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A Definition of Joy

Pointing to my necklace a student asked “Who’s Joy?”

I laughed quietly and said “Joy is not just a name, in English it means...”

“Happy?” she said.

I paused for a moment trying to figure out the simplest way to define joy to someone who is learning English as their second language. I thought of James 1:2-3 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance”. I thought about how we find joy in God and that joy and happiness are very different.

I said “It’s not just happiness, it’s much more than that.”

I have spent a significant amount of time studying and writing about what joy is but her definition was perfect.

She said it with confidence, “It’s kind of like, crazy happy”.

That’s exactly it, it is a little bit crazy to be happy in the midst of the trials and pain. It doesn’t make sense that a woman that has lived through what she has, can still light up a room with her smile. Choosing joy although living through poverty, desperation, exploitation and depression, that’s crazy. So “Who is Joy?” it’s you.

Taylor Henry, Lead Beauty Instructor Thailand

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