Does God Want Me to Be Happy?

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Does God Want Me to Be Happy?
Existential Questions and Inner Healing

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Since the earliest times, humans have questioned their existence in the world. Questions about the purpose and significance of life include:

Who is God to Me?
How do I Hear God?
Who Am I?
What Am I Worth?
How Do I Accept Who I Am?
Does God Want Me to Be Happy?
Is it All Up to Me?

Why Do I Suffer?

Through inner healing prayer, we ask God the existential question: Does God Want Me to Be Happy?

Carl (60 years old) came for inner healing prayers to get relief from a myriad of physical setbacks, including migraines, vertigo, and even cancer. Despite praying for years, he had not gotten better, and his progressing health challenges set him on despair’s doorstep.

Through deeper conversations with Carl, the prayer facilitator learned more about his history, including his traumatic loss of loved ones; she surmised his emotional trauma carved his thinking that God was exacting and demanding. Carl was emotionally fragile, with distorted views about God.

The facilitator attempted to help Carl see his identity as a child of God by asking him, “Who are you?” His honest answer was, “I don’t know.”

One of the pillars of creating a secure foundation with God is knowing that you are indeed His child. A tool used in inner healing for this foundation is called the "Creation Story," where, through prayer, we ask, and God communicates what He thinks and feels about you as His child.

She suggested Carl ask God about his origin, his own creation story.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, Carl imagined himself on a snowy mountain. He had loved skiing as a youth and still did. The mountain was his element and place of joy. He enjoyed everything about the brisk, cold air, gliding down the lush blanket of white preparing for his next maneuver.

His deep breaths filled his ears as he jumped off moguls and twisted his body in 360-degree turns. He exhaled cloud-like mists into the frozen air; every sharp inhale burst into his lungs with energizing crispness.

Sweat beaded around the edges of his mirrored snow goggles and under his ski cap as he maneuvered and carved perfectly symmetrical s-curve grooves into the powder. He felt the strength of his muscular legs digging into his snow boots as he sliced into snow and patches of hidden ice underneath.

Where was Jesus while Carl skied? He was there watching him have fun. Carl felt His presence while he dodged trees with triple-black-diamond skill and created swooshing and swishing echoes with his skis.

This alone was a near-shocking awareness for Carl. He never imagined God cared about his enjoyment. That day, Carl’s beliefs about God -- that performance and perfection were required of him as conditions for God’s love -- melted significantly on the mountain.

Experiencing how Jesus allowed Carl to enjoy himself was a huge part of his healing. Along with this awakening came freedom, knowing that Jesus wanted him to savor moments of joy. Carl felt as light as the near-weightless snowflakes that had drifted around him.

Eventually, with additional inner healing prayers, Carl shifted away from an ingrained performance-oriented mode and a misbelief he had to earn God’s love. He yielded to a more laid-back, joyful outlook. Carl moved to the Caribbean to live an island-time lifestyle within a year of his first inner healing prayer session.

What about the mountains? He still goes north to enjoy skiing, of course!

I recall an ancient saying by St. Irenaeus, the great second-century theologian who was no stranger to pain and suffering, said: “The glory of God is a human person fully alive.” What gives praise, honor, and glory to God, and what God wants, is for each of us to be fully alive.

Similar to Carl but with his unique circumstances, Dan (age 26) was suffering from health issues that led to his spiritual decline and eventual crisis. When he sought inner healing, his explicit request was, “I don’t want Jesus anywhere near me.” His stance told the prayer facilitator what she needed to know; Dan was angry at God.

The prayer facilitator knew experiencing God’s loving presence and proximity would afford Dan comfort and healing, but she needed to respect his wishes.

So, she suggested Dan ask the Holy Spirit to invite him to a place where he would feel comfortable and calm.

Dan found himself on a beach where peace overtook him. Looking up and down the sandy distance, Dan saw he was alone. Surrounded by nature and without another soul around, he marveled at the immersion of beauty and the sense this scene was all for him.

Looking out into the horizon, he saw the sun setting. The colors of the horizon were vibrant, illuminating the sky with red, yellow, and orange flame-like striations as the water rolled and reflected the sky. Dan deeply breathed in the briny air as the breeze brushed his hair.

When the prayer facilitator invited Dan to look around and imagine who was present with him, he could see Jesus far out on the ocean's horizon. Dan wanted Jesus no closer, expressing resentment.

And so Jesus stayed out on the horizon.

Then, Dan saw someone else standing next to Jesus. His grandfather, to whom Dan was very close and who had recently passed away, was standing next to Jesus.

Dan desperately wanted his grandfather to come closer, but Dan knew he couldn’t come near without Jesus coming along, too, as Jesus and Dan’s grandfather held hands.
After a while, Dan gave in and invited his grandfather to come closer, which he did. Dan embraced his grandfather, overflowing with joy, relief, and tears.

Where was Jesus while all this was happening? He was peacefully watching the embrace, enjoying the two men reunite. Jesus stood aside to let Dan experience his grandfather’s love without placing pressure on him.

After Dan and his grandfather shared a few moments, Dan’s grandfather stood back and gave Jesus space. Dan hesitated, but his encounter with his grandfather likely softened him. Dan fell into Jesus’s arms and cried.

There’s a relief when we experience the truth that Jesus can handle our big emotions, even when we’re mad at him. The relief that flowed over Dan’s body and spirit was visible.

Carl experienced that God doesn’t look for perfection, nor is He a puppet master expecting our flawless performance. Dan needed to experience God’s profound compassion for Dan’s frustration and anger. He needed a reminder that the presence of an illness, though challenging, never diminishes God’s love for us. The why of our circumstances may not be known to us. Yet, through inner healing, God sustains us with His love by dislodging the lies we hold on to that keep us bound.

Christ came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)