Happiness is not an anchor
Living in Portland has it's ups, I love the beauty here, the rich, breathtaking colors of every season, the city life, the shopping (of course!), the green loving people and the scenic views of Mt hood displayed outside my window. But the downside is the RAIN... it's like a shadow looms over the city and breaths depression onto it's victims. Before Preston died I heard ppl say weather can be depressing and I really thought, "Get over it" it's your choice how you feel. But it was easy for me to make that choice to be happy despite the weather because there was nothing that so easily crippled my emotion.
(I promise you, keep reading and you will find this doesn't end in a puddle of depression)
Monday I woke up, peaked outside my (tacky) mini blinds and questioned whether or not I had slept until dusk, it was dark, dismal and rainy. My always smiling boys, quickly informed me that it was indeed morning, they were much of my sunshine this day!
I felt like I had this cloak of sadness around me, and I couldn't shake it off, it came quite against my will, like a swaddled baby, desperate for escape (at least my babies were that way!) I hate hate hate hate these days, I get them every so often since the accident and wish I could sleep through them instead of fight through them. They are SO not me or so not who I want to be, I'm a happy person, I'm crazy and charismatic and fun, not depressed and sad and without smiles! Maybe you can relate, there are days when you feel you can get out of "the mood" and others when it's wrapped so tightly around you there is no chance of escape.
So on these days I must accept this is the day the Lord has made and decide how I will survive and fight through them. I chose God, I'd be dumb not too. And the way I see it, at the end of my day do I want to say I was better for today or worse than before? God always makes it better. Always.
Sometimes I think God allows these days because if we choose to we can learn A TON through them.
I began to journal what I was thankful for, my boys, my friends, my family, my cute new dress (ha ha i'm kidding).... but what kept running through my mind was that which anchors my soul.
God is in control.
God is sovereign over it all, my good days and my bad days. Death and life.
John Piper says it well in his book "A sweet and bitter providence" (Amazing so amazing)
"The painful things that come into our lives are not described by God as accidental or as out of his control. This would be NO comfort. That God cannot stop a germ or a car or a bullet or a demon is NOT good news; it is not the news of the Bible. GOD CAN. And ten thousand times he does. But when he doesn't he has his reasons. And in Christ Jesus they are all loving"
What a confidence to have. To know that God is entirely in control of everything, and he works for MY good and ultimately his glory. All that God is anchors my soul.
And part of my downer of a day is that I am honestly not super happy, I have happy moments but overall i'm just not happy, it is mainly the single parenting that is really difficult and exhausting and the lack of relief that doesn't come is daunting and then just my situation in general. This is a super super hard thing to even say, I want people to see that I'm happy, even when I'm not because I hate putting a damper on life or being that girl who carries so much sorrow around no one can stand talking to her! I'll be honest if we're able to sit and talk about my day, but I'll rarely say I'm terrible, even if I am, why sadden your day?
BUT...whoohoo there is good here.
Happiness IS fleeting, but the joy in the Lord is eternal.
A truth we've all heard, but it's really making an impact right now. I can find happiness in this life, for sure. I can manipulate my circumstances and often my bank account to make me happy, but like so many of you have come to realize, those spurts of happiness never lasts and then we're onto finding the next thing. So being anchored in the joy of the Lord is powerful beyond measure. It's like eating a good healthy meal vs filling up on empty carbs like doritos (although i do love them:) The healthy meal is going to keep you going. God is gracious, he loves us immensely and he blesses us with moments, times and even seasons of happiness, but because happiness is not rooted in him it won't last or sustain our soul... I'm going for the soul sustainer!
So there you have it. One totally crappy day, but two pivotal things that my life is anchored in: God is in control of all it ALL. And my joy is found in the Lord. I can weep all I want, I can have endless rainy days, I can sway this way and that way emotionally but bottom line is that I have God's joy and that makes it better.