Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How Do You Stay So Happy?

Mary B called yesterday.

Remember when I told you about Mary B, my confirmation sponsor? Mom and I used to drive into town to have coffee with her when I was a little girl, and I always thought we were singing to her on our way to the Pizza Hut meet up.

As Mom sang, “Mary, we adore you. Lay our lives before you. How we love you.” I thought we were singing, “Mary B, adore you...”

I was in high school when I recalled the memory and realized we were actually singing about the Virgin Mary and not Mary B.

I’ve never claimed to be quick.

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Anyway, Mary B called me yesterday. She was in town with a friend for a little mini-vacation at the local casino. But she had a cough and that meant a phone call was all we would get this trip. She asked how I was feeling and I told her how much the rocefin shots had helped, that getting sick is bound to happen, that all will be as well as it can be.

And then she asked the question that so many of you email and ask me:

“How do you manage to stay so positive? So happy? Don’t you ever just get really mad?”

I suppose the cop out answer, while true, is that I just don’t have the energy to be mad. Seriously. It takes so much effort and energy to wallow. And it’s not any fun. I live 99.8% of my time alone, and if anger was all I had to live with I would lose my mind.

I think, for me, it has been about learning to want what He wants for me more than what I want for myself. It's a tall order and I don't say that flippantly. But my joy has truly come from Him finding His joy in me rather than me finding my joy in what I desire. It doesn't mean I don't long for different, it just means I find peace in fulfilling rather than understanding. In the knowledge that this life isn’t about me, it’s about Him.

The thing I try to remind myself of, as I am without all the things that I wish I had to make me happy, is that my biggest need is Him. More than I need to be outside in the fresh air, more than I need to move without pain, more than I even need Dad... I need His will to be done in my life whether it is comfortable or not. There is not one thing that feels comfortable about my world right now, but I need Him more than I need to change my circumstances.

It's still brutally hard. I have to remind myself of these facts every day. It doesn’t always come easily.

But it doesn’t make the truth any less true.

And the truth is that I can choose the joy.

So I do.

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