"Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing - sickness, failure emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death - can take that love away" - Henri Nouwen
This has been a tough one for me to get past this week. When I first read this quote I sort of just skimmed past it. But later on last week something drew me back to. Ever since I cant seem to get it off my mind. In trying to understand what about Nouwen's definition of joy it has demanded that I reflect on my own life and what brings me joy.
Honestly, I struggle to find joy in mundaneness of my daily tasks. No where is this more evident then when I am work. Sometimes I feel like when I walk through the door I turn into a different person. I loose my patience much easier than I would normally, I am easily annoyed, and sometimes I even find myself less willing to help those I work with. The hard part about all of that is thats not who I am at all. I am normally patient, understanding, and want nothing more than to help and serve others. So, whats missing? Why am I so quick to shut people down? After taking some time to digest Nouwen's thoughts on joy I realized thats exactly what I am missing, JOY! Lets be honest though, its not that easy to be filled with the type of joy he describes. I mean I am in the process of editing over 9,000 pages of reports, wheres the joy in that! But thats just it, this overflowing, overwhelming joy isnt from me, its from Christ. Its in the knowledge of His unconditional love that I must find this joy. A joy that knows no frustration and no boundaries. A joy that sets no limit to my patience or willingness to jump in and help at any moment.
God is showing me that this type of happiness can be found in even the littlest things and shortest moments. It is in those moments that I am reminded of the source of my joy and of the reasons I so willing enter into a job or situation that isnt my favorite, for Him. I truly believe that God's glory and greatness can be show in any situation and at any time. And if I am able to play apart in that then what can be more joyful than that.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Hello out there! This is my first blog ever, maybe I am a little late to the game, but I guess you got to start somewhere, right? Anyway, a little bit about me...
My name is Kate. I was born and raised right here in beautiful Costa Mesa/Newport Beach. I went to high school at CdM and played basketball. After graduation I moved to Colorado and attended the University of Colorado, Boulder. College was an interesting time. When I first arrived at school I struggled to identify or click with a particular group of friends. As a result spent the majority of my college experience in the dark hole that heavy drug usage puts you in. Little did I know, God had other plans. As He would have it He had planted His seed in the form of a friend whose constant love and support saw me through. She chose to love me through all of my faults, shortcomings, and addictions. One night in her room in our sorority, after months of questions and seeking, I realized that the love she showed me was different. It was an everlasting bond that knew no boundaries and kept me coming back for more. It was the love of Christ. I knew I needed Him. I needed and continue to need His love and the identity that I was and would always be His. After graduation in 2008 I moved home and have been attending ROCKHARBOR ever since.
Being a follower of Christ calls for a different type of relationship with those around you. These relationships should be filled love, intentionality, and meaning. To me, life is all about those connections and how Christ's love is depicted through them. By participating in Circles I will have the opportunity to better equip myself to start and carry on those types of relationships in my life. The type of relationship that drew me to Him in the first place.