When You Are Unhappy with Where You’ve Been Placed

You know those seasons of life that leave you feeling unhappy?

Maybe you prayed for something and got the opposite.
Maybe you’ve wished your whole life to be somewhere you’re not.
Maybe people have disappointed you and relationships have left you unsatisfied.
Or maybe you feel like you’re standing in a puddle of purposelessness.

The cries of “God, anywhere but here! Anything but this!” echo loud in your heart and you feel unhappy.

We all experience seasons of unhappiness - seasons that leave us wondering what God has planned. It's a difficult season & it is one I fully understand. Read about my fervent prayer that was answered with a "no", as well as my response to God here. And find some great encouragement for those seasons of unhappiness!

First, I’d like to say that you are not alone. The Bible is full of stories of God’s people dealing with sadness and discontentment. I deal with sadness and discontentment. You’re not alone.

Second, I’d like to tell you that it is time to do something about this unhappiness. As Christians, joy is one of the beautiful gifts of our salvation. “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” [1 Peter 1:8]

Faith = Hope. Hope = Joy.

Therefore, we have all reason to be joyful – to work on this deep within ourselves so that we can say with confidence, “It is well with my soul.

I don’t want to offer you 5 Steps to Being More Joyful or The Key to Getting Happy. Because, if I’m honest, I don’t believe that five steps or some secret will help you with this, dear one.

Here’s the honest truth: joy comes from the heart. So, when you have a joy problem, you have a heart problem.

And I believe that heart problem is rooted in what Jeremiah 2 calls “broken cisterns”.

“For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” [Jeremiah 2:13]

Broken cisterns are anything that we choose to put our faith and hope in apart of Christ. In other words, they represent the idols of our hearts.

Things like money, beauty, future plans, a person, a place, an idea. It could be the deep-rooted belief that you’d be happier somewhere else or with someone else. Maybe it’s the loud dissatisfaction with your weight or your home.

When we put our hope and our faith in these things – these broken cisterns of our heart – we lose sight of the very gift of Living Water in Jesus.

So the solution to our unhappiness isn’t taking five steps. Rather, it’s reorienting our hearts to the Living Water.

It’s saying yes to God & only God.

Walk with me over the Arabah Joy blog where I share a story about a big unanswered prayer and how I’ve chosen to say yes to God alone. We’re in it together, friend!

We all experience seasons of unhappiness - seasons that leave us wondering what God has planned. It's a difficult season & it is one I fully understand. Read about my fervent prayer that was answered with a "no", as well as my response to God here. And find some great encouragement for those seasons of unhappiness!


P.S. It would be a joy to welcome you to the community! We’re a group of people striving to be bold for Jesus – to live well, love well, and have bold faith. Would you join us? You’ll receive free access to my 6-day email study about trusting God!

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9 thoughts on “When You Are Unhappy with Where You’ve Been Placed

  1. HI Allison, I left a comment on your guest post at Sarah’s blog, but I wanted to pop by your blog too. You have a beautiful site, and you have great wisdom.

    Last week, I wrote about contentment. My family and I have wasted tens of thousands of dollars moving from house to house and state to state in search of contentment for me. Finally, a couple years ago, after realizing I had been discontent for nearly a decade, God brought me to the place of surrender.

    Anytime what I want matters to me more than what God wants, I will be discontent. It’s something I will continually struggle with for the rest of my days. Oh sure, I may have surrendered the “where I live” battle, but there are other ones always ready to rear their ugly head.

    Blessings,
    Patti @ Embracing Home

    1. It’s part of being human, I do believe. Discontentment is going to be a constant struggle for all of us. I actually just finished reading a fiction book by Francine Rivers called “The Scarlet Thread” that you might enjoy. The story is beautiful and reminded me that contentment is a battle, but a worthy one.
      Thanks for stopping by to read & comment!

  2. “Here’s the honest truth: joy comes from the heart. So, when you have a joy problem, you have a heart problem.” Love this!! There are no steps to joy … it’s all a matter of where our hearts are dwelling. Thanks for this, Alison! XO

  3. This is so good, Alison. We can’t be relying on the broken cisterns to keep us filled with joy. At the heart of the matter is submitting to His will. I’ve been reading Jennifer Dukes Lee’s book, The Happiness Dare, though and through it I do realize we must cultivate our happiness, as well. But we can cultivate and take time for enjoying the people and moments God has given us, but if our rock isn’t Him. If our base isn’t filled filled with His spirit, we still will only find temporal happiness!
    I love my time here, friend. always!

    1. You are so right, Lori. It’s a daily choice we can make – to be happy or unhappy. It’s often easier to choose unhappiness, but like you said, when we take the time to enjoy what God has given us & stand on Him as a solid foundation, happiness tends to flow a bit easier. 🙂

  4. Just yesterday I was doing a topical study on thirsting for God and one of the passages I read was Jeremiah 2:13 where God calls himself the Fountain of Living Waters. Today I happened upon your post with this same passage. I love it when I read a passage and then that passage keeps popping up in different places over the next several days. I believe it is God’s way of saying, “Hey, pay attention to this. There is a lesson I want you to learn here.” Thank you for this post reminding us that our thirst for meaning in life can only be quenched with the living water that only Jesus can provide. Nothing else will ever satisfy!

    1. Laura, I love it when that happens too. It makes Scripture so personal and relevant in every moment of the day. God speaks in so many ways, and when we open our eyes to His messages, we are blessed. 🙂 I’m glad this post spoke to you. Thank you for commenting!

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