A Happy Place

Disney World claims to be the “Happiest Place on Earth, ” and I don’t think too many people would disagree with their proclamation. I love Disney World. Standing in the parks makes me feel like a child once again. Ears firmly attached to my head, I run between attractions. I giggle like a school girl as I wait to see Mickey Mouse. I am not alone in these feelings as I watch hundreds of other adults descend back into their childhoods. Laughter fills the air around me and smiles stretch from one ear to the other. Disney is a happy place.

John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Sadness and heartache darken the souls across our world, and Disney World is not immune to some of these problems. I remember bouncing around Epcot one day when my cell phone rang unexpectedly. The hospital, where my mother was recouping from an infection, called to inform me her condition was deteriorating quickly. Hospice was needed and the outlook bleak. I stood by the Mexican area of Epcot and cried. Not gentle tears, but sobs of anguish that flowed in torrents down my cheeks. My heart, torn asunder, as a thousand miles separated me from my mom’s bedside. Disney World was no longer the happiest place on earth for me. They could do nothing to change my circumstances at that moment.

1 Timothy 4:10 “That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”

Happiness does not last. Happiness is a fleeting emotion, one that is blown by the winds of turmoil. Even though I believe Disney is one of the happiest places, my experience with my mom showed me that even their signature happiness is temporary. Before you sink into despair under the weight of the world’s problems, know there is hope for something better.

Our joy comes from the knowledge and fellowship of Jesus. Click To Tweet

Joy, for the Christian heart, provides a different feeling than happiness. A definition of joy from John Piper states “Christian joy is a feeling in the soul, produced by the Holy Spirit, as he causes us to see the beauty of Christ in the word and the world.” We can experience this feeling even in the midst of an emotional breakdown in the middle of Epcot. My mom knew Jesus as her savior, so my joy during the pain came from knowing I will see her again one day. The joy feeling resides deep and overcomes any other emotions from the world. The joy Christ plants within us is never temporary like the happiness of Disney.

Psalm 30:5 “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

Where does this joy come from in our troubled world? Our joy comes from the knowledge and fellowship of Jesus. When we know Jesus on a personal level, we know His joy. No matter what happens to us, the joy remains. We still cry and experience sadness in our lives, but Christ provides hope for better things to come. Even if we struggle with pain or heartache throughout our entire life, we know that in the end, we will spend eternity with our Lord and Savior. I would even go so far as to proclaim that Heaven will be the happiest place in the universe. The joy planted in our hearts prepares us for the comfort that will last for all eternity with Jesus and all the saints who have gone before us.

The joy planted in our hearts prepares us for the comfort that will last for all eternity. Click To Tweet

Blessings,

Yvonne, Blogger, speaker, and author

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”


Additional Resources:

What is Joy

Definition of Joy

My Story

Learn about my work with orphans

52 thoughts on “A Happy Place

  1. Lisa Q – USA Midwest – Lisa Quintana blogs at ThinkDivinely, and also for the Women in Apologetics (WIA) ministry, where she currently serves as Vice Chair of Communications. ​Lisa also has her M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University, a B.A. in Communications (with news media emphasis) from Cal State University, Fullerton, and an A.A. in Christian Studies from Christian Life College, Illinois. Her articles have appeared in several Christian ministry sites. She teaches apologetics at her church in Wisconsin. She’s been involved in leading small group ministries for over 25 years, and recently began speaking at Christian conferences. Find Lisa on Twitter at @LisaQthinks.
    Lisa Q

    I love Disney World, too! I wonder if Walt Disney’s original intent was to create a place that would produce in us a sense of heaven… where nothing but good things happen. But as you so aptly point out, we are not in heaven yet, and this life is definitely a mixed bag. I love the definition of Joy – that is so true! Joy is not the same thing as happiness, and many often conflate the two. But joy does come from faith in Christ and I can’t imagine living without that. Bless you! Lisa Q

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks Lisa. It can be so easy, when life is good, to think this is heaven. But those good times don’t last and without joy, we crash quickly. God bless

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      I needed it too. Thanks Vivian. I appreciate your comment and God bless

