What if your happiness in this week has nothing to do with your circumstances, and everything to do with your thoughts in your circumstances?
Just as you can train your body to run a race or compete in a sport, you can train your mind to see the good in everything. Will it be easy? Well, is fitting a 47 year old body into spandex running shorts for the first time in 20 years easy? No, no it isn’t. Is taking old knees out on a field to do new things easy? Nothing easy about that! And so training your mind with it’s old habitual thought patterns to think in new ways will be much the same. It won’t be easy. It won’t feel natural. It may require a ridiculous amount of time and grace, but just as you can whip your body into shape, you can train your mind to do things it’s never done before.
Just how bad do you want to be happy, my sister? How bad do you want to wake up in peace? How bad do you want to feel differently on the inside and have those inside feelings create a ripple effect on the outside?
A few years ago, my family entered into a tough season of trials and turmoil. It turned my whole world upside down. I began to question my value and worth. I struggled to believe God could use me in the middle of such a mess. A little voice inside me said I was disqualified from doing good when things were so bad. That voice told me I wasn’t allowed to be happy. That voice told me I couldn’t be okay until this was all okay again.
But that wasn’t the voice of God talking to me. I checked, and that was my own voice. That was me saying those things, creating those rules, writing that story. God never once demanded my misery. He never once insisted I be unhappy. He never even suggested I lose sleep over the situation.
That was of my own doing. I had allowed my hurt and my fear to write a story of unhappiness until circumstances changed.
Have you done the same? Have you decided it is physically impossible to be happy until this changes? Have you surrendered your ability to feel joy until circumstances are different?
How’s that working out for you? Has anything changed? Has your unhappiness created an expedient change? Has your misery guaranteed a brighter future? Absolutely not. And it won’t.
But there’s something that will. There’s something you can do TODAY that will create change. There’s something you can do today that will create a brighter future. Are you open to the suggestion of trading misery in miserable circumstances for a shot at happiness here?
God and I had a little encounter. An encounter where he didn’t radically come in and fix our family, he didn’t solve the problems or reveal to me any solutions. Instead, he asked me a question. God asked me if I would choose to keep living fully, even while this extremely painful situation wasn’t fixed. Would I still wake up and find beauty? Would I still show up with my best effort? Would I seek happiness in the midst of hardship? Would I choose happiness in the ever present void of harmony within our family?
It was my choice to make, and that choice would determine more than I could possibly imagine.
And, my sister, it’s your choice to make as well. Here, in your circumstances that you so desperately want to change … Here, in the dark valley of these problems you can’t plow your way through … Here, in the harsh realities of messes you can’t clean up … God is asking you, WILL YOU KEEP LIVING FULLY WHILE YOU WAIT.
While you don’t have answers. While you don’t know the timeline. While you can’t see the way. While it still hurts. Will you keep showing up for life with purpose? Will you keep looking for God’s fingerprints on the unfolding details? Will you keep being an available vessel for God’s power to flow through?
WILL YOU REFUSE TO PUT YOUR HAPPINESS ON HOLD FOR THE HEALING? Yes, that is the question. As you wait for the healing in that body, as you wait for the healing in that relationship, as you wait for the healing in your home, as you wait for the supernatural fixing of what has been shattered into pieces, will you intentionally choose to still be happy?
I was recently with a beautiful young bride on her wedding day. She pre-warned me she would be edgy, stressed, and slightly mean on her big, special day. She said, “Afterall, that’s what bride’s do. It’s our day to be Bridezilla.”
It’s totally bizarre to me this has become not only acceptable, but expected. It’s an entitlement to be ridiculous because of stressful circumstances and extreme importance. Who’s enjoying that? ABSOLUTELY NO ONE. Who is this serving? No one. That big, beautiful day is 100% surrendered to a pre-determinted state of craziness that’s completely unnecessary, and everyone suffers.
ARE WE DOING THE SAME THING?
It’s my wedding day, so I’m going to be a wicked witch wearing white.
I’m going through a tough time right now, so I’m going to be stressed.
I’m struggling with some things, so I’m going to wake up in a bad mood.
I’m hurt right now, so I’m going to make some bad choices.
I’m overwhelmed, so my eyebrows are going to naturally be crazy and you’re going to need to stay out of my way.
Pre-determined unnecessary misery that makes hard circumstances that much worse.
When God asked me if I would continue living fully, even while our family hardship was unresolved, I realized I had been carrying the weight of guilt and shame. I didn’t know I had permission to be happy while things were a mess. But I did. I not only had permission, but I had a request by God.
What if God is requesting the same of you today? What if he is saying, “My girl, while this is still unresolved, while it’s still uncertain, while it’s still messy and scary, will you keep living fully? Will you still receive the gifts I have for you? Will you still be faithful with my blessings? Will you not waste what I’m doing for you every day while you wait?”
After I made my commitment to continue living in the midst of the hardship, God asked me if I would still choose happiness for thirty. Yes, thirty. Thirty what? And then he revealed, thirty years. For thirty years, would I release the weight of the wait, and choose happiness.
What God is teaching me is to not put a timeline on his works. To not attach my happiness to a deadline or an expectation. If it takes thirty years for this problem to be resolved, I still choose to be happy every single day. And how will I do that? It has nothing to do with my circumstances, and everything to do with my thoughts in those circumstances.
If this isn’t solved today, will you still choose happiness tomorrow?
If this isn’t better next month, will you still find happiness when you wake up to unchanged circumstances?
If this isn’t how you want it to be in 10 years, will you have sacrificed those 10 years waiting in unhappiness?
2 Corinthians 10:5 “Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Make your thoughts obedient to Christ. Obedient thoughts are in alignment with what Christ has offered us. Thoughts that align with the life he came to give you. That life is a big, full life. John 10:10 “I have come so that you may have life, and have it to the full.
If Jesus came to give you a full life, and your thoughts must be made obedient to Jesus, then that means we must CHOOSE to live fully even in the midst of hardship. Even in the waiting. Even in the unknowing. Even in the hurt. Even in the mess.
The world may say you have every right to be miserable with what you are going through. But Christ says something different. Christ says I still came to give you life to the full, and I want you to choose it with your thoughts.
How do you honor God in what you’re going through? Choosing to live. Choosing to live fully. Aligning your thoughts to choose happiness for as long as it takes!
How am I so darn happy? Well, honey, it’s not because everything is perfect, it’s simply because I’ve made a commitment and I’ve told my thoughts to get in alignment!
Will you do the same?
If you have a little voice that tells you God can’t use you in the middle of this mess … a little voice that says you’re disqualified from doing good when things are so bad … a little voice that tells you you’re not allowed to be happy right now … a voice that tells you you can’t be okay until this is okay …That’s not God. God hasn’t written your story of unhappiness until things change.
God says Jesus still came to give you life, and life to the full, right in the middle of this. God says you’re responsible for choosing your thoughts, and he is strengthening you today to choose wisely!
Join me in choosing happiness in the wait. This is happiness on hold. I’m no longer putting my happiness on hold while I wait for circumstances to change, I’m choosing happiness and I’m holding on to it while taking my thoughts captive and making them obedient to Christ and the full life he came to give me.
Full life NOW, even while waiting.
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