Good Friday, friends! I'm bringing a post back from the archives because it is one I wrote a year ago today. It is interesting to look back, to see and remember what I was going through, and to see where Jesus has brought me today. He gave me The Art of Celebration at just the right time last year, and it has been something that I have carried through the past months, something that I have to constantly remind myself to practice. I wanted to share this post with you again, a year later, because just maybe one of you needs the encouragement, and I know I always need the reminder. I love you all, and I hope you have a beautiful Easter weekend!

It's about time for some honest talk, friends. This video made me cry. Like an aching cry. A cry that shouts "amen!" and "Jesus, please come back soon" all at the same time. This week has been a really rough one. It's been one of those weeks where just about everything in my life that gets me down weighed extra heavily on me. It's like one thing happens that triggers everything else. I spent a lot of time at work this week with uncontrollable tears rolling down my face. Thank goodness for the privacy of cubicles, right? I spent my days with headphones in listening to some of my new favorite worship music...just trying not to fall apart. it was a week where I was exceedingly aware of how much I needed Jesus every minute of every day to hold me together.

In talking to my best friend about this week I told her, "I love Jesus so much. Life is just so hard sometimes." So what do you do when the world wears you down? Do you sit there and take the beating? No way, sister. You stand firm and thank the Lord your God for the gifts he has given. The gift to wake up each morning, The gift to glimpse another sunrise, The gift of laughter, the gift of life itself. Every single gift. You name it.

You choose joy. 

"Seriousness is not a fruit of the spirit, but joy is."

I'm not saying you have to be happy all the time. Happiness is not the same thing as joy. Joy is a spiritual discipline, and you must choose it over and over. This world will do all that it can to wear you down. Fight, brave hearts, with all your might, for joy. No matter what you are facing, there is a Gospel and a King worth celebrating. and guess what? That King celebrates over you as well. You are his, and he cares more deeply for you than you will ever know. I pray that you and I both remember this, and that he would be the song of our hearts and the hope of our souls.  

How fitting that all of this hit me the week of Easter. I am a broken being fully known and fully loved by a constant Savior who came to make me whole. Jesus came to save that I may live life and live it to the full. To live a life free of fear, free of sorrow, free of guilt, and free of shame. To live a life of celebration. There is nothing more beautiful than that.

Take heart, brave ones, for He has overcome the world.

He is risen.
Stacia said...

This video is so beautiful! Thanks for sharing, Meg. :)

allisonramsing said...

I remember reading this last year and loving this post. Thank you for reposting it!

Kiki said...

Oh goodness, I needed to read this again this year. It seems like life has brought me to a tough season and just reading these words (hooray for bringing old posts back to life!) was a comfort and peace. Joy, grace, and hope. All things that I need to take in, be, and give. :)

Have a wonderful Easter!!!

p.s. I totally forgot that Rend Collective is Irish! :)

chelsea said...

I think I could read these words every week and it be powerful and challenging and encouraging each time. Thanks for reposting it!

Meg McIlvaine said...

You're welcome! I love to come back and watch it every now and then!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Thanks so much, Allison! Glad you enjoyed it :)

Meg McIlvaine said...

Oh Kiki! Praying for you in this season, whatever the circumstances may be. I understand tough seasons for sure! I'm so glad you were encouraged, and I pray Jesus continues to remind you of that joy and grace and hope. :)

And YES. Irish for the win! I saw them last year in concert and it was amazing!

Meg McIlvaine said...

Me too, Chelsea. I need the constant reminder! Hope you had a wonderful Easter!