Happiness is from God.

18 Oct

Yesterday, I would have had reason for being frustrated. Travis’ mom, dad and brother are out here for elk hunting and I, for the 3rd year in a row, have to miss the majority of their stay because of work. This year, I had to leave on Sunday morning in order to leave for Vegas – we’re putting on our last race of the season, Pumpkinman, this coming Saturday. I am SO ready for this season to be over and to have some time to relax and not feel the temptation to be stressed out.

But yesterday, as we were driving through the mountains on I-70, I couldn’t help but feel joy at the beauty and freshness of the fall day. Granted, it’s still in the 60s, even in the mountains, but it’s about as near fall as Colorado gets at this time of year.

As I felt that joy, that lightness of spirit, that hope in the future and rest in the present, I realized that I had not had that feeling in a VERY long time. And it dawned on me: joy is from the Lord. I do not have joy in this life, I do not have rest, peace, or hope, without Jesus working it in me. I can finally thank the Lord for all the trials and dark nights I have gone through in the past year because I see now that I do not have hope or joy in this life if it isn’t in the Lord.

A similar thing happened to me in my marriage. During our first year, I grew very bitter toward Travis due to a long stretch of misunderstandings and different affection styles. I was often dismayed and broken over my lack of love for Travis. What I had though would be an exciting time of life was really just… HARD. And while I remained committed to Travis and our marriage, I didn’t feel love for him.

Thanks to God and His work in my life, that has changed immensely. I am more in love with Travis now than I was when we got married and I now recognize that the love I feel for him is totally a gift from God. I do not have love in my heart naturally, not in the face of trials, struggles, frustrations and annoyances. Like in the song, Jesus My Only Hope: “Though I am dry and barren, By grace this love springs forth.” But it took me going through that period of dryness, of lovelessness, to recognize that my love for my husband is totally from God.

It’s good for God to redirect my focus like this – from looking into my own heart and wondering why it’s so barren, from looking at my circumstances and wondering why they don’t make me feel blessed, from looking at others who seem so happy and wondering why I can’t be more like them – to HIM. God is my joy. God is my meaning and reason for living. God is my strength. God is my help. God is my planner. God is my life.

I can finally notice the changing colors on the trees and bask in the sunshine and crisp fall air while finding joy in the little things of life because I am trusting God with the bigger things. Like my friend Katie Stromwall said, “He gets glory through our trust.” If I am truly desiring to glorify God with my life, I will trust Him.

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