  2. thisgratefulmama – Christ follower. Wife. SAHM of three. Allergy mama. Learning what it means to be grateful for what I already have and to find joy in everyday moments.
    thisgratefulmama

    Oh, Disney World is indeed a special place where much happiness is experienced. I agree this happiness is temporary. And comes at a pretty hefty literal cost. What a gift the joy of the Lord is, who gives it freely to His children, a gift of grace by His Spirit.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks for visiting. I agree with you that chasing happiness can cost us so much. Godly joy is the only way. God bless

  3. Yvonne, the world tends to seek personal fulfillment and happiness in so many different ways – including going to Disney Land. And as you so aptly point out, all these earthly pursuits only fill us temporarily. Because they cannot prevent the hurdles, losses, trials we will inevitably face throughout our lifetime. Only Jesus can fill us and sustain us with joy throughout both the highs and lows of life. Thanks for the post!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Amen Anne. I pray we can reflect our eternal joy to the world so they can learn where they can go for fulfillment. God bless

  4. Marcie Cramsey – Culpeper, Virginia – Marcie Cramsey who has been a Children's Minister/Leader for over 30 years lives in Fredericksburg, Va. Her number one passion is loving Jesus Christ. Second to that is her family. She will say that filling the roles of wife and mother is the highest honor that God has allowed her to fill. She spends her days serving others, reading, writing, and hiking and biking (when weather permits). She has been married for 30+ years to her best friend, Dan. They both have four wonderful grown children. Marcie recently published a book for parents, titled "Deep and Wide: Raising Children Deep in Jesus and Wide in Influence." This book teaches parents how to raise their children through relationship. It's been called "the most unique parenting book written." You can purchase this book at Amazon and Westbow Press.com.
    Marcie Cramsey

    Places like Disney do create space for a little happiness on earth. But it does not last. Nothing lasts like knowing Jesus. I’m so sorry you had to experience such heartache while you were there. Thank you for sharing your story with us! Love the scriptures!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks Marcie. I really made me realize how fleeting happiness can be in this world. Everlasting joy only comes from Christ. God bless

  5. My intentions for 2019 are to trust and choose joy! Your story about being at Disney and receiving the news about your mom was a perfect example of how temporary “happy” can be. Your post reminds me that there’s much to remain joyful about – despite hardships and grief. I drank up each scripture you cited. Thank you!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks Peggy. My word for 2019 is joy so really wanted to share how it is different. God bless

  6. As I read your post the verse from James 1:2 came to mind. “My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy”. Thank you for your post.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks Claudio. Great verse as an example. I appreciate your thoughts. God bless

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks Jessica. I think you are so correct. God bless

  7. Nancy E. Head – United States – Writer and teacher Nancy E. Head was a single mother with five children under the age of 14 when she attended Penn State to earn a bachelor’s degree in English and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Her career took a journalistic turn from radio news to newspaper reporting, then education before she returned to the classroom to secure a master’s degree in English from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Currently an instructor at Penn State Altoona and Great Commission Schools, she also spent two summers teaching English in Asia and is a Distinguished Toastmaster. When not teaching or writing, she restores antique quilts, crafts projects for her grandchildren, and helps her husband lead a small group at their church devoted to ministering to the needy in their community.
    nancyehead

    I have such wonderful memories from Disney World with family I don’t usually get to see otherwise. Hope to get back there again soon. But you’re right about happiness and joy. Great post. God bless!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thank you Nancy. I really like going to Disney too especially with the grandchildren. God bless

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks for commenting Kim. I appreciate your thoughts in the subject on joy. God bless

  8. Yes, so very true! I love that you share a concrete example of the difference between happiness and joy, although I’m so sorry it had to come through your mother’s health. Thank you for sharing your heart to bring us truth!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thank you Emily. I love when God gives real life stories to share His truth for others to see.

