Experiencing Joy

By Aiden Neeper

Joy is rare, and to be treasured,  it can be found in situations we have faced at least a couple of times in our lives. One time I experienced joy so powerful, I remember it like it was yesterday. The 2018-2019 school year was tough for me; I was swamped and school was picking up. I tried to enjoy the school year as much as I could, but I felt like I couldn’t escape the troubles I kept facing. I had gone through a breakup that had really hurt me and I began to try and change myself to deal with it. My grades began to slip substantially, I was creating problems with my family left and right, and I was just overall unhappy. I was becoming someone who I was not proud of.

Over time I was able to get back on my feet, however, it was a long process. One moment that stood out to me the most in my change for the better, was when I experienced joy in my dark place. After a busy school year with all the drama, my family went Up North like we usually do. One night I went outside by the lake and I experienced true beauty, as I watched the sun begin to set. It was not the usual pink, but an orange-gold with a partly cloudy sky. I smelled the humid air that was tinged with salt, which was unusual since we were on Lake Michigan.

I continued to stare off into the distance as I noticed the waves crashing into a rocky shore. The waves were not blue as usual, but instead black. I was so moved by this beauty, I entered the lake wearing my shoes and clothes. I felt like I was experiencing pure joy. I realized, while looking back at my grandparents’ beautiful home, that I am very blessed. As I was moved by the forceful waves, I realized that I will always be carried in new directions by God. Although this may seem challenging at times. God has a plan. And the lesson that God showed me was that there will always be joy in the middle, I just need to recognize it more and search for it.

After this powerful experience of joy and appreciation, I took the time to write about it in the notes of my phone, which I still have today. It was quite the experience and I will never forget it.