I stood at the kitchen counter, crumbled the paper in my hand and gritted my teeth, “Is this how my life is supposed to be?” I screamed in my unhappy heart.
“Mommy, that’s my teacher’s note. You just messed it up.” My 6-year-old son said.
Although tears burned my eyes, I took his face in my hands. “Baby, mommy wants to read this, but I can’t.” my words choked. “Remember, mommy can’t see.”
But how could he or his two younger brothers understand that their mommy was completely blind. I couldn’t comprehend myself. How could God allow this retinal disease to close my vision and shove me in this darkness? And why would He steal my chance for happiness?
I wonder if you too have ever been in a place like this, so painfully unexpected. Maybe blindness isn’t what barged into your life. But there is something that keeps you awake at night, and fills your heart with stress and makes you unhappy.
My nights were like that. But not anymore; yours don’t have to either. Let’s explore how some women allow these ten habits to make them unhappy.
Habit 1: She Focuses on the Circumstances
This was more than a habit. It was a way of life for me. How can I ignore or dismiss this unexpected blindness?
Everywhere I turned, I needed assistance. Each task to care for my three small sons was nearly impossible. More cleaning up of accidentally spilled glasses of milk. More reminders of my dependence on others.
But when nights became long and lonely, desperate prayers flowed. And that’s when God whispered a new song. His promises that say His Word would be a lamp to my feet and a light for my path (Psalm 119:105). When I dwelt on His promises, my focus changed.
Blind or not, God had me secure in His hands. Why not ponder on that? Why not fill my mind and heart on that truth?
I embraced the new habit of soaking in God’s promises like this one: “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.” Psalm 30:11-12
Habit 2: She Believes Lies
Satan delights when we ponder and rehash the ugly details. The enemy of our soul, the Devil pushes those thoughts before us. He wants us to be unhappy. And if we are in the habit of opening the door to his lies and tactics, gloom comes in and turns to despair.
And that’s when we have the choice. One, to let the Devil have a fun time whispering the ugly details over and over again, stealing our peace. Or two, silence him, and embrace a new habit of living the fullness of life by listening to the true Shepherd.
Jesus said: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
Habit 3: She Replays Past Mistakes
That reaction may seem a bit harsh in a Christian setting. But someone has to tell us to stop, truly stop. We need to hit pause on the recording of past mistakes. We need to fast-forward the tape and erase the junk that clogs the path to a new tomorrow.
Is it a habit? Or is it a deeper issue that prompts us to cling to the past? Regardless of the root, day after day, we relive past wounds or mistakes while pacing inside an emotional prison that makes us so unhappy. For many, Godly counseling brings answers. God’s answer comes when we wipe our tears, take a deep breath, and look up. God has a powerful promise and a sure way out of this habit when He says:
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
Habit 4: She Blames Others
What a sorry relief when we can blame someone else for our misfortune. Doing so takes the responsibility away from us to make a change; and seemingly, it sets us free from bearing the burden to work for the solution. What an unhealthy kind of habit, don’t you think?
I tried that. I had blamed the doctors for not doing enough to save my sight. I even blamed God for being cruelly silent. For not answering my prayer. For punishing me by bringing on blindness at 30.
But that habit of pointing the finger at others grew old. God’s Word, firm and true, showed me I needed to look inwardly first. I could live as a victim, or a victor.
Choosing the path of a conqueror, of a triumphant daughter of the King brought on true, beautiful freedom.
Paul chose the same path, that’s why he said: “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
Habit 5: She Covers Up the Pain
Social media and our cell phones can be a deadly combination. Not-so-subtly they lure, stealing our time.
But even more harmful, the combination becomes the distraction that covers what is really making us unhappy inside.
And when the day is done, the ache is still there. No time to resolve it because we have to check or post one last time. Then we head to bed. Kids had drained our energy. Chores were left undone. And hubby still has needs.
So where is the happiness?
Mary has the answer. She found it. Martha was too busy. Mary was focused. Martha was in the kitchen. Mary was at Jesus’ feet.
Can you guess which one knew joy as she found the way to ease her pain?
“Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42