True Happiness

True happiness is an enduring flowering plant that draws its life and beauty and fragrance not from the shifting ground of circumstances but from being solidly deeply rooted in a right relationship with God Himself.  True happiness will sustain you with peace quietness, and confidence all the years of your life.  NO MATTER YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES. 

Thanks to my grandmother’s sweet journal she gave me last year, I stumbled across this definition today.  It really is so crazy that I have read through every page of this book, but on days where I am struggling I will pick up her book and open to a page that I could have sworn was not in here, one that I never remember reading.  But here it is and it has God’s never ending truth all over it and it is always exactly what I needed to hear.  It opens my eyes to even more hope that I have in my Lord, Jesus Christ. 

Today I was struggling with happiness.  I know that God is my only satisfaction and I know that this world is not what I want to live for.  I know that I do not need to be married to be happy or even dating someone to be happy.  But sometimes despite knowing all of this I still feel like my life would be better if there was a man in it (my dream man, the one I have been praying for ever since I was a little girl) sharing my days with.  Sharing my hopes, dreams, fears, love, horrible cooking skills, delicious baking talents, writings, devotionals, church, passions, ministries, days, and nights with.  I want a relationship so badly but why?  I have God to share all of that with.  He is the one that gave me the opportunity to even be able to have all of that.  It should be simple, I should be completely happy always with the One and only being that is the creater of happiness.  The always is where I struggle.  I have days where I look forward to spending the day with my beautiful maker, loving Him, praising Him, thanking Him for the miracle He has done in my life.  But then I have days where I choose to be distant from Him.  I choose to be upset that I have so much in my life except a godly man to share it all with.  I actually get upset with God because I just do not understand what I am supposed to be doing.  Am I single because I made mistakes in the past?  Am I single because that is what God created me to be?  Am I single because I shut guys off because I am a little terrified of them?  I hate these days when I have these feelings.  BUT I will not be having those days any longer because that definition of happiness has opened my eyes to something.

Something HUGE.  Something life changing.  I am single because God wants to use this time to draw me closer to Him.  I know what I am in Christ, and I will not settle for anything less.  Love takes time, I must be patient.  I need to take the time to grow in my relationship with God before I can ever even think about a relationship with a man.  God loves me so I do not need to worry about the love of any other man, God has it all figured out for me, and I thank Him for that.  God loves me and I need to start embracing His love and know that he promises the desires of my heart.  I need to make sure that my desires are God’s desires for my life.  Doubting God’s goodness is unacceptable and unnecessary.  My life is happy because of God and He can do whatever he would like to in my life and I will still be happy.  My heart is trusted completely to God. 

Squeeze your right hand, hug your letters

I always try to figure out why God has placed different people into my life.  Some people I will never have figured out others I don’t know how I would live without.  One of my favorites would have to be my sweet grandmother.  We just celebrated her 80th birthday!!  My gradma and I have always been really close even though we have lived far apart for most of my life.  My gram and I are pen pals.  We write back and forth to each other all the time.  I always “joked” her letters were magical.  Her letters were written to me as though God himself was talking to me.  For the past 12 years I write my gram, tell her what I am struggling with, ask her about life in Middletown and she writes back with so much wisdom.  She always puts just the write scripute I need to be reading in them.  I don’t even have to go into detail about what I am struggling with, most days it was too painful so I would just say I don’t know what to do, it is bad Gram, I am struggling.  Every time, she responded with the truth and love and peace I needed, simply life saving.  God used my grandmother to help me out of an extremely abusive relationship and she didn’t even know I was in one.  The letters that stick out the most to me were the one I sent her about my relationship with God.  I told her to pray for me because I didn’t have a relationship with God anymore, I toold her that he felt so distant and was not with me, and I hated that but did not know how to get Him back.  She responded with a letter and in it she said, God never leaves us, he waits patiently for us to come back to Him.  Maybe a year later (if that) I came back to Him!!!  The next favorite letter was the one I wrote to her about how God answered our prayers, I am back with Him and it was the best feeling in the world.  I thanked her for praying for me and always encouraging me in His word.  Then my gram told me something I will absolutely remember forever.  I had just written a devotional about loneliness and she read it.  When I talked to her on Thanksgiving she said to me, Diane I never want you to be lonely you are not alone.  God is holding Jesus’ right hand; that means He is holding your right hand too.  Squeeze your hand and feel him there and remember how much he and I love you every time you do that.  This past weekend I finally got to ACTUALLY squeeze my grandmother’s hand, and it was just so perfect!  She said to me, I hug your letters and always think a real hug would be so much better, and now we get to really hug.  My gram’s love in my life has saved my life.  Not because she loves me, but because I see God’d love so evident in her life.  The way she really allows God to work through her is amazingly inspiring.  The way she is so obedient to our Lord.  The way she loves each and every one of her children, grand-children, great-grand-children, neighbors, and strangers.  She has touched so many lives with the hope of Jesus’s grace.  God used her in a beautiful way in my life and I am so blessed to have her here with me.   

