“You’re going to be happy”, Life said, “But, I’m going to make you strong first.”
For those who don’t know me, March is my hardest month of the year. And I hate it. March is the month of so many happy things in my life (like tons of birthdays including my own, the start of spring, and usually the sun starts to come visit!). But March also holds a lot of pain, a lot of trauma, and a lot of guilt. Pain and trauma from my past relationships and guilt from the things I chose to do when I was younger that caused a lot of hurt in my relationships with my family. And unfortunately, that is like a gold mine for the enemy. And what’s even worse, I let the enemy get the best of me. I’m going to be honest, I almost lost myself completely. After battling seasonal depression in a very long and dark winter, struggling with my self confidence at work and at home, and getting little to no exercise gave the enemy all the tools needed to bring flash backs, night terrors, and body memories back in a blazing fury. I was down for the count before March even started. The enemy had me completely convinced that it was okay that I was settling in my own suffering as an act of contentment and I was completely missing the mark.
Just last week I was talking to my counselor about how I felt like I was in a rut, that I was stuck. I was tired of being “depressed”, I was tired of feeling unhappy, I was tired of being tired, I felt like I was settling. I was tired of being content. She then described contentment. Her exact words were “Peaceful Happiness”. And those two words changed my thought process completely. She explained how the enemy can turn God’s word into negatives. The enemy can turn worship from a heart position to a job or a chore. He can turn prayer from talking to your loving Father to talking to the sky with no response. He can turn contentment from peaceful happiness to settling.
I had realized that the last few months weren’t months of settling, they were months of growing. I was far from graceful in how I handled myself, but God’s healing was all over me the whole time. Instead of refusing to get out of bed, I got up every morning. Instead of canceling counseling appointments, I went anyways. Instead of allowing the body memories and night terrors turn me into a shell, I faced them and dealt with them. And instead of suffering alone, I leaned on people. All of this is because God created me to be strong enough to handle it. He didn’t bring this pain into my life, I did. But He held me through it. He showed me that even when the world around me is in chaos, that voice inside that says, “I’m with you, trust Me, I won’t let you go, Follow ME”, is HIM. He is my peaceful happiness. He is my Strength, my Healer, my Redeemer, my Peaceful Happiness. I don’t have it all figured out, but from what I’ve learned so far is that God doesn’t promise an easy life, but He does promise to give us the tools (people) and the strength to get through it. And next winter and March, I’m going to use the tools I gained this year.
If nothing else, I hope that this post encourages whoever is reading this to not give up. God’s got something greater planned for You. Have faith, Stay Strong, and find your Peaceful Happiness. Oh, and don’t forget to smile 🙂