Wednesday, January 15, 2014

15 Years later, Am I happy?


This weekend marks a milestone anniversary date in my life.  I met Dan 15 years ago this Friday.  I’d traveled 3 hours in  the snow to spend a weekend with a different guy that I was dating.  As shocking as the story is, many of you have heard it.  I met Dan because he was my ex-boyfriends roommate, and that ex at the time was debatable.  It was a real life version of Rick Springfield’s song, “I wish I had Jesse’s girl.” I suppose.  The how’s all that came about is kind of a long story that if you haven’t heard, either ask me, or I’ll save it for another time.  It’s one of those divinely orchestrated “How they met” stories that seems like something straight out of a sitcom.  The picture attached was taken about a month after we met.

Earlier this week I was thinking about this pseudo anniversary date, and a conversation I’d had with my ex before we ended, was brought to my memory.  He’d asked me once if I was happy and my response then was something that startled him. I pray wherever he is in his life he’s come to understand it.

“Yes, I am.  I may be frustrated at circumstances in my life.  But I am happy because Jesus makes me happy.”  I realize that this may sound simplistic to some.  We were just naïve college kids filled with hopes and dreams.  We’d been discussing the frustrations of life.  Responding to that question had really made me think at the time.  Circumstances do not dictate my happiness. 

As I was reflecting on this conversation, I’d had with him all those years ago I got to thinking how I would respond to that today.  While some circumstances have changed in my life, others I am still pushing through.  15 years later: I have a husband God designed for me and I love incredibly, 2 gorgeous daughters who we are endeavoring to raise in the Lord, and a few people have read my books so that’s awesome.  However similarly to where I was 15 years ago, I can still find myself frustrated that I’m not further professionally, I still get those turndowns, and I’m still endeavoring to do what I feel God has placed me to do.    I can remember my grandmother telling me that with life, “Ann it’s always something.”  The older I’m getting the more I realize she was right.  No matter how good my life seems to be there will always be circumstances or something that I may not be thrilled with.  However to answer the question am I still happy 15 years later. . .yes, I am because Jesus makes me happy.

Too many people live their lives allowing situations and circumstances to dictate to them their level of happiness, yet they wonder why they are always so miserable.  While yes situations can affect happiness if you let it, deep down you have to realize that your happiness is with God.  You’re success in life is not an outward appearance but an internal thing with God.

Philippians 4:11-13 11 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me.

Paul learned that no matter what happened in his life that God would be with him.  He learned that He could do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  It didn’t matter if he was going through a trial.  He just knew that He was in Christ and that was someway going to make him the victor in any situation.  No matter what you are going through today, you have a choice.  Choose life.  Choose Happiness.  The pursuit of happiness is already found through Jesus, you just need to live it. 

So as Dan and I giggle at the orchestration of our 15th year together (our 14th wedding anniversary isn’t until March) I’ll remind myself of all blessings God has given me in life.  While my life may not be perfect, I can without a doubt say, “Yes, I am happy.”

Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

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