“You’re so happy all the time. I mean you smile all the time!” I couldn’t even begin to fathom how much this phrase has been said to me my whole life. To some, I may seem like the optimist whose happiness and energy can deflect any sort of negativity thrown her way. Never the Debbie-downer. Before I get into the thick of it, I truthfully do smile A LOT. Sometimes I think my face just naturally stretches that way. However, my smile tricks many people into thinking that I am happy all the time, when in truth, I sometimes fall towards the opposite track. I am harder on myself than anyone else could ever be. I fall into the rut of “I can do better” or “I’m not good enough.” Not exactly the mindset that most people think of when thinking of an optimist. So then, were does my optimism stem from if it doesn’t come from some magical state of happiness?
My optimism stems not from happiness alone, because in actuality happiness is fleeting. While happiness is temporary and is based upon happenings, and how we feel at the moment, the gift of joy, among others (Galatians 5:22) is from the Lord and you can still experience joy during trials, suffering, and testing. My lesson came from Christ Jesus, who, though he despised the shame of the Cross, he considered the joy set before Him. He even managed to keep love for those who hurt him. Jesus knew God’s plan was a goal of salvation for all, and chose to believe that things would work out eventually. So even in the moments that I feel most down, hope still exists for me.
One of my favorite authors, C. S. Lewis, said “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.” Finding your joy in something other than God can easily be destructive. How you feel is directly related to what you are focusing on, so when you fix your focus and remove the desire to find joy in something other than God, you’ll taste a reckless freedom and joy in all you do. You can have joy when your life is falling apart because He has promised never to leave you or forsake you. Joy should never come and go like money or materialistic things. John 15:11 also promises, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” This joy, it is a constant, all of our days because He is constant in His presence.
So, what is your fierce? It’s within you, right now, so embrace it! Discover your fierce in the everyday things of your life - yes, even the Monday things. Because Jesus is in every detail, we can enjoy him everywhere, even in life’s mundane routines.