I share this story because I am frequently confronted with people desparately in need of joy. I am often asked why I am so happy. What most people don't know is that my current state is the result of a journey through tears.
Hardly a day goes by when someone does not make a comment about my laugh. I can't help it! I laugh hard and I laugh loud. I once had a co-worker who worked in a different room away from mine. He would tell me that he could hear me when I laughed and that it would make him laugh even though he couldn't see me. He just couldn't help it. He would start to laugh as well. He didn't have to know what I was laughing about. He would just start laughing.
Where I currently work, there is a girl down the hall who recently told me something similar. I love spreading this gift! I guess it's better to have an infectious laugh than to be infectious! LOL Sorry. I even make myself laugh!
I know it annoys some people but, oh well. Get over it! Sound harsh? Maybe, but I can remember a time not so long ago, when I was so low for so long that all I could do each morning was look up and cry out to God for strength enough just to make it through that day. What joy I had was hidden beneath layers of deep saddness brought on by circumstances out of my control.
After almost two years of living in that miserable state, something in me began to surface - a memory. It was a memory of a girl who used to laugh, and I began to want to do so again.
So I started asking the Lord to restore my joy. I knew I hadn't lost it. It was still there somewhere. I just needed to rediscover it.
That wasn't all I did. I knew if I was going to get out of my dour disposition, I also needed to surround myself with the things that brought me joy. Luckily, I am friends with some of the funniest people on the planet. I made it a priority to connect with them regularly which helped to bring back the funny in me. I purposefully began to watch funnier TV shows and more of the type of programs that I truly enjoyed. I also chose to watch less dramas and movies which only exaserbated my mood at the time.
Before long, I was laughing again. This may sound trite to you but to those around me at the time, it was a relief to see me smile.
I can remember the day I knew I would be okay. A co-worker I had very little contact with came up to me and said, "I am so glad to see you smile again." Funny thing was, I didn't even realize I had been smiling! It just happened. In fact, I was still in the place of wondering when the fog of misery would lift. Until that moment, I did not see that it was already beginning to clear.
People ask me all the time why I am so happy. Others who know me well, probably wonder how I could be? My life is not one anyone would chose, but it's mine.
In spite of whatever circumstances I may endure, I have a deep abiding joy that comes from within. I may not be rich or have all the things that others think signify success, but I have what matters most - the joy of the Lord which gives me strength, even when I may think I have none left.
Oh, and by the way. I just recently had a get-together at my home with some of those funny people I mentioned earlier. I was sore the next morning from laughing so hard! It's now a regular gathering we all calendar because no one wants to miss out on a good laugh.