I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. John 15:11
Have you ever felt like giving up? I mean, when it seems like taking one more step forward will only take you over the edge. Have you ever felt so close to the edge that you wanted to give up?
Well, I have. Not the suicide kind of giving up, but the “I don’t want to get out of bed because it’s going to be more of the same, and I just don’t want to face it” kind of giving up. That is how I felt when I was laid off. I was a project manager at United Methodist Communications for one of the new focus areas, Global Health. I had loved being a part of the launch of the Global Health Initiative. It was exciting when we partnered with the United Nations Foundation to launch the lifesaving “Nothing But Nets” (NBN) campaign. Our goal was to raise awareness and millions of dollars to fight malaria in five African countries. The campaign swept The United Methodist Church, and our efforts paid off by being able to distribute thousands of bed nets to families to combat the startling statistic that announced that every minute a child died from malaria. I felt I was fulfilling a calling, living in my purpose. Every day I felt I was making a difference.
Then the layoffs were announced. I became one of the statistics of a “force reduction.” A year later, still unemployed, I lost my house. So I know what it feels like to want to give up. But in spite of how my life looked on the outside, something inside me kept me from giving up. Later, I realized it was through prayer, loving people in my life, and knowing my purpose, that I was able to keep going. I started my private practice as a counselor. I launched my website, “JoyPath Unlimited,” which offered inspirational writings that I believed would inspire others to live with joy. I began leading workshops on health and wellness at churches.
That’s when I realized that my purpose wasn’t tied to one activity. My purpose is larger than a job, bigger than one assignment, more enduring than what my job title or occupation is. When I recognized my purpose is to bring inspiration, information, and insight to people on health and wellness, then I knew I would go on and I could not give up. God has called me to live for a purpose, and my purpose brings me joy—despite the life challenges that “come at me fast.” I realized that my joy did not come from my employment; my joy comes from my purpose. It is wonderful when I can get a paycheck from working in my purpose, but I can’t stop because my employment stops or my circumstance changes. I trust that God has provided a way for me to live my purpose. And I keep going.
This blog is about living with joy and about the joy that comes from living with purpose. I will focus us on the healing, restorative power of living with joy. My hope is that you will discover your own strength; fully live your divine purpose; and most of all, connect to your joy.
- What brings you joy and allows you to keep going?
- Are you living your purpose? If you aren’t, continue to listen to your story and the stories you will read here. Your purpose will unfold.
My Daily Joys
- Eating my homemade cinnamon bread while savoring my tea in the sunshine and the silence
- Eating a bowl of homemade mac and cheese—with no regrets
- My daughter and I singing along with Whitney Houston all the way to New Orleans
- Finding a parking space in the shade on one of the hottest days ever
- Finding a Chinese restaurant that still makes egg foo young
- Noticing that daylight hours are getting longer
- The pink earbuds on my headphones