Every week, Lisa-Jo hosts a link-up of free-writing exercises. This week, in honor of Sara and her commitment to Choose Joy, the topic is Joy. Here goes.

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When I hear the word “joy,” I immediately flash back to a church with beige carpet and beige dividers. And a plastic chair, where I sat as we sang songs.

That memory is at least 28 years old, but it sticks with me. The song we sang – or, at least, the one I remember – was “I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy, Joy Down in My Heart.”

As a child, the most fun verse was the one that my daughter’s CD of Sunday school songs doesn’t include: “And if the devil doesn’t like it, he can sit on a tack. Ouch!” I didn’t really know who the devil was, but singing that verse meant we got to shout “Ouch!” and jump out of our plastic chairs.

The other verse, though, is the one that I cling to today. “I’ve got the peace that passes understanding down in my heart. [Where?] Down in my heart!”

And I do. Even as I’ve struggled with losing Sara – and her whole situation, honestly. I mean, why should anyone have to live with such a horrible disease, one that confines a vibrant, giving woman to her home for years?! – I still have a peace that passes understanding.

[Down in my heart. Where?]

It’s a small peace right now. It’s certainly not overflowing or anything like that. It’s more like a tiny crumb that I’m holding onto with all my strength. But I’m thankful to have it, even if I don’t understand it – or anything about this world.

Because without it? I would certainly not have joy, down in my heart or anywhere.

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For more essays about joy, visit The Gypsy Mama. For more posts about Sara, visit The Mom Creative.

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