“Happy are those who love you, and happy are those who rejoice in your peace. Happy too are all who grieve over all your afflictions , For they will rejoice over you and behold all your joy forever.” Tobit 14:14
I think people are still looking for it, I know I still am. For those of us that have found God but have not found happiness, we are shunned. I don’t know many happy people. I have been searching for them. Maybe they live on an island somewhere singing their happy song and dancing their happy dance. I imagine them in brown tiki looking skirts and grass -made headbands drinking coconut drinks out of scooped out pineapples. Don’t judge me- sometimes the wonderment of fantasy is the sole place I see smiling.
I am not depressed, don’t suffer from any diagnosed mental health condition. I don’t use substances to make me feel good and I don’t drink. I don’t stay away from those things because I think I’m better than anyone else, I stay away from them because I know they are fleeting and the small slice of joy they bring won’t last. I have lived there before, and I am pretty sure you have too.
Last night in a state between not fully sleeping and not fully awake, I asked God why I couldn’t just be happy. Now don’t get me wrong, I am at peace. True peace. My soul is settled like a child in her loving mother’s arms. But happiness, that is another thing.
The Lord showed me a series of events last night, asking me questions along the way.
“Look back on your life before me, what made you happy, what events or things made you smile?” He said
I took a peek into my past, it was moving fast. I thought about someone I had truly loved. This person made me happy. But the happiness faded like the autumn trees, and I was left with nothing.
I thought about graduating from college and law school and remember feeling accomplished, but not so much happy. That was expected of me. I don’t remember anyone gushing over me or telling me I was wonderful. I was on a robotic path that I had accepted and so nobody was surprised when I graduated summa cum laude from college, or received the law school’s service award. But then I remembered Jessica whose case I worked on in law school. We applied for clemency to the governor for her. I spent countless hours on her case. Living my dream made me happy, but then it ended. And on becoming an attorney to hundreds of children in foster care, I realized that Jessica’s face was everywhere. It was overwhelming, and that did not make me happy, anymore.
And so after scanning my head for some more memories and realizing that “happy” was fleeing too, I gave up. God didn’t, He was still waiting for me to think it through.
I started thinking about the day He found me, or how hard it was to be a Jewish convert, and then I just started thinking about Him, and I smiled. It’s been a couple of years now that I’ve known Jesus. Yes that sounds so very cliché. But I know Him. And unlike anything before I met Him or after, He always make me happy.
Inside that seed of peace He planted, is my happy. I realize that like so many other believers, without knowing it, I get swept away at times by the worldview of happiness. I am trying to say this in the most non-Christian way possible, because I hate when my writing gets caught up in the modern Christian dialect like “the world” or “believer.” I like worldview better, because that alludes to what everyone else is doing.
I’ve taken myself off of every social media outlet but this one. I don’t exist out there. I tried to outdo God last night by beefing up my fiverr account, but no go. He told me I was worth more than that, metaphorically more than $5.
And then He showed me this:
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you. These are the ways of the world: wanting to please our sinful selves, wanting the sinful things we see, and being too proud of what we have. None of these come from the Father, but all of them come from the world. The world and everything that people want in it are passing away, but the person who does what God wants lives forever.
1 John 2:15-17
You can sit there and try to tell yourself a million times this scripture is not for you, but it is. We all do it. If you call yourself a Christian there are words in here for you, and if you don’t I hope you see the light breaking through from behind these words.
Abandon all you know if you want to find happiness. Your preconceived notions, your quotes of inspiration on post its that only last for so long. Stop looking at pictures from the past. Sit in that scripture and breathe it. I’m dead serious. Inhale its aroma. There is a deep wisdom in there, do you see it? Don’t look at the religiosity of the statement, look at its words.
The next time you go chasing happiness like me, figure out what the last thing is you did that took you into the worldview of what should make you happy. Now leave that behind. Start walking again, this time into the light within yourself.
You can find me searching for eternal happiness at There’s Something About Mary.
7 thoughts on “Come on get happy! No, really…,”
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
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Thanks for the reblog love to you
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You’re very welcome Mary and likewise!
