I used to be so happy when I was a little girl. I would wake up just bursting with joy. There were many times as a single mother I could barely contain my joy when I saw my children in the morning.

My joy had nothing to do with my circumstances.

I was raised in a home with a mother who was depressed and angry due to bitterness over the way others had treated her.

I was not popular in school and when I was in junior high and high school I was the victim of horribly bullying. Yet I still had an inner joy.

Anyone who has been a single mother can tell you it is not easy. Raising children and having to do everything without a partner is a very difficult road to travel. My ex was not able to provide a large child support check so I had to work a lot while also raising my children. He did remain very involved in their lives though and still provides great counsel to them when asked. So thankful for that.

Yet, when I think back on those years I do not remember the nights that I cried myself to sleep. I remember it as being the greatest amount of fun I have ever had in my entire life.

Over the course of the years though, my joy has diminished. Lately I have missed it more than I can say.

It was a surprise to me when I felt it creeping up in my Spirit last Sunday. All I had planned was church and then to go to a Celebration of Life service for my friend that had passed away.

I woke up that morning with joy springing forth. I had to go to church early to help set up the coffee. We meet in a warehouse and have to set up and take down each Sunday.

I arrived a little late and I don’t want to do that again. I also could not stay to tear down and I hope to do that next time I have the privilege of serving. Yet just being with that church family is like being hugged by God. They are so very welcoming.

I still  had the Celebration of Life service for my friend  though. I thought I would be a mess of tears but I wasn’t. It was such a beautiful memorial to her. Everyone was talking about what a loving person she was. She had so many friends and family there who had all been touched by her amazing life.

I still miss her like crazy but when I think of that service I find comfort.  She was such a loving person and, in turn, was so loved by others.

When I think back to where my joy originates, I believe it may originate in serving and loving others, in addition to worshiping God. I am still trying to discover the mystery of my hidden joy.

Where does your joy originate from?

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