One of the best things in life is to laugh. I think back to my best memories and they always include belly-aching, tear-jerking laughter; the kind of laughter that has no rhyme or reason, but just is. I’m feeling a bit pensive today, but with an air of goofiness.
I love to laugh. For me, it really is the best form of earthly medicine outside of the deep comfort found in the pages of the Bible. My two best friends from high school were out-of-this-world funny. I think that’s why I fell in love with their hearts so much; they always had something funny to say and saw the joy in everything. I’m literally laughing just thinking of those two knuckleheads. What a blessing they were!
If you can make me laugh, you’ve enchanted my day in such a beautiful way, that there are no words for it. I’ve always taken life very seriously. I was a straight-A student who graduated at the top of my classes both in my baccalaureate and graduate programs. I studied extremely long hours and have lost so much sleep over the years because of wanting to make sure I do things the “right” way. For the past several years, I haven’t stopped to laugh too much. I’ve been very sad, stressed, and sick. It’s actually ironic (and non-coincidental) that as I’ve been tracking my health journey on paper, I’ve noticed that I have “good” months and “bad” months. I always stop to evaluate why some months were better than others, and as ridiculous as it may seem, my smoothest months are those filled with genuine friendship, laughter, and play. I’ve read study after study proving that social engagement is a large determining factor in healing, especially for chronically ill patients. It’s no surprise to me that when I am engaged with friends, enjoying activities, and laughing, I feel better. While being stuck in a cycle of unpredictable symptoms and flare ups makes it extremely hard to constantly stay bubbly and capable of mixing in with friends, I know that having those outlets is of vital importance for me. Without much thought, after having a couple of relatively symptom-free weeks, I joined a salsa dance team back in January 2016, and while it only lasted one week due to my body’s inability to keep up with the rehearsal schedule and physical demands, I LOVED being part of something outside of illness. I mean, I was pretty sloppy and felt pretty flakey when I had to quit the team after just two rehearsals, but I was “out there” doing things my heart just aches to do and it felt so incredible. I definitely try not to think about having to quit and what that means in the big picture, but rather focus on the fact that for that one week, I was dancing and I was laughing. I just LOVE to laugh.
I’m beyond blessed to have a good laugh at least once per day. I work for the most incredibly wonderful doctor, and he doesn’t realize it all the time, but he’s hilarious. The best part is that I think he thrives on my quirkiness. I’m unashamed of how dorky I am, and it makes it easy to get him out of his professional shell. He’s a blessing from God. Sometimes, I impersonate some of our more melodramatic patients, and we both just lose it. We also get a kick out of insurance companies. One time, I was on the phone trying to get in touch with an insurance representative, and I kept saying “representative” when the voice recording would ask me what I needed. I said “representative” at least three dozen times to no avail, and then unknowingly started saying “help….help.” I didn’t realize the doctor was listening, but out of nowhere I heard this insane snorting sound. I put the phone down, looked around, and then quietly asked, “Is that you?” All he could get out was more laughter and the word “help.” Haha! I’m blessed for his friendship. Like, really blessed.
There’s one gal I’m getting to know who happens to be a patient at our office, and she kinda gets me. The quirkiness, awkward jokes, random sense of humor—she’s the same way! We don’t even have to say anything and laughter erupts. I think she could be an answer to prayer. I’ve been asking God for a really funny, silly, lighthearted friend to laugh until I pee my pants with. The kind of friend where all it takes is one glance and you’re done. I want my cheeks and belly to ache from the amount of laughter, and yet I also want to be able to bear my heart and soul. We’ll see what God has in store with this new, blossoming friendship.
Being awkward comes so naturally to me. I find everything so interesting and conversation worthy. If you have a booger on your nose, I’ll tell you and not think much of it. If you can’t poop, I’ll tell you what you can do and discuss the size, consistency, and color of your stool with you. Authenticity means so much to me. When individuals are their true, unfiltered, raw selves with me, it brings me more joy than I can say. Show me your messiness and I’ll love you all the more for it, because I’m unapologetically gawky and I really love that about myself.
Today was a great day. I was nearly symptom free all day, praise God! I don’t know what the magic sauce is, but I’ll take a day like this without question. It’s probably the GAPS intro diet I’ve been on for four consecutive days. I LOVE being able to experience the connection between the gut-brain axis. Essentially, when we feel upset, irritated, angry, sad, and so on, it’s only because our digestion is upset in some way. Conversely, when we’re happy and singing songs, it’s because our digestive system is at rest and filled with probiotics and nutrients it needs to keep your immune system strong and healthy. On days like today, the sun shines a little brighter, the wind caresses my skin, I find the joy in every little thing, and I just want to laugh. It’s such an incredible feeling that I wish I could bottle it up and drink some whenever I have days of deep sadness.
I praise God for times of laughter. It’s so fun to chuckle genuinely. It’s even more fun to cackle like a rooster, have your face turn pink, feel the air leave your belly, and roll onto your side because you just really “can’t even” with joy.
I was thinking of laughter today because my soul was laughing all day. I was just giddy with excitement for life. This day and everyday is a gift from God.
“Every Good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change” (James 1:17).
Friend, I pray that if you’re struggling with times of distress and dismay, that you would think back to the days and times where you were filled with laughter. Those times are from God. Praise Him for them and pray for more opportunities to enjoy moments like those. For today, find a t.v. show that makes you giggle; put on your favorite song and dance like a goober; do your best Donald Trump impersonation (I guarantee it’ll bring forth YUUUUGE amounts of laughter); make a waggish, funny face in the mirror and say something serious at the same time (you won’t be able to). Above all, thank God for your life. Thank Him that you get one more day on earth to see His glory, interact with His creation, and be a blessing to those around you. You are so richly loved by the maker of the stars and heavens. He knows every creature swimming the depths of the ocean, and even more, He knows the yearnings and longings of your heart. Cry out to Jesus today, and thank Him for your life.
I’m so thankful for each day. Today, I’m especially thankful for laughter. I love to laugh, and I know you do too.