This morning I woke up thinking a lot about happiness. And how people find joy in the life they have. It’s something I think about probably too much, because it’s always been so tied to my “plans.” I had plans for my life, but the plans changed, and before they did I was always sick with fear about what I would find there. If it would be joy… or heartbreak. We met a guy this week who stepped out in faith and left a solid, safe, promising career as bank VP to restore old hand tools for a living. And because he followed that (weird, scary, unusual) calling God put in his heart instead of taking the path of less resistance, he was awarded with boundless joy in his work, and his life is a testament to it now.
Ben and I have both been faced with it more than once: choose the “safety” of doing what we want or follow the gentle urging God put in our hearts without knowing how it would turn out. Every time we followed where He was leading, He rewarded us with that same joy every morning we opened our eyes. When we followed our own plan, we hit roadblocks no matter how hard we pushed, we lost sleep or lost hope. We learned that He always provided what we needed when we needed it and not a moment too soon.
As it turns out, despite our efforts, we ain’t such great planners. If we were, Ben might be a lawyer (when his spiritual gifts point a totally different direction) and I might work for a magazine in a big city (without my family and support system of home, where my heart is full). Two amazing careers, both astoundingly wrong for us. We have learned that the places He leads us usually have nothing to do with our own happiness, but giving it to others, which incidentally brings it back to you tenfold. We’ve learned first hand that if you want to walk on water, you have to get out of the boat. Today I’m praying for the hearts of people we love who are in the endless struggle to find their joy in life. It never ends for any of us, and I pray we can all keep listening for the cues He sends… Instead of our own.