Several of my blog readers have said that reading my blog makes them sad for me or makes them think that I am really down and depressed. Even when I write something that I intend to be inspiring or praiseworthy, some have commented that it has the opposite effect – it evokes sympathy or despondency.

This is not at all what I wanted or intended! And it could not be farther from the truth. The truth is, I have never experienced joy the way I have been experiencing it during this season of my life. I grow in joy more and more each day, despite struggles and hardships. When I think of myself, I don’t think of despondency, depression, down-ness, or mopey-ness. I think of joy, contagious laughter, awe, and effervescence. I don’t think of Eeyore; I think of Tigger.

Moreover, I discuss my challenges and struggles for the purpose of setting a backdrop for God’s greatness and work in my life. Let me explain. Think of a straight, plain road — like that terribly long stretch of highway between Texas and New Mexico where there’s nothing, not even a radio signal. That’s how some people’s lives are. Yeah, there’s nothing “bad” going on, but there’s also nothing fun, exciting, new, or encouraging either. It’s just life as normal — long, straight, and boring.

Now, think of a roller coaster. It has lows, but it also has incredible highs. It can be scary, but it also can be exhilarating. It can make you cry, but it also can make you scream with enthusiasm. It can make you lose your stomach, but it’s also the most fun you’ve ever had.

That’s what my life is like. I share the lows in order to demonstrate how incredible the highs are. I share my fears so I can show how exhilarating my victories are. I share my tears so I can explain why I laugh as uproariously as I do. I share the things that turn my stomach so I can explain why this is the most fun I’ve ever had.

And I believe this is biblical. Jesus said He came that we may have life abundantly. Not just life, but ABUNDANT life. A whole lotta it. And then some. Really high highs, and really low lows, and more really high highs. He also said he wished that we were cold or hot people rather than lukewarm people. (Rev. 3:16) I am definitely not lukewarm. About anything.

So, rest assured. I experience more joy than I ever could imagine. All of us die, but not all of us truly live. I am truly living.