Everyone wants to be happy. Happy with their family. Happy with their jobs. Happy with their church. Happy, happy, happy. Unicorns and glitter all day, every day. Now, I know I have a lot to learn, but one thing that I know for sure is that happiness is the ultimate hype man. You’re on your life’s stage, and here comes this fool dancin’ all in the background, makin’ you feel like your performance is OFF THE HOOK! He interjects his feel good, confidence boosting nature at every verse, encouraging you to keep going even if he sees that the crowd isn’t feeling it.
Took that job because we thought it would make us… happy (Hype Man: “Six figures, what what what!”).
Got married to the wrong person trying to be… happy (Hype Man: “Where my fellas wit tha good credit scores… What what!”).
Rushed to have children in that unhappy marriage trying to find your… happy (Hype Man: “Wooo! One time for the babies!).
Spend money we don’t have because that new outfit will make us cute and… happy (Hype Man: “Fresh to death, rockin’ the latest!”).
We spend so much time putting on the show, that when the track ends, the crowd is gone, and you’re sitting alone in your dressing room, most of us ain’t any happier than a pig in lipstick. So what is it that we are really searching for?
A few years back, I was anything but happy and the more I thought about it, I couldn’t figure out what I was looking for until one day it dawned on me. I wanted PEACE. I didn’t want my dream job, or another degree, or a bunch of friends… I wanted the unshakable, unmovable, incomparable joy of true PEACE.
What’s the difference? Happiness is “feeling or showing pleasure; fortunate and convenient.” I don’t know about yall, but my life is anything but convenient. Autism is not convenient. Having a spouse that works harder than anyone I know is not convenient. Looking at friends struggle with ill parents or children does not seem very fortunate.
But peace… Peace is “freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility.” See, peace doesn’t need the noise. It doesn’t need the Hype Man. It doesn’t need the crowd. It just is. It can’t be disturbed. It can’t be shaken. It stands firm. Peace is real.
In my pursuit of peace, I walked off the stage. I gave up everything that was supposed to make me “happy.” I walked away from the high paying job and the private office everyone dreams of. I walked away from the pursuit of a doctoral degree and a few more letters behind my name. I walked away, and didn’t care because I was finally saying YES to my peace.
I know if it wasn’t for what I believe God has promised me, I would be literally bat sh*t crazy by now. But saying yes to the plan He has for my life every single day gives me peace that surpasses all understanding. I can walk confidently through my day – thousands of dollars poorer, bleach stained yoga pants, cleaning up toys for the 100th time that day – not necessarily “happy” at every moment, but Lord knows I have PEACE. I am finally free from waiting on the next feel good moment. I’m not striving to live up to anyone or anything but what I believe I was on this earth to do. I love my husband. I mother. I teach. I serve. I give. I have peace.
I urge you friends, please find your freedom. Give yourself more. Say yes to your peace. When the crowd of life starts to boo during your next performance, and the noise of sickness, failures, or financial woes drowns out your happiness Hype Man, the money, job, degrees, and the big house won’t mean anything. Life is hard and trouble will come. Find your place of undisturbed peace.
Don’t believe the hype.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your request be made known to God; and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4: 6-7)