Ever since I began college, I had this weird obsession with trying to find happiness. I think it stemmed from the constant depression and anxiety throughout my 4.5 years there. And I believed I’d find it as long as I had a strong faith, a fulfilling career, a healthy body/mind, being surrounded by loved ones, traveling/seeing the world, and financial stability. Sure enough, my faith wasn’t prioritized as first above all. And all but being surrounded by people I love, I have yet to achieve any of what I believed would make me happy.
So why have I decided that I’m going to stop chasing happiness? The very thing I’ve based all my goals and decisions around? Simple. I had a revelation through today’s devotional:
God’s loyalty has been proven over and over again. In reviewing my own experiences, and in observing the lives of many others, I have become aware that the individual who seeks happiness never finds it, but the one who is committed to taking happiness to others always finds it. And he also finds meaning, purpose, joy and peace in the process.
You know what today’s devotional was titled? “How to Find Your Life”………………….. How could I not believe in God when He hits me with such crazily accurate and relevant devotionals during a season in my life where I am feeling so so lost????? I mean, He hit me with FIVE WORDS. (Especially after a weekend of serious repentance and regret…. smh…)
It’s funny when I read devotions or scriptures that are relevant to my exact situation at the exact right moment in time. It’s not like they’re completely mind-blowing revelations. But it’s more like a smack in the head “Duh!” revelations.
This past year, I’d been asking God about serving at church again. I hadn’t served at a church since graduating high school. Mainly because my indecisive butt couldn’t choose a church to call home while I was in college. Anyways, since I’m back at home, I’d been pulled in to serving as the 8th grade girls Bible Study teacher on Sundays. It was supposed to be a summer thing. Just until I could get a job. Using the prospect of getting a job at any moment, at which I would happily be able to leave this town, this state. But here I am, beginning of fall and I’m still teaching these girls. They’re nice girls. (But everyone is nice once you get to know them.) It’s hard though. It’s been really difficult dealing with the millisecond attention spans, teenage attitudes, and general lack of sincere and deep interest in a relationship with God. And I get it. I’ve been there. My friends and I were probably just like them at that age. The only issues in life during that age are school and family. No fears of money, jobs, or finding love.
“How was your guys’ weekend?”
“I don’t know.”
“Anything interesting at school this week?”
I feel like I’ve been exposed to all aspects of these girls because I was also their retreat counselor. So it’s not like this is a only Sunday relationship I have with them. I’ve even taken them out on an outing! And yet, I’m just not seeing the kind of relationship I envisioned having with them. To be honest, in the beginning I was so excited, and I bribed them with snacks every Sunday hoping we could talk about deeper things in life and their questions about the Bible and God. During retreat, I prayed every time we had a chance, that these girls would come to love and respect the Father as I do. That they would have the kind of relationship I have with Him, as a Father and a Friend. Because really, this relationship is the most precious relationship. The only constant relationship. And I know this kind of stuff takes times, but it’s been so discouraging seeing how these girls just don’t get it. And at this point, the only thing I can show them is that I care for them. And I do, I really do. They were my first batch of kids that I was a leader for when I was old enough to help out with VBS and they were just entering preschool. And I’m seeing them grow and I want them to accept and love Christ like now lol because it is so so great.
Maybe I’m just not the teacher type. I’m not the mentor type. But I can be loving. I can be caring. And I can’t let this depressing season of my life affect them by not always being as present as I should be. That’s not fair to them. I need to show them love. I need to show them love. I need to show them love. It’s hard trying to be patient with them when they’re all shouting over one another and get sidetracked. But I need to try harder because God placed me here for a reason. I can either keep being depressed at the utter lack of people wanting to hire me and continue swiping through Instagram and click through snap stories of friends living what seems like “happier” and “simpler” lives. Or I can stop moping about the fact that I am serving at my home church during this season of trials.
Serving at this home church is the last place I ever thought nor wanted to be after graduating college. I didn’t want to be another KUMC kid still hanging out at church with nothing else going on in their life for them.
I have nothing right now. I have less than $100 in my bank account. I have loads of school loans to pay off with no income. I have still yet to get a single reply back from the countless jobs I have applied to in the past 6 months. I am living under my parents roof. I go grocery shopping with their cards. I have nothing. And it’s terribly embarrassing that it’s circumstances like these where I am brought down to my knees, no where else to go, no one else to turn to but God. But PTL that I have a Father, that I have Him to turn to during months like these. My life feels so backwards right now. This is not where I should be. And yet it is because where I am right now is exactly where God wants me to be. He’s obviously been working in me this past year. It’s been a while since I’ve been on my knees so often, crying, and screaming, and angry, and upset, and any and every other emotion running and racing through my body. And all the while, He still chooses to be here for me and still chooses to love me.
I’m gonna stop chasing happiness because I know it will follow when God becomes my sole priority. Where my life revolves around Him and Him only. I need to stop dreaming and start doing. Whatever that may be. Anything to bring me closer to him. I am reminded He>I.
“For anyone who keeps his life for himself shall lose it; and anyone who loses his life for Me shall find it again” (Matthew 16:25)