Happy, Joyous, and Free


For me, the goal of living a daring life started with reversing old ways of thinking and acting. It was a habit of mine for a long time to seek out emotionally safe havens and keep contrary opinions to myself. I didn’t dare upset anyone with a thought that was different or original. What if me thinking for myself drove them away? No, my best course of action, I thought, was to play it safe and feign agreement even when I didn’t feel like going along.

Eventually, I learned this style of living could never produce the joy I sought in life.

Living to please others is a failed system, one that needed to change for me if I was ever going to live to please God. But how? I found the courage to make a change in Jesus. It was through Christ and because of a few caring individuals (along with a program that works if you work it), that I was finally able to give up being that fearful, pitiable and inauthentic me.

When I avoided taking risks fear was always with me; always looking over my shoulder. Once I quit running from the fear and faced it with faith in God, I was able to put some distance between me and fearful paralysis.

Living a daring life, I quickly realized, meant understanding that my all powerful God was just a prayer away no matter where I found myself!   That awareness made it possible for me to eke out a better plan and a stronger faith with which to tackle scary scenarios.

My expectation that I couldn’t live an authentic life and still keep my friends was what had shipwrecked my confidence. Now, I knew that no matter who stayed or who went, Jesus would always be by my side.

It made a difference.

The understanding that Christ would never abandon me filled me with a boldness I had not known before. I was a new creation, and I was free to choose a new path.

Some people like to talk about how others come into our lives “for a season, for a reason, or for a lifetime”. I don’t like that concept so much, and here’s why. While it may be true that people come into our lives for a lot of reasons, the poem’s idea of how long they stay seems futile to me.  It makes the entrance and exit of people in our lives sound like something totally out of our control. I don’t think that’s true.

Admittedly, some things are not for us to direct–like, other human beings–but more often than not our problem with relationships is that we either hesitate to let people in or we push them away through our behaviors with them.

We are, then, the principal individual responsible for what eventually happens in our relationships.

I used to think I was helpless when it came to how people treated me, and/or my failed attempts to live a joyous life. I no longer believe that. I may be powerless over many things, people and their opinions of me included, but I am not helpless.  Never was!

Today my hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ assurance that He will never leave me,  nor forsake me. He makes all things right in my life, even as He makes me right.  Now, I can live life on life’s terms and find happiness in the mix.

Every day is a gift now!

Every day a new beginning in Him, and it’s all happy, joyous, and free!

What fears are you facing today?  What did you have to learn to do before you could live happy, joyous, and free from fear?



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