This title came to me several days ago. I wasn’t sure where it was going to go and as with most of my blogs, it is still working through me. But allow me to share with you some of what I’ve been thinking about.
Two Sundays ago I was in a supreme slump. Like, just feeling absolutely drained and devoid of emotion, other than an all encompassing unhappiness. I didn’t know why. But I knew what I had to do to refocus. I put on worship music. I’ll give you one guess as to what album I put on (ps the winner of my October contest was David). As I watched the short video for “The First Light” and then “The Burning Bush”, I suddenly felt overwhelmed. I wasn’t feeling apathetic. I wasn’t devoid of emotion. I was aching. My very soul was crying out. I was looking for heaven. And if not heaven, then true revival on this earth.
After feeling this lightbulb go off, I felt much more positive and ready to take on my day. My husband and I went to church and during worship, there was an altar call. Now three things to know: 1. I can probably count the number of times I’ve gone up to the altar in all my 27 years of being a Christian on one hand. 2. Our worship leader, to my knowledge, has never before given an altar call. And 3. I was teaching Sunday School and therefore would have missed an altar call if it had been given after the sermon. I also had one of my nieces on my lap. But I felt my heart burning within me and knew I needed to go forward.
My life wasn’t drastically changed in that moment. But I stepped out in faith. I made myself available and asked for God to do what only He could do in my life. And I think that surrendering of myself in that moment allowed for God to speak to me over the next few weeks.
Last weekend, my husband and I were lucky enough to get away to celebrate our one year anniversary. It was completely wonderful and helped recharge me. But as the week went on, I felt myself beginning to crumble. I have long battled the idea that I am annoying and something set me off on that path this week. Then, I felt myself being taunted with a “failure” I see in my life. To sum things up, I was probably not the most pleasant person to be around the past few days.
But God kept bringing to my mind this title. The eternal ache. What does that look like? And how am I supposed to live with it and be happy? As I was mulling this over, I remembered I had set aside the book “The Happiness Dare” because I had come across a quote I knew I’d want to use in a future blog and didn’t want to lose it (sorry, I can’t bring myself to highlight or underline in my books). But I couldn’t remember the quote or even what it was about. I reread it and was surprised at how perfectly it met with my recent musings:
When you desire happiness … You are responding to something built into your soul. Your desire to live happy is not a flaw. It is your soul’s memory of the original paradise, etched and alive in you. (p. 33, emphasis mine)
Whoa. That is amazing to me. My desire for happiness and the eternal ache seem to be woven together in a tapestry that is not to be fully appreciated until heaven. But that doesn’t mean God desires for me to live this life halfway or without true happiness. It just means, that even on my greatest, most fulfilling days my heart will still echo with that space that can only be filled in eternity- and that’s okay! If all of our dreams and wishes were to come true, what would there be to look forward to? It is a reminder that this is not our home; what we have waiting for us is so much more brilliant and beautiful.
Heaven is something I have always struggled with and these tiny revelations have not put my heart completely at ease. But it made me realize some important things for my life. First, God created me to be happy. It is not His will that I struggle with depression and anxiety. He wants me to live fully and experience freedom in happiness. Second, even though the idea of eternity has always frightened me, my soul has revealed my true longing and it is good. And lastly, while it seems contradictory for my soul to ache and be alive with happiness at the same time, it is not only possible but also healthy.
The eternal ache. It may not sound happy. But it is far more incredible than we could ever imagine.
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