Remember this post when I was talking about life’s hills and valleys? And how I kind of felt like my own life was experiencing a valley?
Well one Friday night, a few weeks ago, I was talking to my friend Taylor and I confided in her that I couldn’t remember the last time that I felt genuinely happy.
Do you know how absolutely devastating it is to say that? To feel it?
Sure I had had plenty of moments where I was happy. Smiling and laughing—happy.
But I’m talking about those moments, those memories in your life where you look back hours, days, even years later and just smile, remembering every detail and how irrevocably happy you were.
There was nothing to hinder the happy.
There was no fog-like hurt to creep in around the edges of that happy memory.
Where you just kind of bask in your sheer and blissful happiness.
And for someone who was used to spending the majority of her time being happy, this realization that I was struggling to find genuine happiness, was a crippling blow.
Just like when something clicked in my head years ago, I just kind of had an ah-ha moment. (Potentially prompted by the writing of the Eat, Pray, Love post.)
I couldn’t blame this unhappiness on something, someone.
If I was going to be happy again, genuinely happy, I was going to have to do work.
I was going to have to work on me.
So I set out with a little plan.
Just as it should, it started with church,
We were at church for an event and I crept off from the rest of the group to steal a few minutes for myself in the sanctuary alone.
Just me and God.
And I totally get that you can have moments with God, anywhere at anytime, but there’s just something about sitting in His house, alone in the quiet, and just feeling like you’re sitting with Him.
I sat in the very back of the sanctuary, in one of the gliders for the mommas with babies, and glided, gazing up at the huge stain glass image of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.
I guess what happened then was a bit between me and Him, but I just remember feeling the burden of my unhappiness being lifted from my shoulders and a kind of stillness come over my heart.
And I cried.
When I finally got up, I took one last look at the beautiful image, leaving the sanctuary knowing that God had started the process of growth within me.
The sweetest thing is that every Sunday that I go in there, I look up at the huge window and smile. It’s like a special secret just between me and God—well I guess now you, too.
It’s like the rainbow for Noah.
It’s the promise that He is always, and will always, be there for me: to carry all of my burdens and to help guide me in my life.
then there were friends,
Because my friends are another guiding force in my life, and because the whole thing kind of started with my confession to Taylor, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to really go this alone.
I found myself calling upon them with another favor of friendship; for their love, their support. And every one of them responded with such gusto and compassion that I’m not sure I will ever possibly be able to thank them for all that they’ve done for me.
Tanya with her funny words and unending love, Meredith with her concern and her house as a get-away, Taylor and her understanding ways and always-there ear.
And then there was Brittany with her Skype dates and her words that could just…well here, you can see, “…I’m pretty sure that’s what makes us great friends. We get through things. Together. And we help each other become better people…I mean everything happens for a reason. And we’ll find out why all as friends.”
She loves me. She loves us. And we love her. And she’s right, as friends we are always there for each other and this is one of those times when they’re there for me.
Because that’s what we are, a family of friends. Where one’s burden is another’s. Just like one’s joy is everyone’s.
And in the end, we’re just going to be even closer, better friends then we were before.
and a little homework assignment.
Kind of like that little saying where you can find something good in every day, I’ve decided to find moments of genuine happiness in each and every day.
A new addition to my journal.
When I first started, it was a few brief moments scattered about each day.
But in my next post, I’ll share the first evening where I was genuinely happy—I hope that it will actually be extended to my entire weekend, but only time will tell.
I understand that this whole change thing takes baby steps. Some days are much better than others. Some hours seem to tick by excruciatingly slow and yet others fly by.
On the whole, though, I feel so much better.
My heart feels lighter. I’m growing. I’m changing.
I’m doing this.
I can (continue to) do this.
I will be genuinely happy. Again.
I hope that each of you has a lovely weekend! :)
It’s graduation around these parts and then another exciting weekend adventure!
See you Monday!