Song of JoyMar 3
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV
What is in a name? Carol. That’s the name my parents gave to me. I’m sorry to say for many years I wished for another. Carol just wasn’t an elegant sounding cool name. I wanted to be an Amanda or Allison or Christie. Why Carol? Couldn’t they have at least named me Caroline? I liked Caroline.
Nope. Sorry. Carol is what I got. Even looking at my name, it looked round. It rhymed with barrel. Carol Barrel. Not the best name for a bikini challenged girl. As a child, I tried to give myself a nickname – C.J. It didn’t stick. I’ve always just been Carol.
In the past year, God has been molding me. He has stretched me and shaped me into something pleasing to Him. He took the colorful Play-doh shape that was me and balled it up to start over again. I was holding my breath that He was going to make me skinny this time, but, alas, those hopes were dashed early on.
But in the re-making of Carol, I found something inside me even better than a size-six bathing suit. Joy. Joy is different from happiness. I’ve had plenty of happiness in my life, but happiness isn’t lasting. I was happy when I found Faith an Easter dress for $16.99. I am happy when the lady at the McDonald’s drive-thru accidentally throws a hot baked apple pie or two in my bag. I am happy when I find five dollars in my pants pocket. But that, my friends, is not joy.
Joy is being content with who you are, what you are, and where you are. Joy is the Mamma of happiness. From joy comes happiness, but happiness does not always last and joy does. Joy lives in your heart. It’s the way you feel overall about life. I may burn my baked ziti and not be happy about it, but deep within joy remains. And that joy even affects they way I respond to my unhappiness about my now crunchy-brown pasta dinner.
God has been teaching me what true joy is, all the while filling my heart with it. Friday night, Amy gave me a card just for being her friend. (I know, she’s the best!) On the front in large letters was “JOY” and this quote:
When joy is deep within us, we will walk through this life with a lifted heart, soul, and mind. ~Patsy Clairmont
I was talking with the Lord one afternoon a few weeks ago about joy. He was smiling on me when He said, “Carol, your parents didn’t choose your name. I did. Carol means song of joy. Daughter, you are my song of joy.” And it was that day that I knew that my name was the best name ever! I love it. It’s who I am. It’s who He made me to be.
Thank you Mom and Dad for listening to the prompting of the Lord when He put my name into your heart. I am a song of joy.