A little explanation

I’ve had a bit of writer’s block lately, I think. I’ve got things on my mind and in my heart to say, but for some reason they just aren’t ready to come out on paper (or blog) yet. For now I thought I’d give you a little explanation for the title of this blog. It’s a little rough, but then again so am I. I’m not polished so neither is this.

Several months ago the word, “joy,” began coming up constantly. It was everywhere and I knew it was significant for me in this season of life. Then one day I saw the word brazen used in an really interesting context. It’s usually such a negative word, but I think it was Ann Voskamp that used a phrase like “we gave our brazen thanks,” to describe thanks being given in a situation where thankfulness might usually be scarce. It leapt out at me and immediately the words brazen and joy came together in my mind.

I held onto it for awhile, not sure what to do with it, but when I decided to start a new blog I felt like it was to be my blog title. It makes me a little nervous to put it out there, to own it, because honestly, I don’t have brazen joy right now. It feels a little dishonest, but if you know me, you know I don’t really do fake. I readily admit I’m not there yet. I think this blog is more about a journey than a destination. There certainly aren’t any “How to Have Outrageous Brazen Joy,” posts in the works. But I’m taking this step of faith and here’s why:

Brazen is probably not the adjective most women really want attached to their names. Normally. When I picture what a brazen woman looks like, I think of a loud, foul-mouthed, stubborn, say-what’s-on-her-mind kind of woman, giving the finger to anyone who gets in her way.

And, I hate to say it, but I kind of was that way at one time. Certainly not all the time, but I had my moments. My mouth was much bigger than my body could back up, and it nearly got me into trouble several times in college. I’ve been cornered and threatened in a bathroom, charged at in a bar and stalked across campus by members of the womens basketball team, among other things. It’s a miracle I was never injured.

Fast forward nearly 20 years and I feel that God is calling me to be a brazen woman of a different kind, to channel my stubbornness, so to speak. 

You see, stubborn isn’t a bad quality as long as it’s employed against the right thing. In the church world we don’t like the word, “stubborn.” But what else is it to stand firm? To not give up? To persevere? It’s a spirit-driven stubbornness.

For much of my life I have lived with feelings of depression, despair and just generally feeling less than. Occasionally I had suicidal thoughts. I’m not certain where it came from, what caused it, but it has robbed a lot of life from me and from my family. And it’s time to turn the page on that chapter of my life.

Depression and despair are not my lot, they are not my destiny. Joy is my lot and my inheritance in Christ. Not just joy, but a brazen kind of joy – the kind that makes no earthly sense, that says no matter what the circumstances are, regardless of what anybody thinks about me, whatever I think about myself, no matter what the enemy of my soul whispers in my ear, I will have joy.

Joy that is sometimes quiet, but sometimes loud, is full of laughter, that smiles, is thankful, is not afraid to say it and share it. Joy that is contagious. Joy that gives me strength.

The kind of joy that embraces life and sees the goodness of God in each day, because He is always good.

And if you’ll forgive me this, it’s the kind of joy that essentially gives the finger to the despair that attempts to weave it’s way in and out of my life.

It’s brazenness redeemed for His glory.

It’s brazen joy.

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