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Challenge: Gratitude & Giving

God wants to be happy

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I honestly never knew this until recently. I thought my relationship with God was more about obedience and reward/punishment. I thought God was calculating my every move and if I did X,Y,Z, then He would reward me with happiness-- however He saw fit.


And then, I had a sudden and powerful spiritual awakening. If I told you the details, you'd probably think I was crazy. But I am not. I am blessed beyond all belief. Jesus and I had a moment-- an undeniable moment that left me filled with a light, love and warmth so powerful that I now know:


So what? Why does that matter? I have always wanted to be happy, why does it matter that God wants me to be happy, too? I am still figuring it all out to be honest, but what I do know is that I feel so free and so loved.

I've always been a people pleaser and I have always wanted and needed the approval of others in all that I do. In other words, I put my happiness last and theirs first. I thought that was the right, responsible thing. I thought that made me a good, loving, selfless mother, daughter, sister, employee, etc. But I thought wrong. It made me resentful. It made me unhappy. It made me unkind. It made me stressed and it made so full of fear. And it pushed (or pulled) me away from God.


I had been chasing happiness in all the wrong places and Jesus said to me loud and clear, " You know how to be happy, child. Go and do it!" And I freaking did it. I took the risk and quit the job that made me miserable. I am pursuing my dreams and saying yes to little vacations and yes to the projects that don't pay great but fill my soul. But I know that my happiness doesn't come from a job, or lack thereof; it doesn't come from vacations or money or anything external. It comes from the unconditional love I am feeling from God. The love that says I am enough and I can trust my own inner voice and that when I fail at whatever (because I will at some point) I wont be alone or wrong or bad or weak or a failure. My happiness comes from God's undying support and love that tells me its perfectly okay to just be me. In fact, that is all God has wanted from me and for me all along. And so, Here I am, world.

I am a better mother, ex-wife, daughter, sister and friend because of His love. I am lighter. I am free. I have balance. I have faith. And the most beautiful thing of all? I have no fear. No anxiety. No loud chatter in my head pulling me out of my precious moments. I am sure trials await and stress will come and go. Fear is likely to return in waves as well. But when it does, I will close my eyes and remember my special moment with Jesus and I will ask for help and guidance and strength. And if I am lucky, I will get another special moment with Him.

In the meantime, I wake up everyday with a new prayer of thanks. One that feels more authentic and grateful than ever before. I realize that every minute of every day is a gift from God and that I am here to be happy, to enjoy life, and to spread the love and power of God in all that I do. And I realize that it isn't (and it never was) about punishment and reward and fearful obedience. I obey because I trust. I do the right thing because that is what brings me happiness or peace or both. And when I slip-up because I am human and I will, guess what?


Just as I want my own children to be happy-- even if they are angry or moody or make bad decisions and/or disobey me. And if my kids know how to be happy, I want them to make it freaking happen-- no matter what!

It's all very simple, really- I just wasn't ready to see it until now. And so, I share it with you all and hope you have your moment with God or Jesus or your higher power and I hope you hear it loud and clear: "You know how to be happy, child. Go and do it!"
You have God's love and support. And You sure as hell don't need anyone else's.

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