It might sound funny to say that the saddest book I read this year actually taught me the most. C.S. Lewis’s, A Grief Observed, taught me how to live life to the fullest even when you are dealing with grief. Although I may not have lost anyone this year like Lewis did, I did lose something in my life that brought me great joy. When my horse got injured, I was not able to ride him, and if you are an equestrian, you know just how hard that can be. I could have chosen to live with my grief and in my grief, but instead, I took what I have learned and applied it to my life. You see, we often see trials and tribulations as punishment because it causes grief. But over the course of this year, I truly learned that the only way to true joy is through Christ alone and that trials and tribulations are opportunities for growth. There are things that God puts in our life that bring us joy, but the core value of joy comes only from Him. “And that is why we experience joy: we yearn [for] unity [that is only reached] by ceasing to be separate phenomenal beings called ‘we’” (Lewis 271). In Surprised by Joy, written by C.S. Lewis, we also get a glimpse of what joy really is. Lewis always wondered about joy. Where did it come from? How can it be found? But it is in his final stages of religious traveling that he comes face to face with joy itself. So much that even “the subject [itself] [had] lost nearly all interest for [him] since [he] became a Christian” (Lewis 289). When we do not live in Christ, every little subject of unimportance is idolized and focused on, which causes us to become dependent on something that is not sustainable for joy. Lewis explains that ever since he became a Christian, “[he] doesn’t [even] catch himself stopping to stare at roadside objects of even less importance” (Lewis 291). This is how I learned to find joy through Christ and not only from riding my horse. By no means am I saying that I can’t find joy from riding my horse, but may it be an addition to the everyday abundant joy that Christ provides for me when I open my eyes in the morning and take my first stretch of the day. The first glimpse of the beautiful sun that HE created. And most importantly, the first thought of Him and His glorious sacrifice that He made so that I may be able to experience joy. As I take all of this in, I sit on my horse for the first time in months, and I now have a new perspective of what riding really means. It means that through His creation, I am overjoyed because I know I can live with and through any trial or tribulation that hinders my “fear of losing joy”.