It was time for prayer requests and through tears and a few sobs I asked for my joy to be returned. I said I was losing myself and my joy was gone. I wasn’t depressed in the clinical sense, I was depressed in the spiritual sense and I wanted me back.

The next morning, hung on my door was this pillow:

joy pillow

My teammate had gone home and dug through her Christmas decorations (I didn’t find that detail until much later). She told me to hang it in my apartment as a reminder that my joy would come back. She didn’t know when or how long it would take, but she knew God was faithful. I hung it on my bathroom door so I could be reminded multiple times a day.

And then Abram asked the question that lead to this post on my joy returning and the follow up post on what God’s whispering to others.

My joy has returned and is returning. I’m not quite to where I was before it was taken, but I’m also further along in understanding joy than if it had not been taken. Did you get lost there in the paradox? Me too.


Joy is not personality or circumstance based. Joy is a position of the soul that is not touched by futility, despair, or being disgruntled. And joy, at least in Eden, is necessary! And in Eden, it will not be assaulted.

But here in Eden Lost, joy can be lost, or stolen, or taken from us. In another small group prayer time, another teammate shared that their joy was missing and they needed prayer. I realized that my joy was stable enough to pass on the joy pillow.

I don’t know if heaven will need decorations and I understand material objects of this world aren’t meant for the next. But if one or two things make it, look for this pillow. I think it might make the cut.

What has helped hold your joy until it was returned?

31reminders from EdenAll the posts in the series will be added to this page each day of October. If you would like to receive these reminders in your email inbox, it’s easy! You can subscribe now by entering your email where it says “Jump into the Mess!” I am enjoying the journey together. Amy

Reminders: Lovesatisfactionextravagancefreedombelongingrecreationtruthtrustpuritysubmission and powerunitykindnessblameless, with abandonacceptancecelebrationfaithgenerosity, joy.


Leave A Comment

  1. Tammy Ogden October 21, 2013 at 6:45 am - Reply

    “The joy of the Lord is our strength”. How true! When we loss our joy we because weak and fragile. No wonder satan wants it. I have had seasons for sure when my joy was gone. One such season, the only thing that got me out of bed was the truth that God owed me nothing. He had more than blessed we when he died on the cross for me. My joy returned when I once again realized just how much he truly loved me. My circumstances were not evidence of his love. My redemption was.

    Be full of joy!

  2. Mike October 21, 2013 at 7:51 am - Reply

    Warm, loving hugs. No words, just much-needed hugs.

  3. Kristi October 21, 2013 at 9:13 am - Reply

    I have found that more often that not I give my joy away. Maybe it would be better to say I trade it. I trade it for recognition, achievement, or some other temporary thing. I give up something solid and real for an enigma. I trade gold for brass. My true uniquely created self created in the image of God for a shadow created in the image of those around me. Fortunately God is a gracious and merciful Father who gently takes my joy out of the hands of others and gives it back to me. He places it in one hand and puts His hand in the other.

    I was wondering if you would elaborate on your statement, “Joy is a position of the soul that is not touched by futility, despair, or being disgruntled.” It seems to me that it can be touched by those things. That’s when our joy is lost, stolen. or taken away. I’ll have to think about this more.

    • Avatar photo
      Amy October 21, 2013 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      “Joy is a position of the soul that is not touched by futility, despair, or being disgruntled. And joy, at least in Eden, is necessary! And in Eden, it will not be assaulted.
      But here in Eden Lost, joy can be lost, or stolen, or taken from us.”

      Hey Krsiti, what I was trying to say is that Joy, here in Eden Lost, can be stolen or taken from us … but it’s not meant to be mixed up with circumstances. Meaning that I can look on the surface like my life is “good” or “fine” but I (or anyone) could be very unjoyful even when it’s “good.” But on the flip side, sometimes a person can be very joyful when on the surface their life looks anything but joyful. So, joy isn’t about the outside, but the inside. Not the circumstances (completely) but the soul. Am I making any sense :)?

      • Kristi October 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm - Reply

        Thanks, Amy, I guess that’s what I assumed you meant but it wasn’t how I read. I wasn’t connecting that one sentence well within the context of the rest of the paragraph.

