My search for happiness started at 17, when my mum died. I spent 10 years travelling the world looking for it – I went to Australasia, Africa, the South Pacific… Externally, things appeared to be ok. I had a good job, a house, a girlfriend, but inside I wasn’t really happy.
I wanted to experience different things so I could try to find a level of happiness. Life fell into a pattern: I’d spend my summers being ok, playing cricket, things like that; and then in each winter I’d go travelling and take drugs. I got into cocaine and other social drugs, using them to try to find happiness. This led to other things, such as being unfaithful in relationships and stealing for the buzz of it and because I felt like I deserved things because my mother had died and I didn’t have a particularly great childhood.
Then, in the summer of 2009, all of this came to a halt as I started to wonder what my life would be like in 10 years’ time if I carried on in this pattern. That summer it hit me: I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t working because I couldn’t take the responsibility, and I was lonely. I opened up to my housemate, who was a Christian, and we started to develop a friendship. From the first time I went to King’s Church Kingston with him, I really encountered what I now know to be God’s love. It was quite overwhelming.
In November 2009 I became a Christian. I didn’t tell the people I was hanging around with for about three months, but by that time they had started to say that they had noticed something had happened to me. God started to reconcile and restore and repair me and people that I’d hurt. God turned around my work situation; He repaired relationships with my sister and my dad. The need for sex and the need for drugs was instantly removed the day I became a Christian.
Today, I am a regional manager at work, I lead a small group in church and I’m really learning and understanding more of who I am in Jesus. I’m getting married in May. God has been so patient with me; His mercies really are new every morning. Just to experience His commitment to me is so empowering. Before, I was scared and I didn’t like myself or other people. Now that I know I’m loved, I can love myself as well as loving others.
I now feel like I’ve found that happiness, and a whole lot more.
To read more Life Stories from members of King’s Church Kingston, click here.
Picture Credit: Riding the Flume Trail by Peter Thoeny (Creative Commons)