WARNING: The layout of this blog will be changing 🙂
Sitting here in my little hamster wheel, I had an epiphany… I AM HAPPY! A deep down, sincere, felt in my heart happy. I have a lot of experience raising children. I am good at applying the gospel to my life and helping my children apply it to theirs. I am not responsible for others’ emotions or feelings. I am good at what I do and I have a lot to offer.
Those feelings are contrary to the emotions I have been sifting through for the past 13 months. I wouldn’t say that I wasn’t happy…. BUT I Wasn’t Happy! I have been really struggling because my life wasn’t going where I expected it to and I was really having difficulty with the change in direction.
I had plans! (I always have plans….usually with a capital P.) My life had taken a turn that was not a part of THE PLAN. (My life always has those turns in it—the ones where the Lord says, “I want you going in THIS direction, 180 degrees from the way you are facing.”) I kick! I scream! I whine!…..No Good. I was “lifted up in the pride of my heart” as Jacob would say.
Finally, I reluctantly cave. I do what I know is right, but I refuse to give my heart to the process. I will obey, but I will not be happy about it. (Moroni 7:8 For behold, if a man being aevil giveth a gift, he doeth it bgrudgingly; wherefore it is counted unto him the same as if he had retained the gift; wherefore he is counted evil before God.) [Doesn’t sound like obedience without heart is very helpful….]
Then I spend the next (insert a long period of time here) going through the motions but not with a happy heart. Somewhere after wandering my 40 days in the wilderness, I come to accept the new direction and a little while after that, my heart again learns to sing that sweet song—-I am Happy. (I am reminded of Dori the Fish here ….just keep swimming!)
I have a concrete example:
I LOVE serving the youth—-my favorite assignments are with the teenagers. Somewhere about 2004, I had been serving with them for about 2 years. Without warning, I was released and asked to teach in the Primary (18 month to 11). I was not happy. Fine. I will teach. No heart accompanied my assignment. Every time I taught, I was just going through the motions. I longed to be with the youth. I always wanted to know what they were doing and how everyone was managing.
About a year into my Primary calling, I dropped my youth aged children off at a fireside. As I drove away, I realized for the first time in a year, I wasn’t longing to be inside with the youth. I consciously recognized that I had not been invested in my current assignment. I vowed to myself and committed to my Father in Heaven that I would change. (Alma 5:14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye aspiritually been bborn of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty cchange in your hearts?)
The following Sunday, I was released from Primary and called back into serve with the youth. It would seem the Lord was just waiting for me to hand over my heart. (Mosiah 2:9 And these are the words which he aspake and caused to be written, saying: My brethren, all ye that have assembled yourselves together, you that can hear my words which I shall speak unto you this day; for I have not commanded you to come up hither to btrifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should chearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your dhearts that ye may understand, and your eminds that the fmysteries of God may be unfolded to your view.)
So here I am again….doing my duty without a heart. No more. I have had that mighty change of heart in this circumstance. I am back! I feel it deep inside….true happiness.
How do you initiate that mighty change of heart the Lord requires? How do you emotionally mange difficult situations that you cannot change? How can you help yourself and others to accept unchangeable circumstances and choose to be genuinely happy?