Finding Lasting Joy After Deep Sorrow

I’ve discovered some secrets to finding lasting joy after deep sorrow. I wanted to share them with you.

In my last post, I let you in on what I had been keeping private about the difficult year I had in 2022. Going through a divorce, anarchy with my teenagers, and all the emotional pain such things bring. 

Not only was that an excruciating season but being vulnerable and open about it was something I had to work up to. Something I had to pray for courage about. Because I’ve learned a lot through it, and I want to share with you some of the lessons. I think they might be helpful, because they apply to many of life’s challenges.

The topic at hand is how to find lasting joy after deep sorrow. I fully believe you can, because I have. Here are three things I’ve learned.

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  • Joy isn’t dependent upon circumstances.

  • To make such an outrageous claim requires faith in something greater than myself. I do have faith in God, and His word demonstrates to me that life doesn’t have to be perfect to experience true peace and joy. The transcendent truths of God’s story, and how He has worked in my life, show me that no matter what happens to me, I am in His hands. 

    To give more details might border on preachy, so I’ll leave it at that for now. I’d be curious to know if you’ve found the same to be true in your life.

  • We can have assurance in the midst of tough circumstances.

  • It’s impossible to separate my faith from how I live and perceive things, so I’m taking the risk of telling it to you as I see it. I hope you don’t mind.

    As I’ve struggled this past year, a particular passage of scripture has been particularly comforting to me:

    “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

    James 1:2-4

    That passage has taught me that while I am deep in the midst of hard times, God is making a way. He is developing my character and making me a more resilient person. Learning that has been so encouraging. 

    My difficulties are not wasted! Nor are yours. God is making something beautiful through them! How wonderful! That alone provides a rock-solid perspective to keep my chin up on the toughest days.

  • The 90/10 principle.
  • Chuck Swindoll famously said, “We have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for the day. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. Our attitude is everything.

    Embracing that as a frame of reference has helped tremendously in navigating dark days. 

    The kids are acting up? What can I teach them that will help them be better future adults?

    I’m feeling many complicated emotions due to filing for divorce from my husband? 

    It was the right thing to do, and feelings are temporary. How can I focus on the personal healing I’m experiencing and the bright hope that the future holds?


    I could come up with many more examples, but you get the idea. Life is challenging. Some seasons offer more gloom than sunshine. 

    But knowing that circumstances can’t steal my joy (unless I let them) is reassuring. Leaning into God’s care for me, and who He is making me to become because of the challenges gives me hope to keep going. Finally, knowing that I can choose how to respond to what happens to me is highly empowering to put into practice.

    I hope these principles have helped you think about your challenges in a different way. I believe that no one should face their trials alone. If you need help, ask someone that cares about you. If I can offer you any further encouragement, reach out. I’d love to hear from you!

    Thank you for reading!



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    Love you so much friend! What a trial, but appreciate your wise words about Joy 💕 Derrick and I have found this very thing to to be true; painful but oh so true. The Joy is there, it’s comes every morning if we have eyes to see and ears to hear.

    Sarah Brinkman

    I’m so sorry 2022 was what it was. 💔

    LaCinda Halls

    Hi Marisa!
    Thank you for sharing your personal journey. You are brave and you are strong. Knowing you since you were little, I know your decision came to you with much thought, prayers and trepidation. The Bible quote you shared was helpful to me right now as my best friend is struggling with reoccurring cancer. I will pray for your continued strength. You deserve to be happy!❤️🥰❤️
    Love, Julie

    Julie Jorge

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