Joy. A three letter word packed with meaning.
You more than likely know that I am what you would call "Facebook crazy". For the past week I have been posting status messages on how much I am going to miss my friends, how I am happy yet sad at the same time ... you get the drift. My last status message went along the lines of, "This is the week of goodbyes". But then my youth pastor's wife commented on that, and it made me change my perspective on things. She encouraged me to reach out to others who are hurting and lift them up; that by helping others we forget our own worries. This is something I am going to try and work on this year. I mean really try. I want to reach out to new teens who come to our church, to make them feel welcome, and to let them know they have a friend. Not just when it's easy either. Many times before I have avoided going up to someone new and introduce myself because of how they look, or simply because I don't want to feel uncomfortable.
I can't do this myself though. If you noticed, the first letter in joy isn't O, but J. I am going to need Jesus' help and strength, as well as the Holy Spirit in my heart, in order to accomplish what I want to work at this year. If I try to befriend new people all by myself, that's all the person will see - me. I want them to see the Lord in my life and show what He has to offer. As I mentioned before, while on the mission trip the Lord gave me a "peace that passes all understanding". Right then and there I knew I wanted others to have that same feeling of complete joy.
My friends are definitely going to have to help me along too. And God has put so many wonderful people in my life, especially in the past year or two. Every once in a while I will need that little extra "push", and I know I can count on people to do that.
JOY - Jesus, Others, You