If you’re in a difficult season of life that won’t be over anytime soon, this is for you.

There are times in life that are not going to get easier for a long while, even with our very best efforts. Illnesses, financial problems, relationship complications—there are some difficulties in life that aren’t going to quickly go away. So, rather than waiting for these times to be over, the best thing we can do is work up the strength and endurance to meet those challenges in ways that feel like self-respect.

So often, we are in situations we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves, putting us in a place we wish we could run away from, but, here we are, having to figure it out. So, it takes a new focus. We have to grow into a new version of ourselves.

How do we do this?

In times like these, we have to dedicate extreme focus to becoming stronger, rather than focusing our energy trying to escape from our trials or trying to make our trials come to an end sooner than they can. Some of our trials are a marathon rather than a sprint, so we have to pace ourselves and work on growing our strength.

And we can!

You may cry and throw fits when it’s hard. You may give yourself a few minutes a day to jump up and down with anger and grief before you’ve got to get back to the business of figuring things out and carrying on.

You are making it through, and you will keep making it through.

And friend, just because things are difficult, it doesn’t mean you can’t smile and laugh and dance and create moments of sheer joy. This is the only way to make it sometimes! 

We can notice the beautiful little mercies that are all around us, we can take time to seek out the beauty that’s always there. We can appreciate the moments of happiness, comfort, and rest. We can create moments in between the battles that are filled with laughter, fun, and friendship.

You don’t have to suffer so much, even when there is still a long road ahead. You can sing as you keep walking—you can even make up funny songs that make you laugh! You can put a little dance in your step. You can focus on the mercies that show up just in time to help you take the next step, and show gratitude in beautiful and fun ways. Part of finding your deep well of strength is finding joy inside of difficult seasons of life. You can do it, friend. Joy is meant for you in all seasons.

We humans are resilient, incredible creatures. We can do so much more than we think we can. We really can have good days inside of impossible situations. We really can find joy in the messes. We really can create beauty inside the bonfire that seems to be our life.

That, my friend, is how you become a warrior of joy. You were born for this. You are doing so much better than you think you are doing . . . you are getting stronger and stronger every day. Your beauty is shining brightly from inside of you because of it. You are a beautiful sight to behold. Thank you for being you.

You are so very, very loved.