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Joy

Updated: Jan 11


bright pink bougainvillea spilling over a stone wall


Joy always comes in if you let it. Wafting thru your heart like the neighbors kompa music - A soft seranade. Like the bougainvillea branch creeping thru the church window adorning the house of God with bright pink flowers. Like the half moon hanging above the palms. lighting up a dark city God’s light - much more beautiful than mere streetlamps. So dance to the music. Let the flowers bloom. Let the moon light up your world. Joy Always comes in If you let it.


Sometimes joy makes a quick exit - leaving your heart filled with fear, disappointment, sadness, or just plain dull emptiness. Life is ever-changing, and so are the feelings in our hearts.


But joy, as it walks away, always leaves the door open a crack. It wants to come back. When the grief and pain aren't taking up all the heart space anymore, it wants to pay another visit, carrying a bouquet of sunflowers - or bright pink bougainvillea.


So if it's been a long time since joy has dropped by, check and see if you have closed the door. And if you are closing your heart to joy and hope - open it. Just a crack. Maybe your heart won't instantly fill with light. But maybe one day it will come. Maybe it will surprise you.


I hate surprises. So many surprises seem to be bad - coming out of nowhere to rock your world and shake your faith. But I have also had a few amazing surprises. Like three Christmases ago, when a man named Eliezer Pinchina texted me, "Marry Christmas." (The spelling error was an honest mistake.) "I've been thinking about you a lot lately."


The part of me that was afraid of surprises didn't want to know what, "I've been thinking of you a lot" meant. But God - and my mom - encouraged me to keep my heart open. And joy, though sometimes accompanied by fear, most certainly did walk in in the form of the best surprise ever. My husband.


I love waking up on a Sunday morning to the neighbor's traditional Haitian music. I love the evening drumbeats and slow French hymns of the neighborhood church. I love my own church, with open windows and doors. I love the branch from the neighbor's bougainvillea that has crept through the church window and burst into bloom in the corner of God's house.


I love how at night, the moon shines extra bright above the palms, with the planet Venus just below it. In a city where electricity is sketchy, you notice the fidelity of God's moon and stars.


And I love how joy always leaves the door open, even if it leaves for a time. It will come back - if you let it.

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