You know, it's funny, when you're growing up and you think you can plan out how your life is going to go.
When I'm 25 I'll get married and when I'm 28 I'll have kids and when I'm this age I'll do this and blah, blah, blah...
Today is my 22nd birthday and I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams what this year would hold for me. During this, my 22nd year of life, I will marry the man of my dreams, we will buy a house (Lord willing), and I will begin my career. Along with those things, like any other big milestones in life, come (and have already come) heartache and frustration. I know that.
But that's where the big decision comes in. No, 22 is not a "big" birthday, like your 16th, 21st or 40th. Twenty-two. It's just somewhere in the middle. But for me, it's a year of choices.
Yes, I have to make choices about what kind of cake to serve at my wedding and what kind of bridesmaids dresses I like, choices about houses and jobs and all the things that come with planning a wedding and starting this new chapter in life. But, this is also a year of another kind of choices.
This year I resolve to choose joy.
No matter the circumstance, no matter how I'm treated, no matter what disappointments stand in the way, I choose joy. I choose joy in the morning, in the evening, and everywhere in between. I choose joy when my character is being attacked, and I know the Lord is the only One who knows and understands the depths of my heart. I choose joy when I fail to love others the way I am called to. I choose joy when I begin to doubt my effectiveness or ability. I choose joy when serving the Lord, in Haiti, or wherever I may be. I choose joy going into my marriage, I choose joy when I don't understand the Lord's plan, when I don't see the light at the end of the tunnel, and as I wait for the restoration and healing that only our Father can bring.
Accept this challenge with me, friends. Lets choose the joy of the Lord together.