Pursuing Joy Despite the Pain - Life as Mrs. Wilson

26 February, 2018

Pursuing Joy Despite the Pain

I believe each of us are born with a life purpose, and I believe that one of the most important things we must all do in life is both discover and honor that purpose.

While I'm still on the path to discovering my own personal life purpose, I do know that if I could give you one word to describe what I honor most in life right now, it's joy. Or rather, the pursuit of joy.

I've always considered myself a happy person, which felt deeply hypocritical to say during the darkest of my years with depression. However, I have always held the belief that we were each created to have joy here on this earth - and that that is actually the point of our very existence: to have joy.
Now I'm not trying to say that I think we were meant to just have joy and only joy in this life. I believe that there's value in trials, even necessity for trials. I truly believe that we must endure sorrow to fully appreciate joy, and that our greatest struggles in life will guide us to the greatest joys in life. The most significant thing I've learned regarding joy, however, is how crucial it is for us to pursue joy despite the pain we experience.

My life, and I am sure your life as well, has been filled with a lot of pain. From the big trials to the small trials, and all the way to the ones that have brought me to my knees in despair, I get that it's not always easy to even want to pursue joy. I get that there are moments in life that knock us down so hard we feel that even breathing is too heavy of a burden, but even in those moments of anguish, we each have the power to continue on. We have the power to choose to pick ourselves back up, rise above the sorrow, and begin to heal.

We have the power to chase contentment, and we have the power to create a life for ourselves that is not only happy, but joyous. 
I wish I could adequately express to you how profoundly better my life has become since I truly discovered that I could still live joyfully despite my struggles, and even during my struggles. I wish I could better describe to you the hope, gratitude, and peace I feel knowing that we were each innately designed to have joy.

But I hope that if you are currently in a season of sorrow or pain, that you know how incredibly loved you are, and that there is joy in store for you - and lots of it. I hope that if you're reading this and can't remember what joy feels like, that you will fight for that feeling with everything you have, and that you won't give up on pursuing joy today. I promise you it's worth the pursuit. It's worth the struggle, it's worth the tears, it's worth the pain. And I think it's important that I remind you of that.

So I guess maybe that is my life purpose...to have joy and to share joy. Because my goodness, I have never before felt so compelled to simply share the joy I feel. I've never been this happy in my life, and I know it is because I intentionally choose to pursue joy every single day. So whether you're in the trenches of trial or the pinnacle of peace, I hope you know how deserving you are of joy. I hope you know that you were meant to have joy in this life, and that you can pursue joy despite the pain.
"The joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives." 
-Russel M. Nelson