Looking for Happiness

August 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

I just want to be happy

That was my goal when I was younger

What will it take to make me happy?

I transferred to a different college

Changed my major

Got a different boyfriend

Nope–not quite

So I colored my hair

And then colored it back

My car is too old

That’s part of the problem

Then I got my Saturn

Brand new

That made me happy for awhile

But then it rained

That would always depress me

Will I ever just be happy?

So I got married!

That worked

For awhile

But something was still missing

So we had babies!

And then I was truly happy

Completely, serenly, blissfully happy

Until the next month

When I hadn’t slept

And I was tired

And she was allergic to her formula

And my husband was out in the field

And then I got gall stones

And was sick

Will I never be happy?

Life went on

And I continued to chase happiness

But somewhere deep inside

There was this uneasiness

This anxiousness

That kept me from ever truly finding it for long

And then I woke up one day

To a husband who told me

“I’m just not happy”

That’s what he said

“I’m sorry, Holly, but I need to be happy”, he told me

So he left

“Are you happy now?”, I said

“Yes”, he told me…adding

“I know it’s wrong but I just need to be happy”

WOW

I couldn’t believe it

Chasing happiness had turned fatal for our family

And there I sat

Obese

4 kids

Alone

“Well I’ll NEVER be happy now”

That is FOR SURE

That sealed the deal on that one

I’d been looking for happiness my whole life

And now I knew

It was definitely never going to be found

If I couldn’t be happy at 18

When I was young, thin, free of responsibilites, and had my choice of men wanting to date me

How would I ever be happy now?

In my mid-30s

Obese

Divorced

With 4 children looking to me for the answers

I stared at the ceiling and realized

“I’m the old lady who lives in a shoe”

That poem….yep…

That’s me

That’s my life

And I might as well stop looking for happiness

Because there is no way I will find it now

I had bigger problems at this point

Happiness was no longer my goal

Surviving was

I was depressed

Panicked

Full of anxiety

Every day was a nightmare

I could barely breathe

Who cared about being happy?

I just wanted to stop throwing up all the time

Stop feeling like my heart was going to jump out of my chest

I just wanted to sleep through the night

Without waking up in a sweat with the sensation of someone choking me

I didn’t care about happiness anymore

I just needed some PEACE

And that’s when I stumbled on the secret

All my life I’d been trying to get to the top floor

By skipping the first step

Happiness was elusive

And I would never find it

Because deep inside me

I lacked PEACE

And without that

You will never be happy

Oh you may find things

That will work for a time

I always did

A new purse

A new hairstyle

New shoes

A box of donuts

A bag of Doritos

BIG MAC

Even my husband

Thought he’d found it

With different women

Friends to party with

Did it lead to lasting happiness?

I don’t think so

Because he told me one day

That looking back on what he’d done

That search for happiness he’d left us all behind to find

It wasn’t the cure

For happiness at all

And it ended

With more anxiety

Guilt over what had he had done in the pursuit of happiness

And a total lack of PEACE

Could it be

That all this time we are looking for happiness

We should really be looking for

PEACE

Instead?

Maybe it’s possible

That you can’t hang a picture on a wall

Without the nail that holds it in place

Have you ever tried?

You keep moving the picture around trying to steady it on that nail

But it slips off

Crashing to the floor

The glass shattering in a million pieces

You can’t hang happiness on the wall

Without the nail of peace

That nail that gives you the support you need

The nail that no one sees behind the picture

Is really what holds it up

And without that

You’re just tossing pictures on the floor

And watching them shatter

But where do you find that nail

The ONE that will be strong enough

To hold up your whole life

Support it

Without letting it fall

The nail that will provide peace

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photography-thorns-peace-image17534647

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.  (Isaiah 53:5)

And there it is

The nail that pierced His hand

Was the ONLY one

That brought me peace

And when I found it

I found what I’d been looking for

The Peace that calms the storm

The Peace that let me sleep at night

The Peace that washes away the anxiety and the guilt over what you may have done

Searching for that elusive happiness

And in the end

It’s peace you’re looking for

Because that peace

Will lead to joy

It will lead to happiness

What you could never find in the STUFF of life

The Double Stuffed Oreos

And Chocolate Chip cookies

And ice cream sundaes

Was found in the Hand of the One who gave it all

So we could find peace

Joy

Happiness

He already knew

We were looking for it

That’s why He came here

To help us find it

 

 

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Jen August 12, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Wow Holly, I love reading your blog. You share your experiences so effortlessly and beautifully, in words that ring so true for me. I had to pick my jaw off the floor when I read “BIG MAC” all in caps. Ummm, I am obsessed with them recently as they have the Monopoly game pieces and seem to fill and quiet that place inside me so many of us share. Thank you for reminding me that peace is the answer and there is only one place for me to find it. Peace out!

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Rhonda W August 12, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Powerful Holly… and I think you hit the nail on the head! Thanks for sharing.

Oh… by the way.. I’m getting my first tattoo (at age 57) tomorrow. You can see it on my Pinterest board under tattoos. It is Proverbs 31:25. It would be perfect for you too. Take a look. Hugs and have a great week.

