Several months ago I was eating chips and salsa across from my pregnant sister discussing middle names for her baby. I jokingly said, “You guys should name her Isla Joy, after me.”
Then my sister was all like, “How did you know? We really want to give her your middle name.”
And I dropped my salsa-filled chip and almost burst into tears. I have never been so touched. This little human will have a piece of me forever! SO COOL!
I want her to forever know how special I think she is, and how much I have loved carrying this name.
First of all: super cool name, I love it. Go give your parents a hug for giving you such a cool name.
Joy is one of the most beautiful concepts. I love carrying it with me. I want to tell you why, and I hope it becomes the theme of your life.
Joy isn’t something you can conjure up. You can’t find it just anywhere. It is one of those things that you know when you feel it. It isn’t the same as happiness, it is at the root of every good thing. It will come bursting into your heart and filling your soul when you look for it… but joy is also very strange because you can feel it even when you’re experiencing deep sorrow. There is always joy when you search for it. Joy is something you choose.
Joy comes from knowing Jesus. I hope you get to know Jesus at a young age, little Isla. The only way to be fulfilled in this life is through him. The only way to live an abundant and joyful life is through him. The world is a lot of nonsense until you get to know him, and then the big things start to make sense.
The hope of heaven gives the ultimate joy. Worshipping a savior who is bigger than all your problems and bigger than every bad thing in the world? That is true joy, my sweet Isla.
Life apart from Jesus is a scary place. The devil will try to rob you of your joy, but don’t let him. Sometimes bad things happen, but joy comes in the morning. Choose it. Live in Jesus’ love and light. You’ll be so glad you did.
When you experience something and it’s so good and perfect that you know it was a special blessing just from him, those are some cool and joy-filled moments. I think of playing cards as a kid with our family on vacation and seeing someone you love after a long time apart. I think of that feeling in your chest when you feel so close to God, like you could almost reach out and touch him. That is the feeling. That feeling will be small sometimes and then sometimes it will completely overtake you.
There is joy in being loved and giving love. You are so loved, Isla. I hope you give it back to everyone around you. Choose joy and then spread it around. You won’t run out.
Your Mils loves you so much already, and I haven’t even met you yet! I can’t wait to hold you and tell you all of these things.
1 Peter 1:8-9 “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”