Let’s start with the good news. I’ve lost 43 pounds so far. I’m pretty motivated by that. It’s not coming off wicked fast, but it’s coming off and that’s the point. The size of my clothes is going down too. It’s a good thing I kept all of my “skinny” clothes. I feel like I have a whole new wardrobe (even though it’s five years old).
Actually, there’s a lot of good news. There’s good news in and about my life every time I turn around. I have lots to be happy about. Lots to be grateful for.
But I can’t seem to feel it…to feel happy or to feel joy. I actually haven’t felt joy in quite some time.
I’ve been struggling with this, trying to find the cause, trying to fix it or even pretend I don’t feel this way. I’ve been reading inspirational quotes, trying to lean into God, give Him my worries and anxiety. I’ve even tried to deal with some of my anxiety myself. But, I feel empty. Sad. I feel like I’m searching and searching for something and I don’t know what it is. I feel lost. Lost in my Paradise.
As I was driving to work this morning, I realized that I haven’t been happy or satisfied far beyond this past year. I realized that I’ve been trying new thing after new thing to see if “that’s” the thing that will make me happy and feel fulfilled. I keep up-ending my life, my emotions, to find that elusive thing that will evoke lasting joy. I haven’t been happy since we moved here. My God, I haven’ t been happy since we moved here!
That’s it! The last time I was happy was when I lived in Las Vegas. That was my Paradise. My life was darn-near perfect. I had a great job that paid well at which I was happy and successful. I worked with an awesome group of women who became among the best friends I have ever had. I traveled the west coast with my children. I was happy.
And I left. I left because it was the right thing to do for my family. Moving back to Indiana was surely the best thing I could have done for them. But, not for me. And I’ve always known this. I have yet to find that deep happiness, fulfillment and sense of belonging that I had there. I’ve been searching for adequate substitutes, but I have yet to find any. Almost eight years later and I still haven’t gotten over the move? Is that even possible?
That lyric has been on my mind a lot. So has Jeremy Camp’s song “Show Me What it Means”.
Is this my life of sacrifice now? It’s easy to stand back and say “look at all you have! You’re so blessed! Be grateful!” and I am. No doubt! I love my family, I love my friends. I love the opportunities that God has given me to learn how to grow closer to Him and shepherd his children. But with all of the enriching components of my life that an outsider sees, I am still empty inside. There is still something missing.
The truest thing about me is that I have to be true to myself. I cannot hide or pretend that something doesn’t bother me. The truth always seeps out. I don’t know if I’m still homesick for my life in Vegas after all of these years. I suppose it’s possible. Even likely. Although, I know that things would have changed had I stayed there. But would I still be happy? I think that’ s an unfair question given the circumstance.
All I know is that I long to feel joy. I’m praying that I feel joy again. I ask that you pray for me too.
Live. Laugh. Love.
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