Stop Telling Me That I Need to Act Happier


I’ve had to stop on multiple occasions today and ask what day it was. My brain says it’s Thursday but my body is saying it’s Monday. I’d prefer it being Thursday but unfortunately, I’m stuck climbing over the hump that is Wednesday.

I’m halfway through week 6 of my travel season and I enjoyed two days off on Monday and Tuesday. Believe me, after working an 8 day work week the week prior, I was thankful to see a few days off. My body, though, necessitated that I take another day off today.

I didn’t sleep at all last night. I tossed and turned into the early morning and when it came to getting ready to travel, I couldn’t get out of bed. Literally. My body did not want to move. My head was hurting. My stomach was churning. I thought I was going to lose what little bit of food that I had in my gut.

I was supposed to be in the Charlotte area all day but I ended up calling in sick. I was afraid that I was going to have to travel as we didn’t have any backups but a few lovely people from work covered for me. If you’re reading this, thank you! My body and I are extremely grateful.

I ended up falling back asleep and didn’t get out of bed until 1:30pm. I genuinely don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’ve been carrying a headache for a few days but it hasn’t required medicine. My stomach was thrown into knots yesterday and I’ve carried some mild pain and nausea throughout the day. As I type this, my hands won’t stop shaking.

I’m hoping that it’s a simple case of pure exhaustion. That can be easily remedied. What can’t be remedied, financially and physically, is a legitimate illness. I don’t have health insurance right now and won’t until December. I may end up being in for the long haul unless I can find ways to get more sleep.

I’ve been under some intense emotional and physical stress. Traveling isn’t easy. It seems that there are those who idealize being in a new place every night and while it has its perks, its downfalls certainly outweigh.

I genuinely enjoy the ability to see a lot of the country and I’m not taking it for granted. What sucks is that most times I’m too exhausted to even notice what I’m looking at.

Throw on top of that the social pressures of fitting in and you’ve got a mess. I still have a select few telling me that I’m far too serious and that I should be happier in life. I’m often tempted to fire back but I find that it wouldn’t make a difference. In order to understand where someone’s coming from you have to be willing to listen and even possibly accept that you might be wrong about something. It seems that even after all of my “talking”, I’m still not being heard.

Where in the Bible does it say that Christians are supposed to live a long life full of blessings and relative happiness? Nowhere! So, why then am I being pounded with these criticisms of my serious nature? Does that mean I’m not as spiritual as you? Does that mean I’m not happy? How do you know if I’m happy? Because I’m not smiling all of the time?

Joy, biblically speaking, is not an idea of a constant smiling, laughing, “everything’s great” mentality. Joy is the ability to say and live as if you trust in God no matter what circumstances come your way. There are many times when we will simply look to God and say “This absolutely sucks. I don’t get it. Why would I go through something like this?” The truth of the matter is that life will be hard. Jesus promised it. True joy is found in accepting our sucky circumstances but still being able to trust in who God is.

I have a genuine question for those of you who believe that life should always be happy. What do you do with a verse like Philippians 1:29?

“For it has been given to you on Christ’s behalf not only to believe in Him but also to suffer for Him,”

Suffering and the Christian life goes hand in hand. I often find myself wondering if many Christians truly know the God that they claim to worship. I don’t have it all together and I never will. I don’t have all of the answers and I try not to pretend like I do. But I know this to be true: You, as a believer, will suffer in life. It’s up to you on what you do with it. Do you turn to yourself or to the Lord?

I have failed far too often to turn to God in my suffering. I’ll be the first to admit it. But to pretend like hardships, trials, and sorrow doesn’t exist does more of a disservice to those suffering than one would think. What if someone told my friend who committed suicide two weeks ago that God wanted him to be happy and blessed? What if someone actually did?

In my mind, I would see that truth as an indictment on my walk with God. “Well, I’m not happy and I’m not blessed so, therefore, my life is against God.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. God’s love for us is not dependent on how good or bad we are. He doesn’t love us for what we can give to him. He doesn’t bring suffering in our lives to tease us. He brings each and every difficult season into our lives to give us an opportunity to draw nearer to Him. It’s for our good.

Sorrow is a very real emotion. One that God himself experiences and knows very well. Don’t disassociate yourself with it. Experience it but don’t stay there. Keep pressing in, my friends. As hard as it is to move forward some days, moving forward is the only thing we can do.

By the way, I’m happy and content with where my life is. I don’t always like my circumstances. I don’t always have the answers but I know that God is faithful. At least I don’t waste my time pretending I’ve got it all together. Stop telling me I need to be happier. I say this in the most loving way possible, you’ve been warned. 🙂

#Preachermattyiscoming

Anyways, I don’t feel well today and writing on this subject is causing my heart rate to accelerate. I need to calm down. I love you all so much and I want you to know that you’re not alone in your struggles. Reach out, find someone who will listen. Don’t give up.

19 Replies to “Stop Telling Me That I Need to Act Happier”

  1. There’s more hidden in that title. Maybe it’s time to stop ‘acting’ at all. Allow yourself to be sick for a day or three. Don’t stress the finances, God will work that out for you – of that I’m certain. Don’t know how, but am sure He will. So sit back, slow down, listen for Him, stop acting, and just “be”.
    In my prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Travelling is exhausting. It can be wonderful and interesting and educational but it’s also exhausting. Especially if you are also feeling a little low to start with. My suggestion is to get out and do what you have to do, grab a healthy meal, and go to bed. Stay healthy. Prayers from me to you.

    Liked by 1 person

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