In January I claimed Joy as my word for 2019.

I was diagnosed with depression in February.

.... I started this blog post several months ago. But I didn't feel like I had the reason for writing it in my grasp yet, nothing beyond what I saw as extreme irony in those first two sentences.

The second half of 2018 was crazy but I was in the center of my walk with the Lord, I heard Him, I felt Him. I knew He was with my every step. The beginning of 2019 started a new journey... filled with primarily overwhelm and the idea that everything had to be perfect or I couldn't exist. I tried to micromanage every detail to the point where I was running myself rampant.

How can "Joy" be my word when I am battling anxiety and depression? How can I reach for something that feels completely unattainable?

I've been meeting with a counselor weekly since February. I started medication. I am feeling much better and feeling like the fog has lifted a ton. But I knew God wanted me to write on this topic, I just wasn't sure what the message was supposed to be.

Until last week.

Bryan reached out to a Hebrew tattoo designer to have a "Joy" tattoo designed for me. Bryan and I have been talking about getting tattoos since Janet died, he wants one to commemorate her, and I have always wanted on one my wrist but never knew what exactly I wanted that to be.

I didn't know that Bryan had reached out to anyone, and we hadn't talked about me getting a Hebrew tattoo. But when I read the email from the artist about the meanings of the Hebrew words for Joy, I knew this wasn't a chance encounter.

There are two words in Hebrew that translate to our English word for "Joy". I went to two years of Bible college and learned all about word studies so you better believe I geeked out and broke out the concordance and the google to study this deeper.

Simchah is the first word. It literally translates into the English word Joy- Happiness, giddiness... an emotional feeling.

That's the one that I've been struggling with. I often don't FEEL joyous. I've been "choosing joy"... choosing to be glass half full, see the silver lining... but that joy evades me.

The second word is Chedva.

I don't think there is an accurate word in the English language that conveys what Chedva means. This Hebrew word is only used twice in the Bible. Once in 1 Chronicles 16:27. The second time in Nehemiah. What? Please see the tag line for my blog. The verse I claimed after Janet died in 2013. 

"And do not be grieved for the Joy of the Lord is my Strength." Nehemiah 8:10

That's the Chedva Joy. This joy doesn't mean the giddy feeling of happiness. Chedva joy shows a direct connection to God. It doesn't require anything of me. It's nothing I can earn and it's not something I feel. Chedva joy is the ability to have a direct connection and fellowship with the Lord. In reading more about context and root word studies, this literally means an open door, a way in, this joy exists because HE made a way- through Jesus - to have fellowship with ME.

So if we digest this Nehemiah verse in our understanding of the English words... in Jenna's understanding at least...

"And do not be grieved, for the ability come into the presence of the Lord is my strength."

Perfectionist Type A Jenna. Enneagram 3 "Achiever" Jenna. She was grasping at a way to feel like she wasn't being overwhelmed by the world. She was trying to perform and achieve and doing it pretty miserably, While God was saying... Jenna, I don't want just Simchah for you. I want Chedva for and with you. I want fellowship with you and I have already provided the way.


So my prayer for you today is that you'll sit with that. You'll digest that. You'll find your true meaning and purpose in that ability to enter into that fellowship with the Lord. That's where He gathers us as His children and says something along the lines of-- You are loved, You are mine, You are perfect just the way I made you. This world needs you to point others to me.

Be blessed my friends.

(I took a lot of info from my Strong's concordance and this website if you want to read farther. I am not a Bible scholar but I felt like this is what God showed me and He wanted me to share with you, so please be kind if I got something slightly wrong. :))


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