I wake up, get ready for the day and tell myself whatever I need to hear to be strong enough to make it. I tell myself that I am loved even though my mom has walked out her motherly role. I tell myself that my little brothers can still achieve anything without a mom. But as the day goes on, things start to eat at my spirit and the sound of my strong voice deafens. The devastation found in the absence of the small things I’ve once taken for granted, remind me that I have lived my life wrong. Regret takes its turn and torments me. I reconsider the days that I had with my mom. And I start to wish that I had loved and appreciated her as fiercely as I could when I lived with her. But now she is somewhere out there hurting. And I cannot do anything but pray that she comes back home soon.

In the past few days, I have been searching for something meaningful, but beauty is and always will be available to me in every waking moment. The world can never be too joyful, too kind, too wonderful. There is room for more of that; it will never get crowded.

I recognize that a conscious decision to fight for JOY and everything that is good and wholesomely within my reach, is not impossible for me. Good things are not beyond me because I am going through something devastating. Promise dwells in my potential to choose happiness even though the circumstances in my life are telling me to give up.

Fighting for joy until I have it, is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. But right before I go to bed, I think about the past 48 hours and I acknowledge that there is victory in endurance. (I have made it to see September! All the bad is being left behind in August.) Fighting for joy in the midst of trials is a marvelous fight that one should never get tired of fighting for.