Finding Joy in Unexpected Places

To My Fellow Joy-Seekers,

I see you. I see you looking anywhere and everywhere for some “THING” that will bring you joy. You’ve felt lost, for no reason that you can put words to. You’re lonely and you feel like no one truly sees you for who you are. You feel like there is a strength inside of you, but you don’t remember how to tap into it exactly.

So you keep looking.

Sometimes, as you long to satisfy your need for a mere moment of happiness, the thing you find actually works. It numbs the sting of your current situation and allows you to move away from the heaviness you carry around on your shoulders. But, my dear friend, you see that the numbing is only temporary.

So you keep looking.

You move towards your outward appearance because you want to LOVE the woman staring back at you in the mirror. You believe that if your appearance changes, then your soul will begin to lift too. You shop. You contour. You cut your hair. You buy the new shoes. And all of this works… until the end of the day sets in & you climb back into bed where the heaviness meets you again.

So you keep looking.

You call your favorite people in hopes that they will lift you to some place higher than where you’ve been. You attempt to borrow some form of confidence so you can feel like yourself again. You gather for coffee. You plan dinners together. You socialize. And this formula for temporary joy works. Until that one moment you realize that you haven’t been truly open with them about your heaviness. So you feel isolated yet again.

And you keep looking.

Your search for joy continues because all of the temporary solutions you found seemed to work. You felt like you were on the right track. You repeat the cycle, because at this point any form of happiness will do.

My dear friend, I see you looking. I see you afraid to admit that life has felt heavy for you lately. I see you desperately searching for someone to relate to… for someone to truly SEE you in all of your beauty, in all of your pain, in all of your mess, in all of your joy… and then to love you anyway.

This world doesn’t offer long-lasting solutions to your pain. Their fix is merely temporary. But you are too beautiful of a person to settle for temporary happiness.

You deserve to feel all the goodness and peace that’s coming to you. You have been through hard things on your journey, but you have come through each situation victoriously. The only battle you continue to fight is the one within your mind.

To the woman seeking joy today… declare this with me:

I am worthy of love.
I am worthy of joy.
I am worthy of happiness.
I can have joy right now in this moment.
I have breath, so I am grateful.
I am created for a purpose.
My sadness is only temporary, because I am loved.
I am loved by the One who formed me in my mother’s womb.
There is nothing set before me that I will not be able to endure.
My life has meaning, even if I don’t see how yet.
I am breaking the barriers set within my mind.
This sadness is only a season.
I am full of peace.
Help is everywhere, so I will not stop until I find it.
I am determined.
I will persevere.
There is nothing I cannot do.

My heart goes out to you as you face this season in your journey. I’ve been in your shoes too many times in my life and each time it felt like the season was never going to end. There is good news, though. The season will end. Just as winter eventually turns into spring, your season of seeking joy will turn into giving your joy to others. The key is to remember this key piece of information: the seasons are temporary.

If you are struggling to find happiness in the same places you’ve always looked, I challenge you to look up. Look around. Look in unexpected places. You may have been going down the same paths that have always made you happy, but look around. Your dark season may bring you to a place where you see joy in new ways…

Maybe it’s found in a sunset. Or on a couch watching your favorite funny re-run. Maybe it’s journaling for the first time and discovering a love for writing that you didn’t know you had. Maybe you find it in a new gym membership, or outside in the fresh air with nature. Maybe you head back to that church you were invited to or you call up that one friend you ran into recently.

You see, when the pain of our dark moments becomes unbearable, we look anywhere to find peace. And sometimes, that new form of joy was exactly what we needed to discover in order to turn the chapter in the book of our lives.

In your difficult seasons you uncover new truths about yourself, and you begin to find new ways to heal. Don’t fear your dark moments. Just as the pupils in your eyes adjust to the dark when the lights get turned off, so your mind should adjust to the hard seasons you find yourself in. Look around, friend. As you adjust to the darkness, you may find light in the most unexpected places.

Don’t ever suffer alone. There’s always someone willing to help you along your journey.

Embrace all the tiny moments of joy you find. I can promise you they are building something beautiful in you.

I, too, find inspiration everywhere. Here are some verses & quotes that help me when life feels heavy:

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will renew you in His love; He will exult over you with loud singing.” -Zephaniah 3:17

“Come to me, all who are weary & heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” -Matthew 11:28

“Ain’t no one going to hit as hard as life. It’s not how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.” -Rocky (Sylvester Stallone)

“If you can’t fly, then run,
If you can’t run, then walk,
If you can’t walk, then crawl,
but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” -Martin Luther King, Jr

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.” -Isaiah 43:2

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