Updated: Mar 19, 2020
Every year I choose a word to reign over my year. In 2019 I felt the word JOY was overpowering and overwhelming my soul. So I moved on with great expectancy and excitement to see what the year had in-store.
I will never forget 2019. It's the year my Dad died and the year we got my Daughters diagnosis. Not exactly the "joyful" news I was looking forward to.
March 3rd my Dad died very unexpectedly in his home at the young age of 58. The grief was overwhelming and devastating. If I'm honest, at times, it still is. Waves of grief hit when I'm least expecting it and although we just passed the year mark, it can still feel like yesterday. A month after that, In April, our youngest daughter (Malakiya; on the left) was diagnosed with Hypotonia and GDD. The GDD diagnosis has since been removed and Clonus has taken its place. Both Hypotonia and Clonus are not stand alone issues, in fact they are more often than not found as symptoms to the larger issue. We unfortunately still do not have answers and continue to search. With MRI's, X-Rays, bloodwork and specialists, we hope to get closer and closer to having answers for our sweet little girl. Until then, we wait.
In January I knew my word was Joy and I expected to see the positive wherever I went. In May I had to choose that word daily to see the hope ahead of me. To find the joyful moments and things to be grateful for. Joy became my lifeline and instead of focusing on the grief I was experiencing in regards to both situations, I focused on the joy of the lord as my strength. Finding joy in the colorful sunrise and sunsets. Joy in the giggles of my 2 beautiful girls. Joy in my everyday life. It wasn't easy and I wasn't good at it everyday, but it kept me looking forward, celebrating the little things and kept me focused on the hope of what was to come. I write this as a reminder to myself, and maybe to you too if you need it, that we can choose to see joy everyday. Joy is an option, not a given. Even when the skies are dark and the heaviness seems to have a hold on us, we can bring in the light, feel the joy take some of the burden away and experience things with a more positive spin. We get to choose what we see. We get to shift our emotions and allow the light to shine in. Even on the darkest days.
Joy. It's a beautiful thing. Easy in the good times, needed in the heavy times. Where do you find yours?