Monday, May 19, 2008

Joy cometh in the morning

I recently read a great talk by Gayle Clegg, formerly of the Primary General Presidency. What she had to say really touched me.

"Why is life so complicated? Why is there so much “unearned” suffering? ... In our heart of hearts we think we should be immune to some of our deepest heartache because we are trying so hard and contributing so much. Sometimes I think suffering is the answer to that arrogance. Do we search for food and water and firewood every day in a parched desert or seek safety in a crime-infested, concrete inner city? We do not. In some ways these trials reinforce how blessed our lives really are. Hospitals with tubes and tests and insurance tangles and all the things that kill the spirit outright while trying to heal the body are nevertheless a gift to us.

Joy comes through misery and heartache . . . The joy is not in arriving, but in getting better each time a new challenge is thrown your way, each time you learn in a new situation. Joy comes not from having a pain-free life but from conquering the obstacles, even when they are painful. If our children can see us enduring well and finding laughter, humor, and joy in the process, I think some of this will rub off on them. It will take many conversations, sometimes late at night, early in the morning, and all the times in between, but it is worth it. And as was prayed for in the temple dedication at Kirtland, we can pray that Heavenly Father will send us forth from our homes armed with His power, with His name upon us, with His glory round about us, and strengthened by His angels (see D&C 109:22). We pray through the night and joy comes in the morning in the form of a new perspective, a new energy and resolve, a conversation with someone who validates or mentors or just remembers."


kannie said...

Wow - how did she know we've been dealing with hospitals and insurance troubles?!?! ;-) That is such a great excerpt - I'm feeling better already, and I'm definitely looking forward to the morning! :-)

Christine said...

Ann, lovely quote. Tory and I were actually just talking about this same thing last night. I was telling him that he has helped to bring back my joy. I told him how, when I was younger, people would always tell me I was the happiest person they knew and they never saw anyone smile as much as me. But then when I got sick and was so unwell for so long, no one said that to me anymore. For a while it made me feel bad, that I wasn't the world's happiest person anymore. But then as I grew from those experiences and as I finally was able to leave them behind, the loneliness of those years crept in to replace the pain. I had happy times, of course, and days of triumph, but I never returned to the "happy girl." And then Tory came along and helped me find my joy.

Recently I have been looking back on things and pondering the outcome. I certainly am still not the "happy girl" anymore, but I don't want to be, either. Perpetual (and sometimes pretended) happiness is not joy. Through those years of pain and struggle, I have now come to truly appreciate my joy. I did not always recognize it then, but I can a bit more easily now. And I don't think I had so much joy ever before, or at least I didn't enjoy it and understand it and appreciate it like I do now.

So sometimes the hard things in life are worth the struggle, to help us find our true joy.

chantilita said...

I just watched that episode of WW where they quote that scripture--"Joy cometh in the morning..."

I needed to read that today. Thanks :)