Did you ever have a “not-so-good” day?  Or did you wake up one morning to a mind full of worries, causing you to feel it was going to be a very bad morning?  I remember one such morning that began as I entered the main office building at the school where I was teaching.  On the way to my classroom, I saw a dear friend and colleague.  It had become our custom to greet each other in the mornings and share a hug.  Not this particular morning though.

I walked on by with barely a glance in her direction, and simply stated emphatically, “This is not a good day.”  I can still recall the look on her face as I walked away.  She was probably thinking, Who was that and where is Jennifer?

As I neared my classroom, I came to the realization that my emotions had once again gotten the best of me.  With my first period class about to begin, there was no time to apologize, no time to sort out my emotions, and no time to resolve anything.

So, I did what I had become good at over the course of the past two years: I covered my emotions back up and moved on.  It seemed like the perfect solution.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.  First period went well, despite my earlier outburst.  Apparently, the band-aid I placed over my emotions was holding, at least for the moment.

When you think about it, a band-aid is really just a temporary fix.  On its own merit, a band-aid cannot heal a minor abrasion.  A band-aid will not stop a profusely bleeding wound.  In fact, a band-aid’s purpose is simple: it covers the wound and keeps the wound from being exposed to bacteria.

I used the same method of protecting my emotions, I covered them up with a band-aid and made sure they were not exposed to others.  The problem was, the emotions I covered began to fester.  My attempt to cover my emotions was gradually failing.

Oh, sure, most people likely had no clue about the internal battle that I was fighting.  I did what I had to do.  I smiled and carried on, week by week, day by day, moment by moment.  They likely saw my smile and thought, how strong she is!  Such a positive person with a positive perspective on life.

But on the inside, I just wanted to know why.  Why did God take my Mama away?  Why couldn’t I save her?  Why didn’t the EMTs get there sooner?  Why…

No answer came.  I did not understand why God would not answer the cry of His child.

I could not comprehend why God would allow this to happen.  This was not supposed to happen.  Not now.  Not ever.  Not in my plans.

Later that day, I stopped by to see my friend, unsure of what I would say.  How do you apologize to someone for having a bad day?  I prayed, hoping an answer would come.  The moment I saw her, she embraced me with open arms.  I had my answer.

Before I could speak, she imparted words of wisdom that I will always remember.  She said, “Jennifer, there is no such thing as having a bad day.  There are twenty-four hours in a day.  You may have a difficult morning or afternoon, but you can choose to have a good day.”  Such simple words, yet they made a long-lasting and profound impact.

I sat down, apologized for my outburst and told her how much I appreciated the advice and even more, her friendship.  She didn’t quote scripture, she didn’t read a passage out of a book…she just reminded me that I had a choice.  She helped me remember that every day is a good day.  Through her encouragement, I realized then and there that I could choose to have a bad day or I could choose to have a good day.  Sure, I could throw a pity party that would have no benefit whatsoever, moping around with a frown on my face, looking like a sad, lost puppy.  Or I could choose to be grateful that I was given a brand new day by our Heavenly Father.  I could choose to thank Him for the breath that I took when I awoke that morning.  I could simply relish in the joy of knowing that Jesus would walk with me, in good times and bad.

Paul said, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11 NIV).  We need to follow Paul’s example, regardless of our current situation.  In joyful times, trust God.  In sorrowful times, trust God.  God will bring you to a place of joy and rest.  He can turn bad mornings into hope-filled days.  He can change difficult days into blessed weeks.  He can transform tattered months into joyous years.  God can do anything but fail.

When you wake up tomorrow morning, give thanks to God for the first breath you take.  Thank Him for the sunrise, thank Him for your family and friends, thank Him for loving you.  He loves you more than you could ever imagine.  He wants you to have a life worth living, full of hope for the future.  Instead of choosing to have a bad day, choose to have a good one.  Choose to have hope for a brighter future.  Choose to serve the Giver of Hope.  Choose to LIVE your LIFE!