The Pursuit of Joy

New Orleans, Louisiana.

And it starts…

After a week of orientation in NY, I returned “home” to New Orleans yesterday full of enthusiasm and thought. This year is going to be a journey of discovery. Not only for me, but hopefully for you as well. What are we discovering? I believe we are discovering happiness joy.

Here’s where this can be confusing.

Joy does not always equal happiness.

For me, when I had committed to mission work for a year I had initially considered myself happy. Why? Because this is where my heart is. This is where God is leading me. Ifinally had an answer as to what direction my life was heading. I was happy.
The thing with happiness is that it doesn’t last. We’re human. Things happen. Life takes it’s toll and something changes or irritates us, makes us sad, angry, frustrated; and we turn that happiness into a different emotion.  As soon as I learned what the year involved and how hard it was to leave essentially everything I had behind, I felt overwhelmed. This feeling of impending failure corrupted me. Realistically, we can’t be happy all the time.

Here’s the newsflash: THAT’S OKAY!

Last week at orientation, one of the lecture leaders shared a really profound question: What if we are called to fail?

What if I fail? What if I am so excited and happy about this upcoming new adventure and I fail at it? Will my happiness end? The key is finding out where my JOY lies. Because if my joy lies in my happiness, then yes, I am a failure. If my joy lies in the Lord and all He has provided for me, then I am eternally joyful. Then, even if I fail, even I suffer, I am joyful. I am joyful that whatever this year entails, I will be doing what God has intended.

So, as of right now I am in the pursuit of joy eternal. Join me?

– Ashley

[Follow Ashley’s pursuit of joy: http://ashbair-livingoutloud.blogspot.com/]

Ashley (right) with fellow YAVs, Lauren & Allison

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