Choosing Freedom | | Gabriel
What an honor to feature Mercy Marketing Intern, Gabriel today! We are so humbled by her willingness to seek the Lord’s joy and spread it to those around her. Our Marketing Team has most definitely benefited from the way she carries joy and thanksgiving!


“Find joy in the ordinary.”

This quote knocked me off my feet my senior year of high school. I remember being stressed out, spread thin, and bogged down by new waves of responsibility. I was so close to the finish line, all I could think about was graduating and moving on to the next chapter of life. I was antsy and irritated, always trying to get on to the next thing.

I was scrolling through Instagram when I caught sight of the hashtag #100daysofhappy. It was a challenge for Instagram users to snapshot and post something that brought them joy each day for 100 days.

The Lord convicted me that I needed to give this challenge a try. I knew I needed something to help pace my life and show me the beauty in the now, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

At first it was irritating, like a new diet or a workout routine, it felt slow, methodical and useless. But soon, the Lord began using a simple Instagram challenge to teach me about what true joy looks like.

As I made a habit of finding something to be thankful for each day, the Lord began to transform me into a person of joy and thanksgiving. With the help of the book “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, God showed me that finding Joy is always possible:

“Joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning—now; wherever, meaning—here. The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now, joy might be—unbelievably—possible! The only place we need see before we die is this place of seeing God, here and now.”  – Ann Voskamp, 1000 Gifts

Through snapping positive pictures, digging into the Word, and taking in the wisdom of Ann’s words, I learned that joy can be found by finding God in the now. I took up the practice of stopping in the moment and thanking the Lord for what He has placed in front of me.

Finding Joy | | Choosing Freedom

It could be something as simple as a pretty tree, a warm cup of coffee on a cold morning, or an encouraging conversation with a friend. Finding joy is the discipline of recognizing God’s goodness and abundance in the ordinary every day pace of life.

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Sometimes, joy does not come easy. Life is messy, and we live in a fallen world where bad things happen. But what I love about the Lord is that He makes joy accessible always. He is always around us, and He gives us the option to choose joy despite our emotions or circumstances.

I challenge you to look for the Lord’s joy in each day. Scripture tells us that He reveals Himself to those who seek Him, and that the world is abundant in His beauty.

I love to meditate on verses such as Psalms 136:4-9, that not only declare the Lord’s craftsmanship, but repeatedly thank Him for the displays of His love.

“Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.
His faithful love endures forever.
Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully.
His faithful love endures forever.
 Give thanks to him who placed the earth among the waters.
His faithful love endures forever.
 Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights—
His faithful love endures forever.
 the sun to rule the day,
His faithful love endures forever.
 and the moon and stars to rule the night.
His faithful love endures forever.”
– Psalm 136:4 – 9 (NLT)

In the practice of finding joy, find friends to hold you accountable. Maybe you connect through a social media challenge such as #100daysofhappy, or take turns sharing what you’re thankful for around the dinner table.

Begin making gratitude a part of your day, and watch as the Lord shapes your heart into one of joy and thanksgiving!