No Happiness

The alarm  sounded at 4 am. I woke up to this feeling of being completely lost. It wasn’t because of a strange dream or prior conversation. I just felt unaware of what I was really doing with my life and emotional well being. I don’t know exactly when I lost my happiness, but it was gone. I didn’t wake up with anticipation of a new day and I wasn’t happy to see my family. Truth be told, I was a little resentful. I had given so much of life to them. I put aside so many dreams and desires to make sure that they all had what they needed and wanted and to make sure I was always available for them. This is a good thing. It is a normal thing. Being mom is precious and I don’t want you to think that I am not grateful for my family – I really am. I am so blessed to have them.

BUT – somewhere I lost my sense of being happy with  my own life. I was tired of making my life revolve around the kids and my husband as I had done for eighteen years. We got married young and I was happy to be able to be home to make dinner and do the laundry. I wanted to make sure that my husband had everything he wanted in a wife (we never really made it clear what he expected in a wife). I was shooting blindly and hoping for a good outcome. Within two months of marriage, we found out we were expecting our first child. She was not planned and I was on birth control. God planned her – I decided on that long ago. You see, I was immediately amerced into the life of wife and motherhood before I could actually figure out what it was that made me undeniably happy and passionate. I absolutely believe that every person has this within them.

This past fall I felt myself slipping away. Maybe I was slipping sooner, but didn’t stop to notice and just trudged through. I realized that I had not really smiled genuinely in more days than I could count. I wanted to smile again and really mean it, but I didn’t know how. I wanted to really discover what I was passionate about other than my family and I wanted to do it. I love running Titus II Woman and I love writing. Encouraging women is a calling and passion, but I needed something that was for my happiness and encouragement and not about anyone else. That sounds selfish, but I wasn’t taking care of myself and I had lost the genuine smile I used to have.

I started out angry. Angry because I didn’t realize this sooner. Angry because I let this happen. Angry because I didn’t know how to fix it. Angry because I resented a life that was truly beautiful.

I moved past that anger and decided to put a plan in place to take back my own happiness. This plan was going to be different for everyone in my house and for me. I was going to focus on me and do things that would make me happy. These things would be minor at first. I got my hair done and colored in a way that I had wanted for a long time and it would be done professionally. This may not mean a lot to some of you  who have already realized how amazing it is to get your hair done regularly by a professional, but I spent more than $100 on my hair that first time. I felt guilty at first and then I took those feelings of guilt and threw it out the window and would not allow myself to feel that because I needed that hair style and color. I needed that time for me.

Other things that I did was bigger than a hair cut and color. I started to make friends more of a priority. New friends and old friends. I had not been the friend that I wanted to be. I wanted to be in touch with those friends that were so close to me growing up and I wanted to nurture new friendships that would bring a brightness to my life. I started to travel to be with friends. I started with a girls weekend with the woman who has known me since sixth grade and shared every secret and detail since then. We took an entire weekend away from everyone except each other. We had the most memorable weekend of fun and it included a tattoo for each of us. (Fun fact: I have 2 tattoos and plan to get at least 2 more.)

The biggest thing that I have done recently to rekindle my genuine happiness is decide to go back to school. There is one profession that I have wanted to do since I was in high school, but because of life and changes that had to be made for the good of my husband’s military career, I could not attend nursing school. Yep, I have been accepted to a nursing program and am so excited to be able to take the next steps to help more lives in a new way. I have always loved medicine and to be able to be that woman to help calm a patient and family in a time that is uncertain for them will bring such joy to my heart. Being a nurse means more that just blood draws and heart rates to me. It means compassion for life and helping people to find health when they may not see a way to do so. It means encouraging with hands and voice and heart. So, I am going to school….again.

I am slowly getting back my smile. I am finding my passion and joy. I am finding out that I am more of a people person than I thought. I am teaching my children that even a mom who gave half her life to her family needs to have a dream and goal in life. I am teaching my girls and other girls that it is okay to be career minded and passionate about something in life that will bring only them a joy that is indescribable to others unless they feel it themselves. I am okay with myself and starting to love myself.

Can I just leave you with this bit of important scripture:

To the person who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.
I don’t want you to think that I just woke up and started to make changes one day. I don’t want you to think that this was simple or that I did it on my own. I woke up and started praying because I didn’t know what to do or how to feel. I consulted trusted friends and counselors. I talked to my husband and family about how I was feeling and about making changes so that I could be a better and happier person. I asked God what He wanted from me. I want to please God in all that I do, but I can’t please God if I am not happy in doing what is pleasing. God doesn’t want his children sad or confused. He provides answers for every situation. This has been a journey. Maybe I will write another book about this journey – who knows.
I know that I am not alone in this loss of happiness. Many women who have gone before me have struggled with this sense of being lost within themselves. I am so thrilled that we have each other today to walk through and talk through these areas of life. We need each other to get through this and we need each other for encouragement as we walk these hard paths. I want to be there for you as you are for me.
Lord, so many of us are struggling to find that passionate happiness that we crave so deeply. We have walked for long with the pilot on that we have forgotten how to fly our own life. We put our complete trust in You and only want to co-pilot with You. Give us wisdom and guidance of how You want us to please You, but also have happiness while we please You. Amen.
Blessings friends,
Tara DeMaris
Tara is the founder and president of Titus II Woman Ministries as well as a contributing writer and speaker. She is the wife to David, seventeen years, and the mother to their four children. Together, they make their home in Missouri. She is a graduate of Crown College and most passionate about reaching the hearts of women globally through mentorship, friendship and God’s Word. “Make history with God and He will make history through you.”

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