Corrupting Joy

by | Dec 14, 2011 | Uncategorized

We decide to open one, just one gift on Christmas Eve. It would be the first time to do this and the anticipation in my fifth grade heart beats hard.  After we open one, we all decide to open another.  Then another. And before the night is over shreds of sparkly paper, ripped boxes and pieces of ribbon cover the floor.

I sit cross-legged among the aftermath, clasp the watch around my wrist. The gift I hoped for the most. The one that looks like a stack of brown squares with the tan vinyl band.  And suddenly all that joy turns into sorrow and my heart sinks like a ballon out of helium.

Christmas a few years earlier, I am alone in the house after school and I find boxes tucked away under clothes in the bottom of my mother’s closet.  Just a peek, I tell myself. It won’t matter if I know early.

And when I open the red suede ice skates on Christmas morning, lay them in my nightgown lap, she knows. I’m not very good at masking my true feelings. What intends to bring the surprise of joy is now a symbol of guilt. 

It does hurt, this needing to know before it’s time.

Because my impatience corrupts joy, circumvents redemption.

I wonder how many times I have done this in my lifetime. Made a decision, responded to circumstances from emotion in a moment of weakness, and missed out on knowing true joy.  Seeing redemption mend, heal, restore if I could

We can’t rush redemption. Decide when it is going to happen, how it is going to happen, polish it all neat and shiny and wrap it in the “I shoulds” the world insists upon.

We wait for it. Trust in the way it came to us laying in a straw-filled manger among smelly barn animals all those years ago and wait for it.  And at just the right time, embrace redemption the way it comes.

Because it will come. And when it does, we will be full of joy.

Linking with Ann, Emily and Jennifer today. I hope you will visit their blogs too.  Their words reveal true gifts as we walk through Advent.

Subscribe for Shelly’s stories and free resources here:


  1. Rose @ Walnut Acre

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this this morning. I am waiting on some things to change, and in fact my daughter and I shed some tears over the situation this morning. But, I know, in God’s in time, He will work in the situation. In the meantime I am blessed in so many ways, with loving kids and husband and a wonderful Church family. I simply need to be patient and trust.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Rose, before I clicked publish I prayed that at least one person would be touched by what I wrote in this post. You were the first person to comment and what you said here is a direct answer to that prayer. God is with us. He loves us so much. I am overwhelmed by His goodness.

  2. Kelly

    Yes, the waiting. And Mary as she waited 9 long months, and then traveled at the end of her pregnancy on a donkey-that wait- must have been torture. And yet she bore the pain of waiting, until just the right moment-and gave birth to our Messiah and Redeemer! Hallelujah! Thanks for your words. Blessings from Uganda

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Kelly, I think about Mary too when it comes to waiting. That she held the promise of her son being the Messiah for all those years before it was evident to the world.

  3. Deidra

    Yeah. His timing is perfect, isn’t it? It is so like me to want to hurry things along. Thanks for this.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yes, painful lesson to learn sometimes. But as the years go by, lessons learned and I can rest knowing He is at work, even when I don’t see evidence right away.

  4. kd sullivan

    It is in the waiting that the transformation and joy happens….rush the epiphany, and it never comes.

  5. roseann elliott

    great post…we can not rush transformation…and so true…how our impatience corrupts joy…wise words here…
    blessings to you~

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Always have to remember this when it comes to parenting. I sometimes forget that it took me all these years to understand, be transformed so I can’t expect them to have the same understanding when they are just starting their journey.

  6. brian miller

    my impatience corrupts joy…nice…and so true…i was having a similar convo earlier today but you captured it succintly …spot on…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thanks Brian. Nice to know this was a sacred echo for you.

  7. Dolly

    You said it so well what I have been discovering these past several years…waiting enlarges us and prepares us for the joy… thank you 🙂

    • Redemption's Beauty

      We just hope it won’t take too long! Blessings to you.

  8. Jennifer@GDWJ

    Things rushed always leave me feeling deflated. A quick emotional “high” can’t sustain. Yet, God’s timing is perfect. I am always and ever needing to relearn this …

    (So glad you linked again. Your voice is a treasure.)

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Yeah, me too Jennifer when it comes to being rushed. Really don’t like that feeling. Waiting is easier to do in concept, actually living it out is a challenge. Thanks for your encouragement. You are a treasure.

  9. apesydaisy

    This is such a good analogy! Redemption is a process, and one that we are oftentimes too impatient for. Thanks for the reminder.

Pin It on Pinterest