So many times throughout my life I have heard the phrase, “find joy in the journey.” Journey … what does that even mean?
Journey has been defined as: “an act of traveling from one place to another or a long and often difficult process of personal change and development.” In this life we are most definitely on a journey traveling from one place to another (Plan of Salvation) and it most definitely can include a long and difficult process of change and development, or growth. But, isn’t that the whole point?
Each of us has a journey to take that is only ours to travel. My journey in this life definitely looks different from your journey and everyone else’s journey. I have had and will have experiences on my journey that will be completely different from anyone else’s experiences. Experiences that have been tailored just for me by a loving Heavenly Father. Experiences that He knows I need to become the best version of myself and that will help me to become more like Him.
Often we look at other’s lives and think their journey seems easier or so much better than our own journey. Social media certainly doesn’t help with the image we have of what our journey should look like. It is so easy to compare ourselves to others and feel inadequate or unhappy with our own life and our own journey. I do it too often. We all do. I read something the other day that really inspired me to think about my own journey.
“So many opinions. So many different ways of living and being and doing. So many different kinds of people. So many passionate belief systems. So many good causes. So many expectations. So much photo editing. So much life editing. So many cool new things and shiny newest versions. It. Is. Exhausting. There will never be a truer version of the how-to manual of life than the one that is in your own heart. Your life is like no one else’s life. Your mission is like no else’s mission. Your purpose is unlike any other human being’s purpose. You’ve got to listen to your own navigation system … anything else will take you to someone else’s place. Be with yourself for a while. Learn to listen to your heart. Listen to your Creator. Listen to YOUR TRUTH. Shut the rest of it out for a while and you will hear the resonating sound of your own life. You’ve got to do it … because your life is too important to follow the map of another’s life.” http://bravegirlsclub.com/
So much truth here. I am old enough and I have had enough life experience to know that my journey is my very own experience, unique to me. How I choose to take that journey is up to me. My attitude can make all the difference. I can choose to embrace my journey and make the very best of it or I can murmur and complain the entire way. Sometimes my journey has been hard. Sometimes my journey has been full of joy. Always it has had the guiding hand of my Heavenly Father and always it has required my faith in His plan for me. And always, as I have chosen to listen to the Spirit and follow that guidance, my journey has taken me where I’m supposed to be and given me experiences that have taught me so many valuable things that I need to learn. And always, when I choose to focus on the good things in my life, I can find joy in my journey, even through the hard parts, and it is so much better!
One of my favorite General Conference talks was given a few years ago by Elder Deiter F. Uchtdorf – “Your Wonderful Journey Home.” It is definitely worth reading!
I love what He says of our journey, “Sometimes we become impatient with where we are in our journey, don’t we? If you are 12 years old, you might wish you were 14. At 14, you might wish you were 18. And at 18, occasionally you might even wish you were 12 again and could start all over.
There will always be things to complain about—things that don’t seem to go quite right. You can spend your days feeling sad, alone, misunderstood, or unwanted. But that isn’t the journey you had hoped for, and it’s not the journey Heavenly Father sent you to take. Remember, you are truly a daughter of God!
With this in mind, I invite you to walk confidently and joyfully. Yes, the road has bumps and detours and even some hazards. But don’t focus on them. Look for the happiness your Father in Heaven has prepared for you in every step of your journey. Happiness is the destination, but it’s also the path. “Peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” is what He promises.11 That is why He commands us to “be of good cheer.”
As you joyfully use the map your loving Father has provided for your journey, it will lead you to holy places and you will rise to your supernal potential. You will grow into the daughter of God you hoped you would become.
Dear sisters, dear young women of the Church, dear young friends, as an Apostle of the Lord I leave you a blessing that you will find your way on this journey home and that you will be an inspiration to your fellow travelers. It is also my promise and prayer that as you honor and live true to the covenants, the principles, and the values of the gospel of Jesus Christ, at the end of your journey Heavenly Father will be there. He will embrace you, and you will know once and for all that you have made it home safely.” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/your-wonderful-journey-home?lang=eng
What are you doing today to find joy in YOUR journey?