Living of God

I will never forget the day my sister said to me, “You did it Di; you are living in the world not of the world”!  It still makes me smile when I think back to that day.  It was the first day of living a FREE life in Christ.  For so long I was struggling with fitting in, and trying to please everyone.  I wanted everyone to love me, and I would go to any extreme to make this happen.  My life was completely dependent on what others wanted for it, and I tricked myself into believing that it was exactly what I wanted too.  I was living my life for this world.  I was trying so hard to find my happiness and love in this world.  No wonder I was struggling with so much; living of this world will leave you feeling extremely empty and incomplete.  How do you do it then, how do you not let this world consume you?

You have to realize that you need to change.  When you are getting more excited about falling in love with a handsome man or gorgeous woman and not God, you are living of this world.  When you are more concerned with going out and partying with friends rather than going to a small group for fellowship, you are living of this world.  When you decide to base your morals and decisions on other people or things that look appealing to your eye rather than letting the Bible be the basis for everything you stand on in this world, you are living of the world.  After many countless nights of disappointment and frustration I realized something needed to change.

 “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).  This verse inspires me because it really is as simple as thinking about life with Christ.  God is truth, he is noble, he is always right, pure, He is so lovely, and we sure do admire Him, He is beyond excellent and worthy of all of our praises.  Think about that, no really think about it.  Every time you try to fit in with the “cool crowd” or have a desire to be something of this world; really think about what it is like to be of God! 

This world will not last.   This world is not our friend; there is nothing in this world that can save us.  This world does not want us to be happy; this world does not love us.  When I was living of the world I think my happiness lasted for a day and a half.  Every time I tried to fit into this world, it drew me further and further away from the life God had already chosen for me.  John 15:19 says, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”  I am totally ok with this world hating me, it has nothing for me.  The only thing I can do in the world is live my life pleasing to God and sharing His truth and grace with everyone I meet, so they too can get out of this world’s trap and into the life God has planned for them! 

Windy Breezes, and Miraculous Interventions:)

Today was the first day of the new year!! WOOT WOOT!  I was feeling really optimistic of this year.  2011 was amazing, but there were so many tears and so much hurtfulness to work through.  Thank you Jesus for giving me strength to get through 2011 and end it on such an amazing HIGH with you:).  The last thing I imagined this day to be like was challenging and frustrating…but it was that and so much more.  You know those days where you just cry…that was my day.  I came home to spend time with my mommy and daddy, and I ended up leaving, deciding to go home and just ball my eyes out.  My dad as always made a spot on his shoulder for me to cry into.  I have mascara stained so many of his shirts!! Thank you daddy:).  There was no real particular reason for the tears, just upset.  We are intitled to be upset sometimes and that is just what I was.  On my way home, I missed the turn for the highway, so I decided to take the back roads.  There was a huge wind storm today, resulting in tree branches all over the road.  I slightly went to the side of the road, and to my dismay there were 5 potholes waiting for my tires.  I went through all of them, honestly thinking my car was broken.  Then there was a HUGE tree branch, and I am not talking a thin one it was really big and thick, no way around it, so I ended up having to run over it, and it bounced up and hit my window, which just really scared me.  Then there were tree branches dangling and hitting my car.  I thought to myself could anything else go wrong right now, and it did.  My car so politely told me the tire pressure in my front tire was low and now at 1%.  I am crying a lot, my dad comes to my rescue.  AAA is called and I get a ride to the shop my car is going to and then my apartment.  This is where God comes through.  Right when we think we are going through something so awful, God uses it for good!  This driver was so nice.  I was terrified to get into a tow truck by myself.  But, the Lord was with me and He comforted me.  I turned the radio to K-love.  I told the driver all about the 30 day challenge to listen to only Christian music for 30 days, he said oh cool.  He had asked me to call AAA and let them know how great the service was, I absolutely said I would, and then asked him if he would do something too, listen to K-love for 30 days.  He said he would!  This is where I know God has changed me.  In January 2011 I would have never thought to tell anyone about God in any circumstance I was in, good or bad.  January 2012 I am determined to be God’s light in every circumstance he puts me in.  I will look to all things with hope that God is with me and has a plan for this.  I will not become discouraged but will be overjoyed with the blessings that the Lord pours into my life, EVERY MOMENT OF EVERY DAY!