When my mom was here over my birthday, I felt really happy. At one point, I texted BFF Lacy just to mark the moment in time- "I feel happy." I've sent her a lot of stressed out/overwhelmed texts over the past few months, so I thought I'd change it up a bit.
This morning, I sat down to journal about this. Why was it such a big deal to be happy when my mom was here? Because, as I wrote down in my journal this morning- "I am not happy."
This might sound strange. Or whiny. Or ungrateful. Maybe it is. But it is, nonetheless, true. I'm not happy. I haven't been happy in a long time. A mixture of chronic homesickness, stress and loneliness has made for an undertone of unhappiness in my life.
Here's the twist, though... is being unhappy actually a big deal? I don't know, but I don't really think so.
I wonder if Jesus was happy. I think as a Christian, we think we have to be happy. Like we're not being spiritual enough if we aren't happy. In fact, I feel like I'll be judged just for putting down here that, most of the time, I'm not happy. It's sort of shocking to hear a Christian say something like that. But Jesus was a "man of sorrows," was He not? He wept over his friends, He grieved over Jerusalem, He suffered a lot of rejection and misunderstanding. I'm not saying Jesus was never happy. But maybe happiness was a part of His life's rhythm, not the goal of it.
Sometimes I feel a lot of pressure to be happy. Just yesterday I heard someone say that "happy teachers make happy students." Sorry. I cannot promise that. And I think that's okay. The Bible doesn't promise me happiness... how can I guarantee that I'll be happy for my students if the Bible doesn't say that God will provide it for me? If I'm learning anything right now, it's that trying to conjure up anything that God hasn't said that He will provide is an absolute drain.
Anyway, getting to the point. The Bible doesn't promise happiness. God never said, "Follow me, and I will make you happy." But He does say that knowing Him, and being filled with His Spirit will fill me with joy.
So, the holiday season is approaching, and I'm going to try something out. I have no idea how- this is just in the fledgling stages- but I'm going to seek out joy. Because it's a promise.
"You will fill me with joy in your presence." Psalm 16:11
"But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace..." Galatians 5:22
So, hopefully there will be some more finite thoughts about how to seek joy, and where I'm finding it, coming soon.
p.s. I must say that Story is a tremendous source of joy and happiness. But, I'm away from her for 40+ hours a week, and that right there makes most new mommas unhappy :(