storm. And even if you don’t believe in Him, there is that underlying breath of fresh air, that overwhelming peace, that if even for a second, comes over you when the pain is too real- that peace, that joy is Jesus.

That joy is Jesus because this world isn’t forever.

That peace is Jesus because we weren’t meant to live in this brokenness.

That indescribable breath of fresh air is because He loves you enough to call you back to Him.

That joy, that peace, that breath, is because this is not our home.

Honestly, I wish we were all home right now. I wish we were home so that my dad can walk without pain, and lift his coffee without shaking. I wish we were home so that my Grandma could finally see herself as the beautiful, perfect woman of God that she is. I wish that we were home so that my longing for Jesus could finally be fulfilled.

So why is our joy sometimes so out of this world? Well that’s because, we weren’t made to live in this mess in the first place.

Depression tried to steal that joy from me. Satan really tried to kick my butt when I was already down by stealing my joy and pushing me down every time I tried to get back up.

But my joy came when my kiddos came rushing into our classroom saying in their little, beautiful voices, “Good morning Miss Moss.”

My joy came when Mrs. Bouda grabbed my hand and looked me in the eye and said, “You can do this.”

Joy and peace came when I sat on my dad’s lap and tears were falling from both our eyes.

That’s the thing about joy. Joy is Jesus because He doesn’t want us to be hurting.

So he took that hurt on the cross. He took that feeling of deep sorrow, that initial shock of never knowing what tomorrow will hold, that pain that only love can feel, because He didn’t want us to hurt anymore.

And now I can say, a year and 6 months after anxiety and depression slowly but surely stole my joy, that my joy is finally back- for good.

So now, I have instant joy and my heart explodes when I see anything with a pineapple on, in or around it. I could cry when I read a 70 year old postcard with ‘Florida’s chickens’ aka flamingos on it or eat watermelons with a dash of salt. And I can and always will snort at anything remotely funny.

I can because of Jesus.

‘The joy of the Lord is my strength.’

There is complete joy when we know that Jesus is with us, for us, and in us- that in all things, He is our strength.

So nice try Satan, but the war is already over, so you might as well stop since you’ll never be ahead.

See ya soon,

Stephanie Lynn


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