While on my way to Kay Warren’s Women Talk seminar, I pondered over her topic “How to be Joyful No Matter What“. Kay Warren is a two-time cancer survivor, a homemaker, and a pastor’s wife (the wife of Rick Warren, author of Purpose Driven life). Her favorite passage of Scripture is John 6:1-14 . In that famous passage, Jesus feeds 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish that a little boy offered Him. These verses confirm the truth that God uses ordinary average people to accomplish great things when their lives are totally surrendered to Him. It was God’s idea that Cathy give me tickets for the “Women Talk” yesterday so I could share it here.
Can life still be joyful even if one has experienced the worst nightmare any parent can have? What do I tell the bereaved mothers of The Compassionate Friends that life can be joyful inspite of the loss of their child. For newly bereaved, there are days and weeks that can drag on and on without any infusion of light and joy. Kay Warren defines joy as the , ““The unshakeable assurance that God is in control of all the details in my life. It is the quiet confidence that ultimately everything will be alright; and the determined purpose to praise God in all things.” Some newly bereaved lose their faith in God . I too lost my faith in God. It’s all a matter of choices. It was my choice to be miserable early on in my grief journey. While listening to Kay, I knew I had to undergo so much pain to discover God again in my life. We can control our choices. I chose to surrender to God during my deepest darkest despair and that’s when I found joy back in my life. How? I didn’t know it then but Kay Warren best explains the practical ways on finding joy everyday.
1. Put the humor in Life.
2. Practice Gratitude
3. Choose to be a giver than a taker
4. Live in the moment
5. Find the “bless in the mess”
So what do I tell the newly bereaved? I will tell them that life is full of choices. Grief is inevitable but misery is optional. Every day, each of us decides how to spend our time–each hour, each minute, each second. Do I spend those moments grieving? Not all of them. As the years go by, I find fewer moments of grief and more moments of joyful activity. Trust God that we are going to be joyful
1. Inspite of
2. In the middle of
3. Even if
Joy has returned to my life and to my home.