I have friends that know God gives them a theme for a year…and they have inspired me to watch for the theme He has for me.

I didn’t catch last year’s theme until it was almost over.

Joy.

I truly, finally, and absolutely learned the difference between joy and happiness last year. It was a very ugly year on paper.

Lots of loss.

Loss of family, mentors, and deeply close friends.

Loss of a new life I never got to meet.

Friends whose own losses made my heart ache deeply,… as deeply as my own losses did.

Loss both financially and materially.

If there is one thing I’ve learned last year, it’s that to have Joy, you have to have perspective.

As I’ve said before, I don’t do New Year Resolutions, but I do value old year revelations. Here is some of the Joy that came from putting a perspective spin on some of that loss.

I lost fear. I lost so much fear. It isn’t completely gone, but it doesn’t weigh me down as it did before. I’m no longer afraid of loss. I have begun to look at trials from a James 1:2-4 perspective.  I’ve stopped trying to get out of things too quickly. There IS Joy in that. With the loss of fear I gained perspective.

I lost some pride. It isn’t completely gone either, but as painful as it was, it made room for more joy. Losing some of your stuff, will open your eyes to what is really important in your life. …and important for me has been shown to be much more different than what I was culturally trained to believe it was. With the loss of pride I gained truth.

I lost indifference. I’ve been shown that I’m needed to make a difference in the lives of others. That sometimes I have to walk through some ugly, so that I can help someone else down the road, …or to even be able to see that there is someone that needs help. I can make a difference, and it is a lie to think otherwise. I think many times we get so caught up in dwelling in our ugly, that we miss that there are folks going through even uglier. With the loss of indifference, I gained empathy.

So, Joy has taught me that loss is not bad. It gives me purpose.

I see this year’s theme. It’s a color. Stay tuned…I have a few things to accomplish before I can tell you, but I can tell you, it’s regal.

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