Posted by: JennyRain | November 25, 2009

Gone to my Happy Place. You’re Not Invited.

This is one of my favorite t-shirts.

It has hung in my closet for the last three years. I pull it out whenever I am feeling snarky or if I need to emotionally distance myself from circumstances around me.

There was a season in my life several years ago where snarkiness seemed to be a permanent state of mind for me, especially around the holidays. I was dealing with a lot of past pain.

For whatever reason, the lonliness and suffering so prevalent across my thirty-six years was always intensely magnified in the holiday season as I watched couples dance arm-in-arm effortlessly through dinners, family get-togethers, and other festive events that required me to stretch the corners of my mouth into something that resembled a smile.

Yes, this would be yet another holiday that I was the third, or fifth, or thirteenth wheel, yet again.

So after a few Christmases of my personal “Christmas-is-miserable-when-you-are-single” worldview, I decided to go on the offensive and buy myself the t-shirt.

It made me feel better, it produced a plethora of giggles (which provided a much-needed laugh break for me), and it gave me “permission” to distance if I needed it – without having to explain myself.

The t-shirt said it all.

But the t-shirt did not solve the underlying problem – my lack of contentment with the place in life I found myself. True, it was a combination of circumstances that dictated how I landed there – bad decisions by other people and myself. However, prior to these decisions being made – if I am really honest with myself – I was just not a content person.

Whether I had much or little – contentment was that one quality that seemed to elude me. Much money, little money; many friends, few friends; more success, less success; lots of religion, little religion; happy family, unhappy family – the state of my circumstances did not matter – I just could not find that contentment I so desired.

So needless to say, I spent a lot of time in my happy place!

Going into this holiday season, now married, I found it curious yesterday when I ran across this scripture.

Ecclesiastes 6:10 (NLT): Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there’s no use arguing with God about your desiny.

Matthew Henry’s commentary explains this verse as follows:

A man often has all he needs for outward enjoyment; yet the Lord leaves him so to covetousness or evil dispositions, that he makes no good or comfortable use of what he has….A little will serve to sustain us comfortably and a great deal can do no more…We have what pleases God, and let that please us.

Ecclesiastes 6 is about “contentment.” Contentment in our state in life, contentment in our possessions, with our jobs, friends, family, health… you name it… Ecclesiastes 6 encourages us to be content – no matter where or how we find ourselves.

Sigh. Still this theme of lack of contentment around the holidays?

Yet, I am encouraged… because Matthew Henry goes on to say the following

Let us return to God, trust in his mercy through Jesus Christ, and submit to His will. Then soon shall we glide through this vexatious world, and find ourselves in that HAPPY PLACE, where there is fullness of joy and pleasures forever more.

Tee hee! That made my day… well, actually, it made my holiday season! I wonder if Matthew Henry owned a happy place T-shirt too?

 

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Responses

  1. I too am a single Christian.I know what you are going through.That is one of the reasons why you have to put it in Gods hands.I used to get very upset about my singleness,but I could do nothing about it.I have to say is give it all up to God,that was a topic that was preached in my church on Sunday.

  2. […] like my happy bubble! I can keep all my junk in the trunk in my happy […]


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