It was the first time I was ashamed and embarrassed to smile, yet I didn’t even fully understand why.
It was the fourth grade.
One of the popular boys called me a name… a name I didn’t understand… but I understood the context and the snickers from his guy friends. A name that called out my full lips. A name that kept me from smiling that year for school pictures and instead, I held my lips in to make them look smaller.
That was the first time I can remember satan trying to steal my smile.
The second was 7th grade.
A girl in my choir class, who was supposed to be a christian, but never smiled or showed any enjoyment in life, called me out for always smiling.
Her words, still etched in my brain, “Tiffany, you should stop smiling all the time, you are going to get wrinkles.”
That was the second time I remember satan trying to steal my smile.
Since then, there have been moments that I have been utterly crushed, my smile hidden by the wounds of a diagnosis, relationship issues, and real life woes.
But, I learned years ago, during an especially trying time, that my joy was connected to my faith. Joy and faith work together, a dynamic duo, two powerful forces that synergistically work together. To have one without the other is like having dynamite without a fuse. A gun without the bullets.
Why do you think satan is after your smile?
You can have some faith without joy… we’ve seen those Christians in the fight and we have been there before too. But you can’t have a lot of faith without joy.
Joy is the cup of coffee to you daily to-do list. It will keep you going. It will keep you from giving up. It will keep you strong in the fight. It will be contagious and draw others into the Kingdom. It will make the fight and the journey do-able, memorable, and dare I say it… enjoyable.
You may be in the battle today. You may be fighting the good fight. You may be believing and standing in faith. The most powerful thing you can do to your faith is support it with joy!
Protect your joy at all costs. Don’t let satan steal your smile.
“The joy of the Lord is your strength!” Nehemiah 8:10
Cheering you on, Tiffany
Tiffany Jo Baker MA, CLC