By Jodie Frye
A few weeks ago, I woke up to an invitation to be a beginner with my boys…at snow skiing. And though I don’t naturally gravitate towards slopes of adventure, I felt a sense of wonder at the whole thing. Besides, how bad could it be? We had a personal instructor for the whole day, a pro. So I was mostly expectant.
It was a good day for a good day.
Until it wasn’t…for me, anyhow. Doubt started setting in after the first hour. Then more, as the instructing ~ and falling ~ went on. Our amazing instructor, Joe, just kept telling me to stop thinking. Let go. Breathe. Lean in to my boots. Shins pressed in hard. Knees in line with skis. Look straight ahead.
Sounds simple. But add in the detail that, though you’re not supposed to be thinking, you must remember that right means left, and left means right, and slow means glide side to side, and stop means toes in, heels out.
And for a thinker like me, my brain just couldn’t quite seem to adapt. Yet, I felt safe. Because Joe was with me. He was watching me. Guiding me. Encouraging me. And as soon as I got into trouble, he came for me.
It was indeed a good day for a good day. Just different than I had first imagined.
Isn’t this just like the way of Joy?
We begin hopeful. Full of brave, though perhaps a little apprehensive too. Then struggle sets in, and everything feels backwards. Our knees press into the ground and our hearts nearly bust.
We realize once again, we simply aren’t in control. Life doesn’t make sense and before we realize it, fear sneaks up, snatching that life right out of us.
While we are keenly aware of our unpredictable surroundings, some-glorious-way we still hear His voice. And we breathe again. We get up, and maybe we try it one more time. Maybe not. Either way, we’re not alone. Either way, we can rest secure.
“Abide in my love. … that my joy may be in you and your joy may be full.” John 15:9-11
Joy: an emotion acquired by the anticipation, acquisition or even the expectation of something great or wonderful. It could be described as exhilaration, delight, sheer gladness, and can result from a great success or a very beautiful or wonderful experience.
Perhaps in order for expectant-joy to come, the time must come when we let go…whether freely or forced. Relax. Dare to fully feel the snow (or the Cheerios or the Legos 🙂 under your feet. The sunshine, or maybe the rain drops, on your face.
Choose to lean in hard, eyes fixed on Jesus, and receive the wonderful gift of …
- New, even if just for a little while.
- Fear, because it keeps us humbly dependent.
- Unknown, unfamiliar, and unfinished…because He understands.
- Trying, even if you never do it again.
- Tears, though you don’t know why.
- Small, for even the Heavens boast of stars.
Christmas has come and gone. But we must never stop rejoicing. So let your heart prepare Him room, right in the middle of your good ~ or maybe just different-than-imagined ~ day.
Christ has come and will always come for us. Indeed, joy to the world! In January.
Jodie and her husband, Eric, have been married for almost 20 years and live in Alabama. They have twin boys currently in high school and one in middle school. Being a mom of all boys (for a girl who needs her quiet space), has been a place of deep refining, surrender, and blessing for Jodie. Along with her husband, she is the co-founder of Altar84, a non-profit devoted to caring for the orphan by fostering gospel-centered change through the local church.
Jodie is a word-girl at heart, who loves writing her way through the messy-beautiful of life. She longs to encourage and inspire women in grace + Truth and in friendship with Jesus.