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Lyn August 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm

This was very thought provoking Holly. I think we try to reach happiness as a place, or a constant state of being, and that is just not natural. God gave us feelings and emotions and it is just as normal to be sad or frustrated sometimes. Other feelings help us to take appropriate actions. That sadness at your state propelled you to make changes. Those changes, I hope, have led you to more frequent happiness. I think we find that happiness in little moments each day: looking into our child’s eyes, petting our dogs, seeing beautiful flowers, smelling a rose. Even if there is sadness or hurt in that day, the happiness can still be there if we look for it.
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Lori August 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Thanks for something to think about. I always enjoy reading your thoughts. I’ve missed you.
Lori
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ErinK August 12, 2013 at 4:02 pm

What a beautiful post Holly! And a wonderful reminder. And a gentle introduction for those who don’t know the Prince of Peace. Love and prayers for you and your sweet family!

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Anna August 12, 2013 at 4:57 pm

Powerful stuff, and so well written. Thanks, Holly! =)

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Sheryl C. August 12, 2013 at 5:47 pm

So very true.
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Amanda August 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Wow, Holly…that is such a great analogy! I actually wrote it down in my journal, and will be mulling over it for a while. There are definitely areas in my life that I need to let go of the search for happiness, and instead get grounded in peace.

Thanks!

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sunnydaze August 12, 2013 at 6:33 pm

I totally agree. I used to be one of the people that would look for things to make me happy instead of looking within or above. Live and learn. I so agree that it all begins with the peace one gets from finding The Lord. Without that, there is nothing.

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Kerstin August 12, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Hi Holly, I am a long-time reader and even though I am an agnostic (who longs to “believe” but just doesn’t feel it inside) I still take a lot away from these kind of posts. You express so much of what goes on inside of me with regards to food, anxieties and emotional eating. This post reminded me of a great quote by Shauna (aka gluten free girl): “I’ve realized that happiness is movement in the body and stillness in the mind.
”
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Margene August 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Very powerful! A Christ centered life is bound to bring peace and happiness!! 🙂

~Margene
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Marc August 12, 2013 at 7:57 pm

Another very thought provoking post. Here’s what I took away from my own divorce over eighteen years ago: It wasn’t her responsibility to make me happy. Likewise…it wasn’t my job to make her happy. We alone are responsible for our own happiness. I finally got to a place where I stopped blaming her for my misery. (hah!) We all deserve happiness…even ex spouses.
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Cathy Jones August 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Oh my gosh Holly! I just love this piece!! And the peace that Jesus gives is a joy unspeakable! It will fill that missing piece that we all look for! The missing piece is peace through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! You are preaching now sister! And I love it!

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Leah August 12, 2013 at 10:09 pm

Tearing up. This is exactly what I needed at this moment. God is peace, God provides the peace. Sad that we chase all these other things to bring happiness or peace, and there is and has always been one answer. God. Thank you my heart needed this.

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robin August 12, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Amen

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Shay August 13, 2013 at 1:54 am

Thank you for this, Holly!

I think that definitely peace is found in Jesus and God. I also believe that happiness isn’t found in one thing. Happiness is based on choosing to be happy…if we aren’t happy with something, we work to change it and we focus on being happy during the transformation. That transformation never ends, as we are always working to be better. We have to choose to be happy in the meantime and for the duration. We may not be happy with some of the choices that we’ve made, but we can choose to be happy with the results of those choices, and if we’re not, again, we can choose to work on bettering the effects of those choices and being happy while we do that. That’s just my two cents; it’s something I’ve found in my own life…happiness is a series of never-ending choices to be happy!

Thanks so much for the post, as usual!!
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Shay August 13, 2013 at 1:56 am

I didn’t mean that “happiness isn’t found in one thing” to sound like I was saying that happiness isn’t based on God–because it IS! That’s the truest form of happiness. I meant in the stream of daily life, which always includes God but sometimes also includes things that can be hard. 🙂
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Sue August 13, 2013 at 9:52 am

I’m sorry to hear your sorrows Holly. I just love reading your post. They are very inspiring. You are a gifted person and you’re sharing your gift through your posts. Life is complicated and most of the time we get caught of the complications. Just go with the flow and just keep it up. 🙂

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Taryl August 15, 2013 at 11:54 pm

Peace and joy are what we all seek. I can’t find either apart from Christ. With a transformed heart, however, I can find peace and joy even in the midst of awful and trying circumstances. His grace is truly sufficient in a way that a big bowl of cobbler cannot be.
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annamarie August 16, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Thank you so much Holly. He always leads me back to you to read your posts. So much has been going on right now with me and I have been in such a foggy cloud. Even this morning I was praying for some type of relief or some type of calming. And now today I read your post. I just need to feel peace and the rest will fall in place.

Bless you and Thank you.
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Becky September 5, 2013 at 11:52 am

Yes, after we’ve finished chasing after all the externals and find that we are still restless, it does come back to Him: the Prince of Peace. I lived so much of my life for the next thing, missing the journey, not realizing that the journey is the whole point. There is no final, perfect destination in this life. This life is designed to be a journey and the point is to live to glorify Him.

I find myself when I’m helping others. When I focus on me too long, I become restless and dissatisfied. Like an ungrateful child on Christmas morning.

You are gifted at expressing yourself, Holly. And very wise to know what is missing when we’re done chasing what this world has to offer.

Blessings.

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