Happy? Who Me?

so happy 2I don’t tend to think of myself as a happy person. I don’t have a permanent smile. I’m not euphoric. My step isn’t perpetually bouncy.

As much as I like people, I believe we all have a sin nature. I’ve been known to question a motive or two. I’m not a pessimist, but I wouldn’t characterize myself as an optimist either.

Perhaps the name tag I’d choose would read, “Content.” I know things could be worse. I’ve lived through worse. I also know things could be better. I know my health could be better, my bank account could be fuller, my support level could be at 100%, and my plane tickets could all be first class.

I’m fully aware of the possibilities–in both directions. I’m also aware that I serve a sovereign God. He knows what I need. He knows what I can handle. He is my help–the one who sustains me (Psalm 54:4).

A few years ago when I was in the hospital with yet another bout of mystery illness, there wasn’t much I could do.  There were moments when I thought, “Why is this happening to me?!”  I decided I had a choice.  I could wallow in self-pity or I could get up and do something.

The only physical activity I could engage in was walking around the hospital’s floor.  I had a circuit down and tried to do more of them each day.   The hospital is run by the Adventists.  The hallways are lined with beautiful paintings paired with Scripture verses proclaiming God’s goodness and care.

As I shuffled through the halls, I chose a painting and its verse to focus on.  I prayed that I would see the truth manifest in my life.  I asked for the strength to keep going, to see the truth, to live it out for others.  As I meditated and prayed, the “Why me’s?” disappeared and contentment settled.

There are days when I’m down.  There are days when I’m elated.  Most days I feel pretty steady.

I’m content, and I like it.

photo courtesy of lusi.

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(I’m participating in Faith Barista’s Faith Jam.  Every week she’s asking other bloggers to “jam like musicians” on a faith related topic.  Today’s post is my riff on “How does your faith connect to your happiness?” If you’re interested in the notes others added to this Faith Jam, go check out her site and follow the links.)

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7 Responses to “Happy? Who Me?”

  1. shelleyOctober 21, 2010 at 6:10 am #

    Steady is good!

    The Barista Jam blog is good too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ginger HuntOctober 21, 2010 at 7:08 am #

    When my life fell apart, and the judge said I had to live in New York, David’s story of loss helped me realize that all I really needed was God. That has helped me to be much more content for many years! I don’t like going through hard times, and I’m very fond of boring, but when things fall apart, I cry some hards tears, yell at the walls a bit, and go on, because I know He gets me, He really gets me.

  3. Kristine McGuireOctober 21, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    Thank you for sharing this. I think in pursuit of “happiness” people tend to forget that being content is actually better.

  4. Heidi AveryOctober 21, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    Contentment… it’s the balance that we all need. I love your perspective… thanks for sharing your testimony of God’s comfort!

  5. Faith Barista BonnieOctober 21, 2010 at 3:14 pm #

    Aw. I agree with Shelly. Steady is good. God makes us all different – with our own temperaments. I love how you embrace yours. Me, sometimes I wish I wouldn’t be so ecstatic cuz then I might not crash. But, I’m learning to embrace mine as well. I’ve noticed God matches us with different friends, so He can be there for us. So glad He brought you to our community, Sheryl! Enjoying getting to know you. And so glad you put this in the jam!

  6. Amy NaborsOctober 21, 2010 at 3:30 pm #

    I love how you focused on the scriptures. I always find when I’m concentrating on His word I have more peace.

  7. DonnaOctober 22, 2010 at 8:03 pm #

    Sheryl, I hear your decision to replace “why me’s” with a heart of contentment. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Blessings to you!

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