Friday, September 2, 2011

Happiness is my CHOICE. Happiness IS my choice.

Perhaps I've shared my thoughts on this matter before--I suppose happiness is something that we constantly seek, so it'd be no wonder for it to come up time and again.

I think I've always been an optimist. Not in an unrealistic everything-is-always-sunshine-and-roses kind of way, but in the way that I choose to see the world as half full. Perhaps some of it comes from being the younger sibling. For whatever reason, growing up I wanted to be a people-pleaser and a peace-maker, and so the "well at least..." became a part of my vocabulary. Part of my identity.

I also recall a time when in college, young and in love, I mentioned to my mom that this boyfriend of mine "made me happy". And oh, he did! But her wise response was that while that feeling was wonderful, my happiness was my responsibility. I couldn't depend on another person to provide happiness for me, and if someone could make me happy, well then, they could make me unhappy as well. And somehow along the way, my mother's wisdom has become the voice in my head, and I've heard "happiness is my choice" for some years now. For a while I simply changed the verbage to "I'm happy with you", which satisfactorily seemed to express my exuberance while maintaining personal ownership and responsibility.

Even a few years down the road after that a beautiful, wise, wonderful counselor and friend of mine took it further and shared with a group of us girls specifically, you cannot seek to find your identity in a man, because the woman that needs to always be validated and poured into by a man will SUCK THAT MAN DRY. He simply cannot fill the vast cisterns that are a woman's heart. I suppose that's true enough, because I think especially as women our worth is always in question, and we CONSTANTLY need that question to be answered affirmatively. She suggested that our unchanging worth and value comes because of what God says about us. The most important aspect there being our unchanging worth. This wonderful woman had listened to the loving whispers of God in her ear, telling her she was beautiful, and worth it, and capable and strong, so she knew those things to be true. And in turn she began to help us open our ears to hear that same sweet lover's whisper.

And so it is that I am wired to seek balance. Peace. Contentment. Satisfaction. Happiness. And it's a good thing, because my personal life feels like a shambles around me. If I were depending on someone else, anyone else, to provide my self worth and contentment, I wouldn't have it. Couldn't have it. But that doesn't come from someone else, it comes from me, and it comes from God.

Within, I have recently been in what I felt like was a "fight for my life". Or as much for the life I want. But it has felt recently like the last stronghold of my weaponry in this grand fight has been disarmed. I am depleted. And yet. My happiness is my choice. So I choose that it is also liberating to have given everything and know there is nothing held back.

I also recently came across the account of the Exodus, where God is about to lead the Isrealites through the Red Sea. Moses tells them, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." And in the very next chapter, after God has done exactly what he had promised, and more than they could have imagined, they announce with exuberance: "The Lord is a Warrior, the Lord is his name!"

So at least I know, at the end of my strength, The Lord will fight for me. At least I know, when I don't feel my value being affirmed in the way I might want, I can rely on what Unchanging God whispers in my ear. And so in that, happiness is my choice.

1 comment:

  1. I love your honesty and wisdom in this post. We all need to be reminded that happiness is a choice, and I admire you and love the way you model this even when things are hard. You know I'm praying for you and have enjoyed our recent texting conversations! Love you and miss you!