I could not articulate what I was feeling in my heart at that moment…
You know that culmination of thoughts and emotions you’ve been holding on to until now. Oh boy, the volcano was getting ready to erupt and my hubby was about to get burned up into ashes! I said, “All I know is that I want things to be better. I wanted to be happy.”
Don’t I deserve to be happy? What’s wrong with wanting to be happy? I didn’t voice those two questions, but I wanted to. A sense of pridefulness and embarrassment came over me. I dared not utter all the desires I pictured in my mind that I thought would ease the pain of needing more in life, because I didn’t want to look stupid. But I really couldn’t put a finger on what I wanted. I just wanted out of the fight. I was breaking down and giving up. I had to face the hard fact that my happiness would not come from a man, from people or things. You cannot depend on these as a source of happiness. I needed my joy back, not a superficial fly-by-night feeling. We sometimes confuse the two.
Joy is the intangible, inward feeling you have even when everything around you is collapsing, while happiness only comes based on the outer world and things that appease our five senses.
I hope you apply this statement to every situation in your life. If you are depending on a house to make you happy, what would happen if you never get it? If you never marry the man of your dreams, will you be happy in your singleness? If you never get that promotion, will you still work as hard as you did to try and get it? Take all of the answers which you believe will solve your unhappiness and think about the outcome of not having them. This will really be the determining factor for your quality of life. I thought about my answers and it really brought me to my knees because I could not say I would still be happy if I didn’t get my new home or whatever else I was asking God for.
We really have to resolve within ourselves that these things are temporal and subject to change. We must become like Paul, content in whatever state he was in because he carried this revelation. God was his reward and he could do all things through Christ who strengthened him. God was Abraham’s exceedingly great reward, and He is our reward. He is our source of joy, strength, happiness and life.
Happiness is an outward feeling that fades when things fall apart but joy keeps you together through tough times. Jesus endured the cross because of the joy that was set before Him.