myIAKI // by JENNY H
When Jordan originally texted me “what makes you happy jenny?” I turned my phone over and ignored it. Why? Because I’m busy. Why? Because I’m tired. Why? Because i don’t feel like writing. When he messaged me a second time to follow up i flipped my phone over and did the same thing and felt the same way. I have excuses and they are valid. But these are the same excuses i continue to apply to my passions...ironically enough. Why is that?
That night i had a dream. The entire dream that question haunted me. In the dream i walked into a room with a long beautiful banquet table. Music was playing and a fire was on. I served myself rainbow sherbet ice cream on a heart shaped plate. “This makes me so happy” i thought to myself. I went to sit down at the table and every friend from my childhood, middle school and high school, recovery group, church circle, and work pals were all there. They were listening to me tell a funny story about my husband. We all laughed together. “I am so happy right now” i thought to myself in the dream. A baby was laughing, discovering its own sound. This elated me as i am an expecting mother. The table was low to the ground and everyone comfortably sat on the floor. This made me happy also. About ten times throughout the dream i heard a voice say “what makes you happy jenny? Wake up and write.”
You see i am a writer by nature and morning time is when i write best. It is my heart's passion and what many say is my greatest gift, yet it is the one i have been avoiding most. A gift with a unique purpose that i beleive the creator has encouraged me to pursue. So why have I been avoiding it and who's dang voice is that? I sheepishly thought. I knew EXACTLY whose voice it was.
After i heard this voice in the dream I walked into a shop and picked out my favorite flowers. Pink peonys make me happy I thought. I began to pull the petals off. “Wake up and write, wake up and write.” The voice began to stress me out.
As i turned the corner in the dream i entered into a section of the shop and my dream began to feel more grim. There were caged birds for sale. But it was not what i expected to see... these birds looked miserable, terrified and trapped. Each bird that was caged was being bullied by another bird which clearly represented fear to me. Each bird also had a chain around it's throat- preventing it from singing; a birds most valued gift (for itself and others who hear it). I walked out of the shop disturbed, got into my car and again i heard the voice. “What makes you happy jenny? Wake up and write.”
I, in fact woke up at 515am and wrote. I was tired and clearly busy sleeping but i could not shake the voice nor the imagery. So whose voice was it? The voice was Gods. This is not an uncommon theme in significant dreams or in my waking life. Being able to truly hear the voice of God brings me great joy but it also can feel intense, overwhelming and even stress inducing at times.
So to respond to what originally felt like a daunting question; “what makes ME happy?” Just about everything honestly. And what about what makes me unhappy? Just about everything honestly. But truly, it all depends on perspective, resilience and attitude which i constantly have to look at and apply a regular life-edit when necessary. I spent a large majority of my life seeking fleeting peace and joy from just about anything and anyone BUT God and I can tell you drinking water from the world’s fountain has left me high, dry and dehydrated. But when I drink from the spring well of my close friend Jesus, I am always hydrated, I am always clearheaded and i am ALWAYS happy. So my question for you is who OR what is truly in control of your joy?