Happiness Is Overrated

It was the evening that completely changed my life. 

It was a normal day. I woke-up, greeted my parents. Made my breakfast and prepared for a long workday. My dad would spend his morning looking endlessly out our front window as if he was expecting more than just an average day. 

I like normal days. 

Don’t give me surprises. 

Don’t keep my hopes up and then shatter my happiness.

No, I’m fine with just doing my part and shuffling through.

My dad always longed for more. He saw more in everyone he met. His look would search your heart in such a way that would leave you questioning, “Is there something missing in my life?” 

I just never had time to wrestle with these thoughts. I had a job. People needed me. My routine kept me going.

My day at work was the same as every other. I put in my time. I worked hard, received my wages and couldn’t wait to simply return home. I wanted nothing more than to simply slip my shoes off, immerse into a bubble bath and wash my cares away. My home was my resting place. 

As I made the turn towards our house that evening, my chest rumbled with the repeated thud of a repeating base beat. The music was so incredibly loud, I couldn’t wait to return to my quiet abode of solitude. 

Oh was I wrong.

Instead of the music softening, the closer I came to our house, the louder the music became. My heart sank. Something was off.

Balloons, confetti, banners and gifts flooded our driveway. I quickly recalled the date – 

Dad’s birthday is still a few months say…

My birthday was a few weeks ago…

Perhaps this was a surprise gathering to celebrate a belated birthday on my behalf? Sure, I’ll take it!

Before I could even reach the front door, a friend of mine exclaimed, “You aren’t going to believe this! Your brother is home! Your dad throws the best parties ever! Come on in!” 

I just stood there stunned. 

I couldn’t feel my hands. I could barely breathe. My mind just froze. I felt invisible. I felt unloved. 

My brother had taken his inheritance and just moved away. He didn’t bother staying with us to help support our family. I honestly thought he was dead. I had dealt with this change years ago, moved past it and was finally back on a routine again. Now this? 

All of those mornings my dad was watching endlessly out the window for him to return. Why couldn’t he look that way at me? Why can’t he throw a simple party like this for me and my friends? 

I’ve worked so hard.

I’ve never left him.

I deserve more.

He doesn’t love me as much as my brother. 

And as I sat on the ground, processing these events, I felt my dad’s hand on my shoulder. I immediately pushed it away. I couldn’t even make eye contact. 

“Come in and enjoy yourbrother’s homecoming!” he pleaded. 

I opened my heart to him at that moment like never before. I shared with him my disappointment and my hurt that I had his down deep. I simply wanted him to say he as sorry. Possibly schedule my party for next month? 

But instead, he left me with this: 

…”Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. We had to celebrate this HAPPY day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’””

‭‭Luke‬ ‭15:31-32‬ ‭NLT‬‬

It was this very day that I realized how lost I was in my own mind. All of my life I considered happiness to be playing it safe, continually being in control of my life and staying away from choices that could end in my heartbreak. 

It was that day that I realized happiness is determined by the way we view our circumstances. Joy in all circumstances comes from God. 


That day I decided I was tired of simply surviving through life. I looked into the eyes of my Heavenly Father and I knew I wanted more. I knew He was more. Just as my father endlessly searched for my brother, my Heavenly Father has been calling for me. I just missed it, trapped in my routine, afraid to try anything different and especially open my heart to others.

That day I ended my life as a survivor. I began to thrive in Christ – one new step at a time. 

How are you viewing the world around you? 

Dare to do more than just survive, stand out and THRIVE
This post ia a 5 Minute Friday entrry on the word: HAPPY. Indeed, writing does wonders for my soul. I hope you enjoyed the change of view here! Would you like to join me? Find more information here: http://katemotaung.com/five-minute-friday/ 

Book_02

Want to grab Bethany’s new book: “UnMasked: The Journey from Surviving to Thriving”? You are invited to order a signed copy right here!

You can order the “Final” copy and the “Limited Edition” special copy HERE.

 

Would you like to receive personal email updates from me and grab a FREE Survivor To Thriver ebook? My special newsletter features coaching availability and discounts, upcoming speaking opportunities and updates regarding my book release! To join, simply sign-up here! The best part is, it allows you to have a personal one-on-one connection with me through email. Feel free to reply to any of the newsletters you receive! You will always get a response from my end! 

This post is part of the 5 Minute Friday Challenge. Find more about the challenge and meet a great community of bloggers who take on a prompt and blog for 5 minutes each Friday. (And if you join the challenge, let me know!).

Bethany is an ICF trained Certified Professional Christian Life Coach (Christian Coach Institute Graduate), Motivational and Inspirational Speaker, mentor to women and an author. Bethany defines herself as a child of God who loves to use her passion for change to inspire others. She has overcome disabilities, wading through the trials and rewards of marriage and motherhood. She enjoys being a wife to Steve for 10 years and mother to three boys (ages 7, 5 and 2). She is a double brain cancer survivor, a 9 year veteran in the field of youth and children's ministry and has published poetry, featured blog posts for numerous ministry websites and children's ministry curriculum contributions. Bethany is currently working on her first book to be released this Fall as well as various freelancing projects. Bethany always welcomes new coaching clients and speaking opportunities!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

9 thoughts on “Happiness Is Overrated

    • Susan – too funny! You should know me well enough to know that this is not my story. I have 2 brothers actually 🙂 I just told the story from the other brother’s eyes. He always gets left out!

      Thanks for your comment! 🙂

  1. Before I even got to your dads response, your story reminded me of the prodigal son. And that’s exactly what it was. So glad to see you here. I’m over in the 5 spot this week.

  2. What a lovely essay, Bethany. So authentic and heartfelt!

    I look at life in terms of what I have this minute, and try to appreciate the gift that each breath is. Yesterday is done, and comparing yesterday’s joys and achievements with the rather hard now corrodes what I have, so I set it aside.

    Likewise, for me, tomorrow may not come (I woke up this morning in enough pain that I thought, well, this is it…and last weak had a near-death experience. Pancreatic issues from a botched surgery, and it will kill me one day).

    Now is the moment. Now is the opportunity for joy; it may not come again.

    #1 at FMF this week.

    https://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/08/your-dying-spouse-190-mustard-seed-of.html

  3. Thanks, Bethany, for this modern day twist on the prodigal son. Thought provoking and challenging. God bless you as you continue to share your gifts to bless others!

  4. Love this post. Met you in “Uninvited” series….your post goes right along with all of the things we are learning there about our God. Living in the fulness without expecting to get filled by others.

Comments are closed.