Friday, March 21, 2014

The pursuit of happiness

I think the idea of happiness confuses many people. They feel like they need a person, or things to make them happy. Or they feel like they can just choose to be happy and *poof* it will happen. Then after trying this and that, dating person after person, buying that one perfect thing they couldn't live without... they realize they are no better off than they were before, and they still aren't happy. They have a void in their life, and they don't know how to fill it.

The past two years have taught me many things, but the main thing I learned is that serving the Lord is the only thing that brings true happiness and joy. And most people don't get it... And even worse, they don't want to hear it. They want to live in their little world where the things and people are supposed to make them happy. The internet is full of sayings and lists of ways to be happy, but very rarely do they mention serving God.

I know this is the way to true happiness because I've lived it. I watched my ex-husband spiral downward. I heard for two years how unhappy he was, and he didn't know why. He had that void in his life, and he tried to fill it all the wrong ways. He bought material things thinking they would help, and eventually, he had the affair thinking it would too. He never went to church with me, but I have faith that he is a child of God. He'd shown many signs of it throughout our marriage, but he didn't want to believe there is a God, nor did he want me to bring God into our home.

I think about my life this time last year and it amazes me. The boys and I had just moved, and I was the keeper of my own home. I was finally living the way I was raised to live, teaching my children about God, and we were being blessed. The house we moved to is much older than our other house, we weren't able to afford many luxuries, and I was single as single could be. Any normal person would see this as a set back, or a path to being less happy. But I wasn't, I had my Lord. I had been attending church as much as I could, I started reading my bible and praying with my boys more, and I would spend my evenings out in my yard working with my hands and digging the dirt, growing things and building my life. It felt good, it felt productive, and it turned out to be the best year of my life...

...however if you ask me next year, I'll probably have a different opinion on that, because this year is shaping up to be even better.

but I digress.

I remember crying many times last year out of pure joy. I was happy. Seriously happy. The happiest I can ever remember being. Ever.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. James 1:17

All good things in our lives are blessings. Blessings come from God. If you serve God and keep his commandments, you will receive blessings. That doesn't mean that we won't have problems, but when you serve the Lord, He helps smooth the problems out in a way that makes them not so bad. He gives us strength to take on the problems instead of feeling overwhelmed by them. It's really amazing.

Every time I encounter someone trying to find happiness the wrong way, I want to tell them.... In fact, I want to shout it from the rooftops! Maybe somehow I can. Maybe this is a start. If one person reads this and is blessed to see a glimpse of how happy they can be, then maybe I've taken one baby step in the right direction.

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