Beyond Happy


"To be joyful for me means that I’m happy. Beyond happy. It’s like my heart is skipping inside my chest. There are three times I really notice that feeling: when I get to talk to people, when I’m telling jokes, and when I get to go swimming.


Swimming has always brought me joy. When I was 6 years old, my dad taught me to swim. He said, “jump in! I’ll catch you!” I was afraid at first, but once I learned, he had to drag me out of the water. Since that day, it has been one of my favorite places to be. I love to swim because it feels like stress relief from life. When I’m swimming, I’m just swimming. I don’t have to think about anything else.


Talking to people and telling jokes hasn’t always brought me joy like swimming has.. It was really hard for me to talk to people for a really long time. I didn’t discover that it brought me joy until later, when I started to heal and become comfortable interacting with people. Once I did, it allowed me to slow down and appreciate the people around me. That connection really brings me joy.


If someone is searching for joy, I’d tell them to turn to God. He will put joy in their hearts. He will lead them to joy because He is joy. " - MT (First Trafficked at Age 9)


Joy. Joy is not happiness. Joy is not determined by our circumstances. Joy is the presence of hope even while living in a broken world.


"The true definition of joy goes beyond the limited explanation presented in a dictionary — “a feeling a great pleasure and happiness.” True joy is a limitless, life-defining, transformative reservoir waiting to be tapped into. It requires the utmost surrender and, like love, is a choice to be made."


How would you describe joy?