What Makes Me Happy – 2017

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What makes me happy

While thinking about what to write about today I decided that I would write about what makes my happy. After all don’t we all deserve to be happy? Not really. The Bible doesn’t promise happiness this side of Glory. But I also don’t think that God has plans for each of us to suffer all our lives, even Job had periods where he didn’t suffer. I am also a firm believer that we are guaranteed prosperity. Now many prosperity preacher would have you believe that God is a treasure chest that pays out if you send them 19.95 but this isn’t true. God wants us to find happiness in Him at the place we are. Fulfiment must be within Him and in nothing else or it becomes idolatry.

So if this is true, how does one find happiness in life. Well, perhaps we should look at my situation now. In may of 2016 I fell and broke my leg behind the kneecap. I was placed in a physical therapy hospital because it would have been impossible for me to navigate the steps at my house, there are like eight to climb to get in, and as it appears now, my wife was looking for an excuse to get me out of the house. In the hospital I have been essentially bedridden since. I get up and do physical therapy but I still spend a lot of time in bed. When I first arrived I was nearly nine weeks with my leg healing enough to stand again. During this time I basically lost my ability to walk from muscle atrophy. Since then, I have been working to walk reasonable distances and get back on my feet. I suffered a setback when a groin muscle was pulled and that has hindered my progress. The state of West Virginia recently denied me continued physical therapy because they decided I wasn’t making enough progress, which, if you think about it is stupid. Why would they want me confined to a bed instead of getting out of the hospital.

During this time I have had unhappy things happen to me. My wife abandoned me. One Monday morning in August I received an email stating that she wanted a divorce and that she was through with me. This was quite shocking. Things hadn’t been great and we were trying to get help but I didn’t know she was contemplating this. The fact that I was in the hospital and hadn’t been at home for over four months didn’t seem to matter. She wrote a pen email and letter telling me it was over and her reasons behind it. Much was going on that I didn’t know about. She has received some kind of counseling from our pastor about our relationship and some jobs I had applied for but neither told me there was an issue. She didn’t like that I had been sick for so long. She was angry that I was having trouble finding work yet she didn’t want to move to where I could work. She had a complete litany of grievencies going back to before we were married, shocking, so much for forgive and forget. Yet I thought we were happy for the most part. Yes, she had become harder to talk with and seemed reluctant to talk to me and she seldom came to see me in the hospital but I wrote that off with business with work and school. I was so wrong.

After she left I sent my mom to pick up my dog from my wife. My wife had said I could keep him. However mom saw he needed a vet and took him that day. He was really sick. I had know for a while he wasn’t doing good but didn’t realize he was so bad. Well the vet recommended Scrappy be put down because he was suffering. I decided to do this. It was such a hard decision. I’ve never had to choose that before and worst of all I never got to say goodbye. My wife was supposed to bring Scrappy to see me but never did. Certainly an unhappy day, especially since it was two days after my wife left. So in the space of two days I lost my marriage and my dog, honestly the dog dying hurt more.

The last major sadness in my life this year was loosing my church in the process of all this. I found out that the leadership wouldn’t be Biblical in their dealings. They treated me as pariah after my wife abandoned me and treated her as if nothing had happened. They never came to see me in the hospital until I complained and I was the Discipleship and small groups pastor for several years. I was ordained by this church. I don’t understand why things happened like they did. Things were going on behind my back that directly influenced my job situation and I know that the church cost me at least two jobs. I still am unclear how much influence was excerpted on my wife to end our marriage but it is clear there must have been some. I had invested a lot of work and time and money into this church. I had put all my skills and education to work for God here and men ruined it. Now I see what so many others that left had tried to tell me. There is a sickness there that runs from top to bottom.

Wow! Looking back that is a thousand worlds of sadness. And this post is supposed to be about what makes me happy. I want you all to see that even with these major sad things going on I have rejoiced in the Lord all year. Secular people may wonder how this is possible with the bad things that happened but we are told to Rejoice in the Lord always! I don’t always understand why things are happening and I see that these sad things are all due to the sin nature of man. The Lord didn’t make my wife leave, He didn’t make my church leadership fail me, He didn’t make my dog sick. All these things are because of our sin nature. The saddest, Scrappy dying, is because Death still is a power in this world.

So what does make me happy? Well first and foremost is my faith in Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the Alpha and Omega. Just as he was there in Eternity Past and created the world and was involved with the world he hasalways been there for me and provided for me and cared for me. Through all this I have never felt alone. I have always feltHis comforting presence in my heart. I have been a faithful follower for years. I was saved at the age of eleven and have tried to follow his teachings as best I could. I am by no means perfect.  Have a lot of growing to do but with Jesus with me I’ll be ok.

Friends make me happy. Throughout my stay at the hospital my friends in my Men’s group have stood by me and have come and visited and provided counsel regularly.  I love these men. They are true men of God and I am glad to have friends like them in my life. A great thing that’s has happened is that my true friends have gathered around me in this trying time. I have reconnected with an old friend from college that my wife didn’t want me to have contact with and that is great.

Reading makes me happy. I have been exploring lots of books while I have been laid up. I haven’t read as many as I could have but it is good to get back into it.

Helping others makes me happy. I have found that even though I am stuck in the bed the internet has opened a whole new world of ways to help people. I have been helping a few people with their blog and and computers and that has been fun.

Traveling makes me happy. I didn’t get to do any last year but I hope to do some stuff this year. I am going to travel for business mostly trying to get myself back on my feet. I am also planning to take a family trip to Pigeon Forge and Dollywood. That will be a lot of fun. A friend and I are planning to go to GenCon 50 in August.

Those are the things that make me happy even though I should probably be sad and depressed. I’m not. In a way all this is a chance to have a fresh start. I don’t know what the future holds but I am excited to find out and excited to see who will make the journey with me.

Doug
I am a writing, educator and speaker. I am an avid gamer, both board games and role playing. I love reading science fiction and fanatasy.

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