“Happiness comes quickly when you turn your eyes away from your needs and back to your God”
‘Just smile’. A statement that is much easier said than done. For me, true happiness was very hard to find, and truthfully, it is only recently that I can confidently say that I am happy. And it took a lot of God, dropping a few bad habits and acquiring some better ones to find it.
Life was good until I reached 2010, which is jokingly and kind of seriously referred to as the year I almost single handedly ruined my life. I wasn’t able to start university like I had been planning so I felt like I was going no where. I also started drinking and partying a lot more than I used to, which was not at all. I would write myself off every single time and the next morning would deal with a killer hangover and a few more regrets to add to the pile. Although every single time I managed to convince myself that I was happy and having fun and it wasn’t until last July, when I found myself in a hole of self hatred that I realised something needed to change. That was a year ago, and it is only now that I feel like that particular change is complete. It took me one year to completely turn my back on it all. It took me one year of continually giving God all the baggage I had collected from the year before.
I was very, very far from happy. I still went to church and did all the ‘God’ stuff but I had turned my eyes away from him, choosing to focus on other things. And I had to make a lot of changes to my life and let go of a lot of things I used to do but as I re-aligned my focus, my happiness began to return. Some days it was a fight not to give in to the depression I faced, but every single day I won was worth the days I didn’t. And God wasn’t an instant solution to a problem. It was still hard, and it still hurt, but he walked with me every single day, and one day I found that I finally had made my way back to happy. These last 12 months have been the longest 12 months of my life but I have come out the other side with my life deeply cemented within the love and grace of God. I no longer drink and I no longer party and it is my current goal to become emotionally, physically and spiritually healthy.
For me, I turned away from God and tried to find happiness in cheap thrills and fixes. And those closest to me could see that I wasn’t doing very well at all. And nothing but God, and focusing on him, would pull me out of that. The happiness I found in those things was fleeting, but the happiness I found, and continue to find in God will last forever.
So I understand that somedays you can’t just click your fingers to make the sadness disappear but I do challenge you to begin to fill your life with things that are good for you and make you smile because the things you fill your life with do affect how you feel. And I also understand that somedays it is a fight to not left the bad stuff win. But trust me when I say that God wants to help you fight, and win that battle.