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  • Artisha Bolding

Jesus, You're the center of my joy. All that's good and perfect comes from you

Jesus, You're the center of my joy

All that's good and perfect comes from you. - Richard Smallwood


DC represent! Even though this legend in the gospel world was born in Atlanta, he formed his group The Richard Smallwood singers in DC. And believe me, DC claims him. I have been a fan since my mom played his record over and over again on Sunday mornings when we were living in DC. I never thought about it but I'm sure now that I got that habit from her. That ability to listen to the same song or the same album back to back to back. Hey, if we like a song you will know it because you'll hear it all the time and most certainly at high volumes. This song is definitely one of my favorites of all time. I guess you could say I'm on a classics kick lately, last week not withstanding. I just love a timeless song and Center of My Joy fits the bill.


The idea of "center" is one that I began to focus on when I was healing physically and emotionally from the scariest situation I've ever faced. In 2018 my life was weary. Out of nowhere I had started to become ill and to make matters worse, doctors had no clue what was going on. In this day and age with all the access and all the technology these folks were stumped. And I was not feeling them at all. Many days I had to bite my tongue because I just wanted to scream. The sad thing is it would hurt to do that. Even sadder than that I would likely be ignored or worse possibly referred for psychiatric treatment. My faith is what sustained me through that ordeal.


All of the ER visits and all of the meds made me frustrated, but I found my center again when I got still. I first had to listen to what the Holy Spirit was speaking to my heart (I know that's a different song, but just follow me lol). Then I had to open my mouth and speak for myself. My body needed to be reminded that it was not in control. I had the power to heal and the power to overcome. It was all at my center. I had to pray and praise my way out of depression and sickness. I had to rediscover my joy in Jesus. After seeing the results of shifting my focus back on things that were important, I decided never to go back to my old way of living again. God made me good and perfect in His sight. I didn't have to live miserable and out of alignment. All I had to do was get back to center.


Richard also talks about contentment and hope in the song. Trying to find these things outside of Christ is useless. I found that out for myself. Returning to center was so impactful that I wrote a book based on the idea. My very first published work Journal For Your Journey is a prayer book and its subtitle is 31 Days of Prayer to Center Your Soul. Praying the Holy Scriptures changed the very atmosphere around me; it changed my life. That's why I wanted to pass the wisdom on to others so that they could have renewed faith and see the results for themselves. God left us a good and perfect path to follow. He left us good and perfect instructions to adhere to and His love for us speaks throughout. All we have to do is remember to keep Him in the center of it all.


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