A favorite coffee mug of mine has got a big D, (the first letter of my name), in orange on the outside that’s made up of butterflies, flowers, and curlicues. It is so girly. On the inside lip of the mug are three words written in one of my favorite fonts: ‘love the moment‘, it says.
Moving and having a garage sale are part of this season for me of starting anew. Here I get to decide what I should hold on to and what I should keep. What matters enough to take with me into my new life? What is healthy to take with me? And it’s here I realize two things: how positive words have helped me through tough times, and how I don’t know how to be happy.
So I’ve been having a conversation with God over the past couple weeks as I’ve been packing, throwing away, selling, and driving. Where did I learn to not be open to happiness? Could it be in the Belizean saying I grew up with, ‘What sweet yuh wah sowah yuh? Was it in the years of disappointment, some of which came from my own bad choices? Was it when my baby died?
Maybe it was all those things. What I do know is that the happiness that wells up inside of me everyday feels like it bucks up against a lid. I have to deal with it because I certainly don’t want my behavior to slap it away.
I am so accustomed to having issues to tackle that I treat happiness as if it too is an issue.
O Lord, help me. Teach me how to walk in these blessings You have given me. Show me how to embrace the ways You’ve answered my prayers. Help me to not feel guilt over the things I cannot change, and to walk in the light of the ways in which You’ve intervened and brought such goodness into my life.
I often say, ‘Things don’t have to be how they’ve always been.’ That’s because I believe in our ability to change, and in God’s ability to intervene in situations. Now I have to take my own advice and remember that it’s okay to just love the moment, to enjoy being girly and like curlicues the way I do. It’s okay to be open to new things, like being happy.
I want to be like the returning leper to say, ‘Thank You’. One of the ways I can do that is to walk in the happiness that answered prayers bring. Many years of training have given me the tendency to think that happiness is wistful, fleeting, and will cause more pain in the end. Choosing to enjoy what He has given me shows my trust in Him so that even if/when the happiness fades, He and I will still be in relationship, and we will walk through whatever comes together because there’s nothing that’s coming my way that He doesn’t know about already.
Are you thanking Him for answered prayers by choosing to walk in the happiness He has brought you? Are you trusting Him enough to enjoy this season even though everything isn’t perfect? Or, are you allowing guilt to block you from the happiness He has gifted you with? If so, do like I am doing: just talk to Him about it. He knows it already, and is willing to help you get past the barrier of your history, and to help you walk in the new.
We can enjoy the happiness He brings because we trust in Him. That’s what I keep telling myself; and everyday it gets a little easier to believe.
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