This post is part of Margaret Feinberg’s Partymob for her brand-new book and Bible study, Fight Back With Joy. To join the celebration (and learn more), click here. To grab a copy of this book, click here.
I had the privilege of meeting Margaret Feinberg this past Fall in the crisp Colorado mountain air. For two days, both Margaret and Jonathan Merritt invested their time and wisdom in a handful of budding writers including myself. In the midst of scribbling pages of notes, snapping pictures and collaborating with new friends, one thing struck me more than anything else about Margaret: her entire presence radiated joy—pure, blissful joy. And you know what’s crazy about that statement? Margaret is a woman facing extreme life circumstances that could make her want to exude anything but joy! So, what’s her secret?
Margaret unpacks her 2-year journey in her new book, Fight Back With Joy, and I absolutely love how she’s defining joy as a way of living: “More than whimsy, joy is a weapon we use to fight life’s battles. Sometimes you pick the fight and sometimes the fight picks you . . . You need chutzpah, you need backbone, you need intentionality—and sometimes you need a crisis.”
Sometimes you need a crisis to discover joy? That may seem like an oxymoron, but I couldn’t agree more. Often, when I think of “joy,” I think of my circumstances; but joy is so much more than a byproduct of a circumstantial event. Joy is a state of being, a way of living, a mindset to fight for.
Recently I was having a conversation with a friend unwrapping some of my deepest fears and frustrations. They listened and prayed and spoke truth into my life in the most encouraging way possible. But then we hung up the phone and I went back to the same set of circumstances. My world hadn’t changed, but I began to. I dove into my Bible. I prayed. I allowed truth to soak into the deepest crevices of my heart. And an unexplainable joy began to permeate my being.
Two days later, I called my friend back and they immediately identified a change in the fluctuation of my voice. My friend asked, “Emily, did your circumstances change over the past 48 hours?” After sharing that they hadn’t, this response came springing through my iPhone, “Emily! Your circumstances didn’t change, but you have. You’re living out of the healthy overflow. And that’s an exciting place to be.”
I’m beginning to see that joy is a whole lot more about living out of the healthy overflow—holding things loosely, giving my best and trusting Jesus with His next best step for my life. It’s picking up my sword and not allowing the circumstances of life to conquer me. It’s found in embracing the journey of becoming the woman God made me to be.
I can’t wait to continue this journey with Margaret. Join me and pick up your own copy of Fight Back With Joy on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. You can also grab a copy of the 6-Session Bible Study Kit here.