(Photo by Me)
I think one of our greatest questions in life is, “What is the key to happiness?” For someone who has battled depression since early adolescence, I can tell you that I have asked this question a million times.
When I first decided to follow Jesus, I had no idea the love and freedom that awaited me from my Savior. I was still stuck in my old worldly ways (which still creep up on me sometimes), and I only added more pressure to myself with added rules and “spiritual” tasks. And you know what, I still wasn’t even happy!
The only way I began to feel true freedom and joy was when I surrendered my life fully to God and finally experienced His love. No, I wasn’t instantly frolicking through the fields singing happy songs every day. To be honest, my depression is still a struggle I face. I am not ashamed of that though. On the contrary, I almost like it. Because of this struggle I know that I will always be in constant need of surrendering to my ever pursuing Heavenly Father.
True happiness–the kind that goes beyond the joys of this world–sort of snuck up on me in two parts. First of all, I truly experienced God’s joy when I felt His love and mercy wash over me. When I finally accepted His forgiveness and decided to put Jesus at the center of my life, I found a peace and joy like no other. Yes, bad things still happen and I get sad, but the Lord’s peace is still there.
The second part to God’s joy is serving others. I’m a big fan of Joyce Meyer, and I love how she always talks about serving others in order to get our minds off of our own problems. To be honest, it even goes deeper than that. Think about it–some of the happiest people in the world are those who love God and spend their life serving others.
When I began to focus less on myself (which can also be a huge struggle), and devote my time to loving my family, friends, and my church and community, I found that I was happier and experiencing more intimacy with God.
I know I haven’t been alive that long, but what I’ve learned so far is that joy doesn’t go very far when it’s just about us. True happiness is felt when you realize how much God loves you, and that you can radiate that love to the world. Want to get happy? Go serve someone. Go love someone.
Starting tomorrow, January 14th, for the next month I will be hosting a challenge on my Instagram under the hashtag #golovesomeone!
The challenge is simple. Everyday find some way to love someone. Remember that love is a verb–it’s about service. It can be anything, such as praying for someone, buying a stranger’s groceries, taking care of a sick loved one, or just giving up your free time to love somebody.
I want all of us to challenge ourselves to do a loving act of service everyday. The only two rules are:
- Put God at the center of what you are doing
- Do your act of service from a heart of love and sacrifice
Then think of a creative way to make/share an image of a heart to post on Instagram! The heart will be a symbol of your act of love. Be sure to use the hashtag #golovesomeone and tag me @fearfullywonderfullyme. This isn’t to brag, but to keep ourselves accountable and to have fun and connect with each other! Let’s fill Instgram up with hearts. Let’s fill Instagram with love!
The challenge will officially end on February 14th, but feel free to keep it going even longer. You can also join in on the challenge whenever you want. I just want to see a heart everyday through Valentine’s Day!
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share 🙂
My Instagram: @fearfullywonderfullyme