“Guard your joy like a Mama Grizzly!! Rawr!!” I texted this to a couple of my dear ministerial friends the other day.


Oi, sometimes I just don’t feel it! Secretly, there are times that I want to go to my non-existent cabin and be a hermit.

Being vibrant with joy in the midst of troubling, disheartening, or confusing circumstances can be challenging. Honestly, this has been my battle lately.

In positions of leadership, we are involved in all kinds of relationships . We are bound to deal with misunderstandings, issues, dissension, and bumps in the road.

Sometimes, it’s easy to feel responsible for other people’s well-being or  their state of emotional happiness. That is not realistic, nor is it healthy.

Whether people are toxic or just about ‘heavenly’ in an awesome sense, they are still human, so sometimes we will not get the reaction, feedback, or closure we desire. We have to be okay with that.

The other week, I felt God speak to me in the silence, “You have to be okay with it not being okay. Otherwise, how can I work in and through you? Am I not all you need? Am I not your everything?”


It was humbling, and I hated having to admit it! Yet, at the same time I took in how his love enveloped me.

Oftentimes I have tried in my own power to get past my feelings about a situation. I thought that if I could work it out in my head before we resolved the situation (or work it out a million times if resolution never came), that I could move on better and then have a bounce in my step.


It was hindering my ability to be the effective leader, friend, Christian, and joyful person God called me to be. My emotions were stuck in a rut and heavily guarded.

Rather than allowing God to be my supplier, I was trying to stock up on emotional power to charge my vibrant outlook and demeanor.

Our ultimate source of joy is not our circumstances, relationships, connections, and resolutions; it is God. He is the only one we can truly rely on. I had an ‘aha moment’ when I realized that even if I was not necessarily relying on those things, I still allowed them to weigh too heavily on my mind and spirit. It was cramping the joy of the Lord, and in turn, cramped how God could use me as a Christian and a light in other people’s lives, including my home life, on a daily basis.

Stumbling blocks with other humans, whether acquaintances or those closest to us, are to be expected. We should still live in caution, wisdom, and insight while guarding our heart, but we should also be full of grace, free, joyful, and vibrant!

When we proclaim Christ as our joy, are we really walking in that truth ? Portraying it?

It’s easy to allow joy to be a part of our lives if it just happens, and in the meantime, do our best to be positive in the day. However, I have found that joy is best attained through being intentional and decisive.

So, don’t forget:

“Guard your joy like a Mama Grizzly!! Rawr!!”