Don’t forget about Joy…
I work in a sales in environment and having a positive attitude and strong numbers are very critical for me to maintain my position as the top sales rep. In 2008, my father went through surgery to remove one of his kidneys. Instead of my father staying in for a 5 days, it turned into a 5 months stay instead. A month later, my youngest daughter was jumped by two young women a few years older than she, they didn’t know she was a body builder a week. The very next weekend, my middle daughter broke her ankle while skating. The night after her surgery a glass screen door shattered over my son head. During that same month we also discovered my niece had a broken kneecap and that my youngest daughter had a hernia from body building. By the time my father was released from rehab, my niece and two daughters all had surgery within 3 weeks of each other. That particular quarter I only achieved 98% of my goal. People tried to comfort me by saying, it’s going to be alright, things will get better. What if they don’t, well that’s when I need the strength purpose and peace of God that joy can bring.
Having strength to get up and go to work everyday, to encourage strangers to pursue their dreams. Strength to take care of the healthy children as well as the sick ones, I needed strength that can only come from God. How many you have heard rejoice through the hard times? How many of you would be able to remain happy and positive through that scenario I gave. When all hell is breaking loose in my life, I had to ask myself how to I keep going. I focused on the bible promises me in Nehemiah 8:10, “The joy of the Lord gives me strength”. I focused on thanking the Lord for the healthy children, for having medical insurance, for my mother who stands faithfully by my father’s side, for having a maintain a job through the recession. As I mediate on the bible he gives me direction and comfort. Focusing on joy also gives me a purpose. Joy that brings purpose, Hebrews 12:2 "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God".
There was a reason why Jesus suffered the pain of the cross, not for glory, not to be a sensational movie hit. However, he understood that by dying as he did, he was representing all of our sins, sickness diseases, shortcomings and faults and for every putting them to death. Jesus is my example. What is my purpose, why have I suffered through? I knew that after my father's surgery, if he didn’t make it, he would be out of pain forever, and if he did make it through the surgery the doctors were removing his kidneys so that he could live longer. I knew the situations my daughters and niece were going through were stressful but in a years time they are all happy and healthier. Like Jesus I was able to focus on the end results, knowing that things would get better brought me joy and peace. Joy that maintains the peace of God,
When my employer told me they were going bankrupt and we would loose our jobs, I was not worried. Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." I knew that God had another plan for my children and I. I remembered that God promised to take care of my us. I was able to walk to work everyday head held high. I had a smile for everyone, because I knew no matter what, God was going to take care of me and open the doors that I needed to have open and he did. People are always wondering, 'Janice I don’t know how you do it' or they will say 'It’s always something isn’t it? Those questions can be a hook to remind me to worry and stress espcially when I have made up my mind to focus on peace and joy.
Recently when all hell started breaking a loose again; one child was vomiting blood, I had to rush another child to the emergency room for abdominal pains and another child to the doctors because he was having numerous headaches, while I was seeking treatmeat for a damaged rotor cup. I had to leave work often to take care of my sick children, my numbers at work were starting to suffer. When things became overwhelming and stressful again and I sat down not knowing what to do. I asked myself how did I ever make it through before. Then I remembered by. Focusing on another level of joy...joy that gives strength, purpose and maintains the peace of God, through the darkest of hours, I don’t forget about joy. (This was presented as a speech for Toastmasters)