March 20, 2022
Choose Joy

choose joy 


I was visiting someone and noticed a plaque on their wall that said “Choose Joy”. It reminded me of a time when there wasn’t much joy in my life. I had lost my husband after battling cancer for a year. As you can imagine I was incredibly sad and there was nothing to be joyful about. I had been Mrs. Sam McCullough for 43 years. I would wake up in the morning and sit on the edge of my bed and wonder, “Who am I? What am I supposed to do today?”

Two passages of scripture haunted me. In James 1:1-2 we are told to “Count it all joy when we meet trials of various kinds.” I didn’t like that passage.  I couldn’t see how I could do that. Then I also knew from Galatians 5:22 that “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace ….. etc. But the joy I once had was gone out of my life. 

I knew I had to do something to get out of my grief funk. My feelings didn’t match my Biblical knowledge, so I took some mechanical steps Nan Jeannieforward. The first thing I did was to have Pandora playing Christian music all the time in my home. Sometimes I felt that the Holy Spirit was working through that music station because the songs would come on that were exactly what was going on in my brain. The next thing I knew was that I needed to get out of the house and get moving, even though I didn’t feel like it.  So I continued with my Body & Soul® fitness class that I had attended. However, I came in late and left early because I didn’t want anybody to ask me how I was doing. I let God use the Body & Soul music and exercise to change how I felt and to minister to the grief in my soul.  

Then a friend told me about a Bible study called “Choose Joy.”  I ordered the book and did it on my own. As the word of God ministered to my heart and the music flowed, slowly joy started to flow back into my life. God used his Word, music, and dancing to bring joy back into my life.   I learned that joy truly can be a choice we make!   Sometimes we have to just take that first step and make that first choices to give the Holy Spirit a chance to work.

Do you need to choose joy in some area of your life right now? What will your first step be?


Nan headshotNan McCullough-Huhta‘s history with Body & Soul goes way back to the very beginning. The first class was in her basement and some of the first women to come to know the Lord through Body & Soul were from her neighborhood. She has been on Cru staff ever Nan and Jimsince she graduated from college. Years later, God has surprised Nan with a new joy - a new husband. She feels like God has been blessed her with two “Prince Charmings”  in her life.