Joy Killers

From my 2015 Journal. I voluntarily spend time around joy killers—people complaining of emotional pain. It’s my calling and my ministry to listen for hours to stories of horrendous abuse and its effects . . . but I’m tired.

And I remember the before . . .

I’m a little girl, twirling with the swirling leaves, shouting delight as wind flings its rain smells, ready to cool the parched earth. Hair tousled, uninhibited, unselfconscious, no to-do list, living in the moment. Exuberant. Carefree.

And then I’m an energized young woman, flinging laughter to the wind, racing down the beach, warm sand between my toes and water lapping at my feet. Collapsing to the ground to watch clouds and birds, sandy-haired, relaxed. Carefree.

I’m a middle-aged woman, slower now. I can’t run and jump as well, but my spirit and soul soar free above the earth. Enjoying the ethereal, shimmering expanse of the ocean. Carefree.

I watch as my body turns sluggish, age spots appear, mind slips away from the present, and my soul settles into tired places. How do I recapture my exuberance when a stale wind hangs thick around me? I can’t sustain the energy of joy. I’m too tired, too distracted, too full of that R word responsibility, heavy weights in my shoes pinning me to the earth.

And I remember I am the one who controls my own joy-killing.

Like young David, I must shed King Saul’s heavy armor and travel light. I detach the weights from my wrists and ankles, kick off my shoes, inhale fresh air, and feel warm sand once more. I’ve been carrying stuff that isn’t mine to bear. Forgive me, Lord.

Enjoy the journey. Joy, joy, joy!

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