I am still in the middle of a great struggle; there are still too many days that I cry, but there are many more that I am happy. No, I’m not happy that I’m single, or that the straight road I was on had an unexpected sharp turn that led me right to the “D” (nope, not Detroit, folks!), or that there are sometimes days in the week I do not see my children.
Instead, my happiness comes from knowing God is sitting beside me assuring me that I am going to be okay.
As I approach a year when my heart began breaking, I force myself to think of what helped me the most to remain graceful despite my circumstance. And the answer is undoubtedly looking at the bigger picture.
The days I spent thinking woe is me, I was not happy. The days I spent worrying about how I was going to get through this, or worrying about what my future would look like, or how my children would be affected, I was not happy. The days I spent trying to control or force the outcome I desired, I was not happy.
On the other hand, the days that I was submissive to Jesus, I was happy. The days that I relinquished control and decided to trust Jesus to take the wheel, I was happy. The days I focused on “what is He trying to teach me?” instead of “Why me?” I was happy. The days I went to church, read my bible or stories of hope, or prayed, I was happy.
The difference in my feelings was so powerful that I decided I could no longer fear, I could no longer worry, and I could no longer control…if I wanted to be happy. And who doesn’t want to be happy?
Look at Paul in the book of Philippians. He was wrongfully imprisoned for years and had every reason to be unhappy, yet he elected to be happy. Why? Because he had faith, he had expectancy and hope, he had people praying for him, and had the Spirit of Jesus Christ helping him (Philippians 1:18-20).
Are you someone who is always waiting on someone else or something else to make you happy? Someone who is convinced you’re unhappy because your job sucks, or your kids are jerks, or your spouse isn’t helpful, or because you’re single and alone? Or someone who thinks is unhappy because your family gets on your nerves, or school is too intense, or because your house is too small house, your car is old, or because you’re in debt? If so, remember Paul, who could have easily blamed his circumstance and opted for unhappiness, but didn’t.
When you find yourself focusing on the difficult road you’re on, take a deep breath and calm your mind by refocusing your thoughts on what you believe your purpose is. What is it that God desires you to do? Who is it that God desires you to help? I assure you that your life is supposed to be more than just the daily grind you’re experiencing right now.
He doesn’t want you to just coast through life merely existing, and He surely has greater expectations for you than just getting up every morning, going to work, and then coming home…only to do it all again the next day. He wants you to make a difference. And one way to start is by loving God and loving others.
Challenge yourself to find what your purpose is. Is mine blogging to tell my story in hopes that it inspires or helps you? For now, yes! Will it be in 5 years? Who knows, but now isn’t the time for me to think about it!
You will become happy when you center your thoughts on things that are bigger than you and you look at life from God’s perspective. When you focus on your immediate situation, you’re bound to get discouraged, or angry, or sad, or…unhappy. So don’t! Instead, pray. Give your problems to God and ask Him to make your paths straight.
Trust me, I know it’s hard to be happy when you’re suffering, whether it be emotionally or physically. But I know the pain lessens when you seek the purpose of your pain; it lessens when you focus on your circumstance from God’s point of view and from a place of faith.
Today I encourage you to ask God to help you choose to be happy despite your circumstance. He will…so make sure you listen.