This is an age-old question that most of us asks ourselves a lot. I believe the answer is up to us. I used to think that when I got married, I’d be happy. Then, I thought when I moved to a different area, I’d be happy. I thought a new job or saving my money would make me happy. I had based my happiness on things to make me feel happy. And, soon I found out that I was hoping for something else to make me happy when new things, or even people, can’t make me happy.
I’m learning happy isn’t just an emotion, it’s a choice. Not everything goes our way everyday.
I believe we have to choose happiness as a state of mind. That’s what Paul says when he said he learned to “be content in all situations…” (Philippians 4:11). It wasn’t something that came natural to him and it won’t always for us either. We have to work hard at it. Life happens to us all and if we waited around for our emotions to feel happy, we could be waiting for years.
I love creating greeting cards and illustrations + I love to write. I surround myself with these everyday to help me remain creative and full of ideas. But I have to choose to be happy, especially on the days where I’m struggling. I talk to God about how I’m feeling and ask Him to fill my heart with His ideas and vision. It always helps when I talk to Him because He truly understands how emotional I am.
It doesn’t mean my situation improves, most times than not, it doesn’t change at all, at least right away. But I change instead. I like to be real with myself, I don’t like the “fake it till I make it“. If I’m unhappy about something, I just am. The Lord knows how to help me get back on track. These are the days where I have to force a smile, but I’m usually glad I do. My days goes by better smiling than frowning. Again, it’s my choice to smile, my choice to stay content and my choice to be grateful and happy with what God has given me.
On those struggling days to be happy, just remember that God’s always working even when the situations around us don’t change immediately. He will comfort and equip us to handle where we are if we just surrender it all to Him.