Happiness is Temporary; Joy is Eternal

When I was about fifteen or sixteen years old, I started praying every night before bed that God would give me a boyfriend. Actually, praying is probably an understatement. I pleaded with God for a boyfriend. There were many nights when I cried myself to sleep because I thought that having a boyfriend would make me feel happy, and you know what, from the looks of my friends who have boyfriends now, I was probably right. However, looking back on those days with four years’ worth of more wisdom and experience, I realize that my whole mentality as a fifteen and sixteen year old was all wrong. I wasn’t looking for happiness; I was looking for joy and fulfillment. My thoughts were superficial and shallow. Any man can make me happy if he treats me right and acts like a gentleman, but no man can bring me joy and fulfillment. Only my Savior, the God of the universe and Creator of all things can bring me joy and fulfillment.

When I turned eighteen, my tiny little, boyfriend obsessed, teenage mind finally started to grasp the fact that boyfriends aren’t the beginning, ending, or entirety of the whole world! Realizing that gaining a boyfriend would not gain me what I really wanted, which was joy and fulfillment; I turned my back on boys all together. I decided that boys were bad and that the only way I would ever find joy and fulfillment would be by turning my back on boys and dating altogether, at least until I was married or something. I did a complete 180. Instead of obsessing over finding a boyfriend, I started obsessing over not caring about having a boyfriend. I took Paul’s advice from 1 Corinthians 7 way too seriously and my understanding of it was completely disoriented. Basically, my thought process went like this, “Hhm, okay. So, if I focus on God and what He wants me to do, then He’ll finally give me a boyfriend. Okay, got it!” My thoughts were just as superficial and shallow as they had been before. I still didn’t get it! There were more times in my life when I felt truly joyful and happy, but I still didn’t feel much fulfillment.

Now I am twenty years old and over the past six or so months, I have been feeling true joy and fulfillment. I still want a boyfriend and I still think having a boyfriend will make me happy, but my mindset is different now. Most of the time, I’m not as superficial and shallow in my thinking toward boys as I had been. In fact, I don’t even really think about getting a boyfriend as much as I used to think about it. Over the past few months, I have met a handful of guys that could be perfect candidates to be a great boyfriend, but that hasn’t been my concern anymore. I can honestly say, I just want to be friends with these guys right now. I don’t want to worry about their potential for being a boyfriend, and normally I don’t, unlike with the guys I knew a few years ago. Before that past half a year or so, I thought of every guy I met as a potential boyfriend, but now I think of guys as friends and spiritual brothers. My superficial and shallow thinking has become supernatural and eternal. I want to be joyful and fulfilled, so my concern nowadays is falling deeper and deeper in love with my First Love and being just friends with the guys in my life. I can honestly say that I have been happier, more joyful, and more fulfilled in the past six months of my life than I ever have been before and it’s because I’ve given up on temporary fulfillment to focus on eternal fulfillment. God may bless me one day with the love of a man who will make me happy in this world, and I sure would love it if He did, but if He doesn’t, I can honestly, I’ll be okay with that.

Back in the day, when I was sixteen, I didn’t really see much hope for the future, because my focus was on the temporary fulfillment and happiness of finding a boyfriend to love me. Now, I see hope in almost everything around me, because my focus is on the eternal fulfillment and joy of loving my Beloved Bridegroom in Heaven.

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