Since I can remember I have always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher and a wife and mother. I remember my kindergarten teacher and she was lovely. She was calm, kind, and soft spoken. I also vividly remember playing “school” with my siblings and I was always the teacher (I think my name of choice was Miss Honeybee). I played “house” with my siblings and was always the mom. Growing up my desire for each of these became more apparent and real. I remember trying to get through college and telling myself, “You are almost there! Once you become a teacher and get married you will live happily ever after!” Fast forward a few years later…and I became a kindergarten teacher, Miss Simpson! Check that one off the list…now one last thing to do to be completely happy and that was to be a wife and mother.
Fast forward a few more years…and here I am. Still single.
I will be honest with you. I have fought this for quite some time. I thought I knew exactly what would make me the happiest and it was to be a wife and mother. I have been surrounded by so many wonderful examples of wives and mothers from my own mother, to my grandmothers, aunts, cousins, sister-in-laws, my sister, and friends. Yes, I know being a wife and mother is not always perfectly filtered photos of the happy family gathered around one another laughing and loving life. But there is a beauty beyond compare that I see within them. I see true selflessness; I see them being a true gift to another and from that I see a deep happiness. I want this. I have spent nights crying and wondering “How come, Lord? How come I don’t get that yet?"
I thought for years (and sometimes still catch myself thinking this) that I will only truly be happy when I am a wife and mother. I found myself just going through life trying to get from one phase to the next until I reached marriage when I would really be happy. I kept telling myself to just hold on one more year then it would all change--I was just living and waiting to be “happy” because being married and having a family is what I thought would make me truly happy. I loved teaching but I was still waiting. Well…it sure took me awhile but a year ago I realized something.
I was limiting God.
I was putting limits on what God could do to make me happy. I was so focused on what I wanted that I was missing His great ideas that were right in front of me! I had forgotten that He knows me better than I know myself. I was searching for that “one thing” that would finally make me happy--I had forgotten that it was Him who makes me truly happy.
God could make me happy right now, actually, God wanted me happy right now!
After I had realized this, I was able to pour even more of myself into what was in front of me because it was God's plan for me: teaching, being a daughter and a sister, being a friend, pursuing ministry. I saw that it was beautiful and good because it was what God wanted me to do at that time.
We all desire happiness—that is good! We all want it and it is easy to find things that make us happy here on earth such as: family, friends, chocolate, a good joke, game night, working a job we enjoy, our favorite sports team winning a game (let’s go IRISH!), a bowl of ice cream, getting good grades, the list could go on and on. These things are all good but we are left wanting more because we are meant for a happiness that will last forever—being with God in Heaven.
Now, does this mean all my desires are satisfied and I don’t want to be married anymore? Heck no :) I still do want and hope to be married with a family someday (preferably sooner than later!). I still have desires but I trust He knows what will make me the happiest. Sometimes all I can do is surrender again to His will.
I trust in Him. He has not let me down yet...
So, desire for happiness. Desire for good things. But let us remember--God knows us better than we know ourselves. Let Him surprise us. Let Him satisfy us.
One day we will be completely happy and want for nothing, but for now—seek Him.
"The secret of happiness is to live moment by moment and to thank God for what He is sending us every day in His goodness."- St. Gianna Molla