Social media: $5. Things of the world: $250. Eternal Happiness: Priceless.
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Yes yes yes!!! Love it!!!
Sister Mary; (and I take great comfort in the qualifier “Sister.” I use it a lot, but I only use it sincerely! Sister Mary, first, I love the way you write; oh how I wish I could write in such flowing and orderly style; but it’s not my gift and I am content with that. I love the way you lay out your thought on happiness and how you kind of “bait” us in with your first few sentences! That is the way it should be!
But, as your Brother in Christ, I want to encourage you in something that you may or may not have learned. Happiness was something I too had pursued for I truly thought that a happy person, as the world sees happy, is also like bait, drawing in people who are interested to know why and then you can tell them the whole Gospel Truth! That’s when I was much younger, yes, I loved the Lord, I knew the Lord but I had so much more to learn for as of yet I hadn’t had what I like to call my “Damascus Road” experience similar to what Paul experienced. Some would call it an epiphany, a sudden dawning of the Light, so to speak.
But, when I finally did, that is when I truly entered into an INTIMATE relationship with our Lord and Redeemer. Now, everybody’s experience is different; that’s the uniqueness of our Heaven Father and His individual love for each of us.
I said all that for this point, don’t be confused with the difference between happiness, a natural emotion that is based (as you so eloquently showed) on circumstances and experience. It is a totally NATURAL emotion and one that the Lord created us to have, in the flesh! Things make us happy, other things can rob us of that happiness, but Sister Mary, JOY is a spiritual “fruit/emotion” that resides deep, deep down within our spirits where NOTHING can rob us of it. Joy is probably more of what you experience in the presence of Jesus than happiness though the presence of Jesus to a spiritually redeemed child of the King can and will translate to the natural in the form of happiness as well. But, THAT happiness is rooted in the JOY of the relationship with One who will never leave you nor forsake you.
I am 63 years old and have been “trying” to walk with/in the Lord since just before turning 17 years old. I STILL fight with the flesh, whether it be in my thinking, doubting, pride or even temptation. That will be the battle (not the war) that we wage until the Lord, our Redeemer, calls us home to be with Him and like Him as the Apostle Paul writes.
Many of those battles create an unhappiness because I feel at times I am still ensnared with things that should have been laid to rest long ago. But, that is why we have to “crucify our selves, our flesh” daily! I have to let that JOY of the Lord, His Joy in me, planted by His spirit to grow and take precedent and that is why Nehemiah stated that it is the “Joy of the Lord that is our strength!”–Nehemiah 8:10. The Lord’s JOY or pleasure in us gives us strength to overcome all and anything that could rob us of what is important to us in the spiritual for remember, the Apostle Paul also stated “what we see is temporary and what is unseen is eternal.”
Also, even though being happy can create happiness in those around you, once you are away, what influence KEEPS others happy? Whereas JOY is a “Fruit of the Spirit” and fruit can be sowed/seeded in others spiritually so that Joy, can also grow in another’s fertile ground and grow and blossom and continue on and on! Nothing, and I mean nothing can take that away from a Joyful child of God, our Father.
It’s not wrong in the least to desire happiness or to even pursue being happy, just remember though that when happiness seems fleeting, the Spirit that brings you Joy will ALWAYS be there with all you need and more!
God bless you Sis, so very much and may your blessings be abundant and rich in Christ, our Lord and Redeemer!!!!
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Thank you for your thoughts, they are appreciated. I am like all of us a work in progress. I don’t think I’ve “gotten” it jut quite yet, but I am seeking and following and not letting go. The Lord delivered me from depression several years ago- I mean completely gone, after a long period of following his directions. I say that I am sort of in a transition- not knowing what it’s like not to fluctuate but never being completely joyful. This has been a sort of unexpected part of my journey as I realize I can’t just put my cross down. I also think at times I am scared to be completely joyful because maybe it won’t ever happen for me, maybe that’s just what the Lord has for other people. That’s just my unique experience, although the dying to self and crucifixion of ourselves is not unique to our Christian life. I like what you said and how you said it. I am going to sit with that for awhile.
Thank you for your crown of splendor and your wisdom. Love to you-
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