Thursday, March 29, 2012

Sharing the Joy

Pope Benedict XVI: “We cannot be happy if others are not: joy has to be shared.”

This is a statement that I read today online.  It couldn't be more true for me right now.  Although I feel that God is calling our family to spread His message and ultimately His joy to others in a foreign country, I am having a very hard time sharing that joy with my closest friends and family right here in my own backyard.  Sometimes the toughest people to share your joy with are the people closest to you---your family and close friends.  But we are ALL called to be missionaries of Christ to everyone, everywhere, and at all times.

The Pope's message ended with an invitation to be “missionaries of joy”, “enthusiastic witnesses of the new evangelization! Go to those who are suffering and those who are searching, and give them the joy that Jesus wants to bestow. Bring it to your families, your schools and universities, and your workplaces and your friends, wherever you live. You will see how it is contagious.”

The past year of my life has been so very blessed.  Wonderful things have been happening in my life.  My relationship with my husband couldn't be better.  My relationships with my kids are stronger then ever.  Things have been falling into place for us after many, many years of struggling.  This is all because of the change in our relationship with God.  It is all because we decided to actually put Him first rather than just claiming that we did.  We began to put all our trust in Him and to follow His plan instead of our own agenda.

This peace and joy that I have is just bursting out at the seams.  I want to share it with everyone I meet and do.  I can talk for hours with strangers about all the wonderful things God has done for me.  I've made so many new friends this past year because of the simple fact that I shared my joy with them.  It is so contagious that began this blog to do just that---to tell more people how much God has blessed us and continues to bless us the more we turn to Him---to share my joy with anyone who will read about it.   But in the mean time, I've grown apart from some of my closest friends and some of my family simply because I don't know how to share my joy with them. 

There are many reasons excuses that I make daily about why I can't share my joy with them.  I feel terrible about my blessings when others are struggling so hard with their own situations.  I don't want to make them feel worse.  Some just think we have totally lost our minds and will probably tell me that to my face if I try to share God with them.  Many around us disagree with our decisions completely and are unhappy with us.   I don't like confrontation, so I figured if I didn't share my joy with them, I'd have a better chance of keeping it.  It feels so good that I don't want anything to knock me down from this high.

But in the end, I'm not truly happy because I haven't shared the joy with the people who mean the most to me---my family and friends.  I can't be truly happy with the wonderful things happening in my life if those around me aren't happy and aren't sharing in our joy. 

So, the tough question is:
How do I share my joy with those closest to me that don't see the joy in what we are doing?

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