Feeling unappreciated, under-valued, overwhelmed and under-loved………that’s where I was. I could give you a list of things that “other” people in my life should be doing to help me more. They were not doing their part. I was the main one giving and serving. They needed to open their eyes and change their ways. I could give them a “to-do” list on their lives, Oh wait, I had done that. Not necessarily in list form but in nagging form. You know the tone, “Honey, I just need you to help out more,” or “Why do you not meet my needs better,” “Why do I always feel like you think my job is to give give give and never receive anything in return,” “Am I not entitled to more from you?”
Did you notice all the finger pointing?
Did you notice all the times I said my or I?
Well God did. He noticed. And He called me out on it. You see, He loves me and He wants to root out thought patterns and habits that cause me harm. He also wants my priorities in line with what He has set in place because only in that order will my life thrive. Yes He loves me so, He called me out.
I remember that moment well. I was going through the above mentioned pity party in my head when I felt the Lord say SO strongly/sternly in my heart, “Who is the source of your happiness!?!”
Most of the time when the Lord speaks to my heart it is ever so soft, so gentle, so fatherly but this time it was different. You see, this time there was a sternness because much was at stake if I didn’t “get it.” If I didn’t understand the danger of the situation.
It reminded me of the day I found my 2 year old at the edge of my driveway and the road. I didn’t whisper in a soft voice for her to turn around and come back. Too much was a stake. Instead the tone that rose up within me was something of stern urgency. Out of me came the most authoritative and commanding voice I could muster for her to STOP immediately and come back (all this while I’m running like a mad woman). Her life was a stake. This was something I couldn’t mess around with.
Likewise I sensed an urgency in my Heavenly Father’s voice when He spoke those words to my heart. As He said, “Who is the source of your happiness!?!,” I understood what He was really saying. You see, I had put “others” in charge of making me fell loved, valued and complete. I had put them in change of my happiness. But, you see, the problem with that is that burden was something they were never designed to carry! If my husband doesn’t seem to see and appreciate all that I do, my happiness is not his responsibility. If my children seem to create more messes and throw more tantrums that a body should have to endure, my happiness is not their responsibility. If my friends let me down and can’t follow through with plans, my happiness is not their responsibility.
Putting your happiness on the shoulders of someone else is a toxic way of thinking. It will kill things and relationships in your life and it will paralyze your own personal growth. It puts an enormous amount of strain on your marriage because you are always focused on “taking” and not “giving.” It handicaps your ability to effectively parent because your parenting becomes driven by negative emotions. The urgency of rooting out this toxic way of thinking cannot be overstated.
Happiness comes from your Heavenly Father because He is the Source of all good things in your life. He is the One who has empowered you to be a wife, mother, friend, etc. He is who you look to for fulfillment and your identity. When we look to other people for happiness, we are often looking to them for a sense of completeness about ourselves. It’s as though we are saying, “Don’t you see how great I am? Will you please validate my worth?”
When expectations get off other people as the source of our happiness, PRESSURE is removed from those relationships. These relationships are brought into balance because the people around you aren’t being forced to carry a burden they were never equipped to carry.
So today, get your eyes on Jesus. The One from whom deep happiness and contentment comes from. He is who we look to as our source. He supplies in abundance. And the happiness He brings can’t be taken away by the actions of others.