“. . . . men are that they might have joy.” – 2 Nephi 2:25. #princeofpeace
Like most people my teen years were really rough, the years leading up to when my parents separated and then divorced were some of THE hardest times of my life. We love our dad, but addiction brings on a lot of manipulation, dishonesty, hurt, among other things, not to mention the financial struggles. My mom was such an amazing support to all of us and did all she could to keep us together and united. Her love and faith is what got us all through those years. I would often come home from school and find her praying next to her bed – her prayers are very specific as she has a beautiful relationship with our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. Some of the words that she would plead to our Father for us kids was “that they might have joy throughout this hard time” .
The summer after my dad left was really hard – so much unknown and a heaviness was looming over us. My mom worked so hard to provide all that we needed, but more often than not we did not have any money for extras. That Fall we decided to take a drive to go see the leaves in the canyon, one of my favorite fall activities. My mom really tried to help us find joy – and those things usually needed to be free. On the way home we decided to stop at a farmers market near Brigham City. I remember seeing lots of baskets of raspberries and peaches for sale. Now raspberries are one of my most favorite things, they are such a treat and make my heart happy when I get to have some. My mom saw how much I really wanted to get some raspberries, but with our financial situation the raspberries were not something that I was going to get to take home. I remember sitting in the back of the car just angry that I was not going to have some raspberries, angry that we did not have money, angry that my dad had left, angry with my life. I was so sad.
A knock at the door changed all that. A women who lived several blocks away and who we were not really great friends with, but who was part of our church congregation was standing at the door. She was holding a container of raspberries. She told us that she did not know why, but felt that she needed to bring us some raspberries. Of course I was elated to have some raspberries, but my mom took the opportunity to teach me.
This sister was so kind to bring them, but really they were sent to us from our Father in Heaven, a tender mercy to show us He is aware and He loves us.. At that point people still did not know that our dad was no longer living with us. There was no way for her to know that this small kind gesture would mean so much to us. I had just been doing something I usually absolutely love – looking at the beautiful fall colors, but instead of enjoying and being grateful for the time with my family, I spent the time being angry and feeling sorry for myself. The scripture says “that they might have joy”, and my mom had been praying for that same thing for us kids- the key word there is “might”. Might is not a promise, might does not imply that we WILL have joy, the word might actually means we have a choice. Even though we all experience so much hard, so much sadness, so many trials, we are here to have joy as well – we just have to choose to have it, actually see the happy things in our lives and be grateful.
Our Father in Heaven is aware of us, He wants us to be happy and to have faith in Him as we struggle through the hard times we experience in life, but He also wants us to make the choice to be happy and look for the beauties and joys this life has to offer. Through that experience and many more, I came to be one that tries to see the happy things in life. My mom’s faith has shown me over and over again that as we try our best to be good people and follow the commandments, as we pray for specific things, and we are grateful, we really do choose to have joy and we are blessed.
What are some things that you do to choose joy?
See the Happy!