She called and left a message. We hadn’t talked in years, so she didn’t even know about my third child. To get a hold of me she had to track down my husband and ask for my number.
Then a couple of days later she called again and this time I was able to answer.
She wondered how I was doing because “God had me thinking of you.”
After several minutes of catching up, I reassured her that I was really doing well. She kept asking questions, and I kept talking. I started to tell her about various life situations, she suddenly stopped, “Ahhhh….I see why God had you on my heart last Wednesday and Thursday. You’ve been making sacrifices and God sees you.”
She then went on to ask “What makes you happy?”
My first instinct…”I don’t even know anymore.” She eluded to how much deeper that statement really went. Then explained that jewelry made her happy. Then asked me again…”What makes you happy?” So I told her the first two (unfortunately materialistic) things that came to mind–shoes and jewelry.
She then explained that I should be expecting something in the mail.
What? What just happened?
The last Wednesday and Thursday that she was referring to were really hard days for me. Nothing specifically had happened, but I was struggling. Nobody knew. I barely acknowledged it. But God wanted me to know that He knew. So He had someone think about me in such a way that she felt compelled to reach out to find out how I was doing. She didn’t just accept my answer, “I’m good.” She insisted on finding out how I was really doing.
It’s easy for me to see God as my Savior, but I often forget how He is my friend as well. He sent someone who I hadn’t talked to in years, to remind me that He is my friend. He sees my sacrifices. He sees me, loves me, and wants to bless me. It was so sweet to tangibly experience His love for ME. God’s love is active in my life. He not only loved me enough to send His Son to die for me, He loves me all the time. God is truly my friend. He reached out to me like a friend would – “I’ve been thinking about you and I wanted you to know it.”
Beyond receiving an active expression of God’s love for me, I also learned some valuable lessons.
- Be persistent in friendship. Often times when someone comes to mind I’ll just text them and say “Thinking of you” or get so busy I do nothing at all. I might call, but if I can’t reach them then I’ll think to myself, “Well, I tried.” My friend persisted. She kept reaching out and kept asking until she knew WHY she was thinking of me. Then she actively did something about it.
- Actively do something to reach out to others. Since that call I have received a beautiful pair of turquoise earrings, a cool pair of shoes and a nest necklace. What makes me most happy is my family, especially my kids. She sent me a gift that represented my kids which was a true representation that God knows what really makes me happy.
- Remember, it’s good to receive. At first I hesitated answering her questions about materialistic shoes and jewelry. I told her she didn’t have to send me anything, that the thought was enough. But when I stopped thinking about what she would think, and I looked at it like God was asking me, then it was much easier for me to receive. Too often we resist gifts others give us because we are afraid they will think we are greedy or ungrateful. What we forget is that God uses others to bless us. To resist their gestures is actually resisting God. The best response is gratitude.
- It’s OK to answer the question, “What makes you happy?” As moms, we are in a stage of life where we are constantly responding to the demands and needs of others. It’s important to allow ourselves room to see what we need – even if it seems selfish. It’s a bit sad to me that we are so quick to feel guilty when we take time or resources for ourselves. In the midst of making our family a priority, we forget that we are a priority as well.
I’d like to propose that we all ask ourselves, “What makes me happy?” Maybe it’s time at a coffee shop, a pedicure, painting something, shopping, or maybe it’s simply sleeping. Whatever it is – allow yourself to make it a priority.
What if each and every person who read this, paid it forward. What if we sought out someone who needs an active expression of His love for them? What if we were willing to simply ask them, “What makes you happy, other than the obvious (friends, family, kids)? What is something that makes you smile when you receive it?” Then whatever it is, make it happen.
Let’s make someone happy today.
Leave a comment to let us know what you did. How can you make your happiness a priority? How did you actively make someone else happy?