  4. David Rupert October 21, 2013 at 10:19 am - Reply

    “Joy is not personality or circumstance based” is a very true statement. We often throw in “happiness” too…making joy dependent on how we are feeling….

  5. Cynthia October 21, 2013 at 6:24 pm - Reply

    Love, love, love this post sister :)

  6. Aashdoda October 21, 2013 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    When your joy is missing it can be excruciatingly painful or merely the annoying drone of sounds constantly there in the background like traffic in the city, always the reminder there is no peace. Yes, I miss being a country girl lost in the Rocky Mountains I call my home. In either case I find it important simply to recognize joy is missing, grieve the reason for it, and look for the smallest thing to spark those fires again. Amidst grief it is sometimes so hard to look at the sunshine around me most often because of clouds that are painful. If I just look up and let God do His job without my help, the dreary burns away into it’s own unique beauty if only for the sake of being something different. Colorado has more blue skies than anywhere I’ve ever been so I am spoiled. I know that no matter what when my joy is missing I must allow a moment’s joy into my body. It’s the tiniest of moments that help me remember all the other moments that have been joyful and kept me so loved and warm.
    Depression for whatever reason is a joy thief. Regrets are joy suckers, lessons aching to be learned and let go of ( the challenge to living). Death is joys other side of the coin, full embodied pain. Everything in life has it’s pair. Yet it remains up to me which side of that coin I choose to focus on. Yes it flip flops but for the most part it’s up to me what I look at. When it’s not up to me to change something that is when my joy has felt truly lost. That’s where faith comes into to my life always different and forever renewing me. All I have to do is hold that hand and the sun will come back but it’s clear I have to be the one taking the active role.
    Sunshine and fresh air, preferably with my dogs at the least, is the best cure I know to lock myself into a better perspective.
    Amy’s so right about the fact had it not stolen from me, how could I truly appreciate it’s return in every facet of it’s splendor because there is no frame of reference. Without loss and letting go of the old how can I move forward?
    That is all my dearest love wanted for me to keep moving forward. So I choose to honor his request and my heart’s desire to love at all cost even if I have to loose my joy for a short time.

  7. Alyssa Santos October 22, 2013 at 9:59 am - Reply

    For me, when the joy has become a mist, it’s usually because I’m spent, meaning, I’ve given and given yet haven’t taken the time to immerse myself in the word, in it’s truth and in the energy of the Holy Spirit’s presence. I think we go and give so much that we get depleted. Other times I’ve felt joyless it’s been because I haven’t been spending time with people who edify one another. Other times, I simply needed a break, even if that meant taking pictures on a walk. God wants us to look for sightings of his goodness, his creativity. We need to look up and around and find him — there’s always joy when we look just for him. Not for answers, or leading or comfort or insight – just him.

    • Kristi October 22, 2013 at 4:30 pm - Reply

      Yes, you have spoken truth. We need to see just Him.

  8. Julia B. October 22, 2013 at 10:10 am - Reply

    Kathleen Norris has a fantastic book on this subject, which she calls “Acedia.” I recommend reading it. I need to read it again, actually.

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      Amy October 25, 2013 at 8:03 am - Reply

      I love Kathleen Norris! Must get that book ….

  9. Nicole October 26, 2013 at 1:56 am - Reply

    “I said I was losing myself and my joy was gone. I wasn’t depressed in the clinical sense, I was depressed in the spiritual sense and I wanted me back…”

    That’s SOOO where I’m at right now. Might have to find myself a pillow.
    Thanks for sharing Amy

    • Avatar photo
      Amy October 28, 2013 at 7:32 am - Reply

      Funny how the pillow did help. If nothing else (and this was a BIG something), it marked that I had been brave and named out loud what was going on (which was both embarrassing and helpful). And you have been brave too Nicole! I’ll be praying for you.

  10. idelette December 8, 2013 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    I love the idea of the joy pillow! What a beautiful, tangible reminder to seek joy and to seek it until we find it. Thank you for linking up your post with SheLoves!

  11. Shara Nelson December 17, 2013 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Nice Post. I love the prophetic symbol of the pillow. May the Lord bless you with His Joy till it overflows!

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