  9. mimionlife – Writer of inspirational messages, sometimes laced with humor.
    mimionlife

    I love Disney World, too. Very true that happiness can change to sorrow at any moment. I am thankful God is with us in good times and in bad times. Thank you for sharing your story with us. Being at a happy place and receiving sad news is very stressful. We can be comforted knowing our tears are collected by Him.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks Melissa. I love thinking about God collecting our tears, it does comfort me. God bless

  10. lisamurrayblog – lisamurrayonline.com – Lisa is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Nashville, Tennessee. She received an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trevecca University. A former of the worship team for the Women of Faith Conference, Lisa founded the Counseling Ministry at Grace Chapel Leipers Fork where, in addition to therapy services, she coordinates the family ministry programs, including Dynamic Marriage, Love & Respect, Parenting with Love and Logic, and Celebrate Recovery. Lisa specializes in individual healing and growth as well as relationship issues. In her writing and speaking Lisa enjoys exploring the topics of spiritual and emotional wholeness in people's lives and relationships. She and her husband live in Franklin, TN.
    lisamurrayblog

    Yes, happiness and joy are definitely not the same. So thankful to have a relationship with Christ that is the source of joy abundant! Blessings, Yvonne!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thank you Lisa. We are blessed that Jesus seeks us to be in relationship with Him. God bless

  11. This was so hard to read, I could feel your pain, but I’m so glad that we have Jesus! Truly every thing on this earth is temporal, joys, gifts, beauty, deteriorating bodies. If we had not Him and the glorious resurrection and His promises to look forward to, what a miserable place this would be despite Disney Land 😉 Never been, by the way!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. God is teaching me to store up my treasures in heaven because everything earthly is temporary. You need to visit Disney at least once . God bless

  12. Melissa McLaughlin – From an early age, the beauty of nature and love of family pointed me to One who is greater, the Creator and Lover of my soul, Jesus. My writing is inspired by His Word and His Spirit. During the most desperate times of my life, I learned to use scripture prayers to be my voice when I had no voice. To find out more about my passionate prayer journey, check out my book "In Dark of Times When Words Fail, Voice of Jesus Pray for Me." Follow along and join me in this journey of loving Jesus!
    Melissa McLaughlin

    Yvonne, this was a perfect description of how worldly happiness cannot sustain us. I love Disenyworld, too! But nothing can replace the love of Jesus and the assurance that He has won us to His family for all eternity.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Amen Melissa. We must look to the only name that can truly give us a future, Jesus. God bless

  13. Unmasking the Mess – I'm a wife, mother, writer and Jesus follower. I make a lot of messes or seem to get into messes. I honestly admit that I need help from God every day. Unmask the mess with me and find out why messes might be good.
    Julie

    Thank you for reminding us that joy doesn’t come from a happy life or getting everything we desire but in the relationship with our Savior! It’s easy to forget this!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      It is easy to forget Julie, especially when life is going well. God bless

  14. What a wonderful post, Yvonne. Yes, this life is full of happy times and hard times. But if we believe in Christ, we know heaven is waiting for us. I’m so sorry for your loss, but your mom is in a better place and will be waiting for you when your time comes.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thank you Shawn. I am learning to praise God in both the happy and the hard times because He is always with us and caring for us. And it is beautiful to think of reuniting with our loved ones some day. God bless

  15. Melinda Viergever Inman – earth – Raised on the Oklahoma plains in a storytelling family, Melinda now spins tales from her writer's cave in the South. Her fiction illustrates our human story, wrestling with our brokenness and the storms that wreak havoc in our lives. Find her at http://melindainman.com.
    Melinda Viergever Inman

    You captured the essence of joy and happiness in the Lord in perfect contrast to the heartache and pain of this world. I’m so sorry about your mother. Your words allow us to imagine the juxtaposition of giggling joy alongside weeping and mourning. This is life. Without Christ, we are at the whims of our broken humanity. But, Jesus. Your post is filled with the hope, love, peace, and joy that we have in Christ. A great post, Yvonne!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks Melinda. It is so important to show our broken humanity where they can find joy and only Christ can offer it. God bless

  16. authordlv – Christian writer, author, blogger. Visit my site at https://www.stephendelavega.com.
    Stephen De La Vega

    Hi Yvonne. I love that joy is an emotion and a response that surpasses anything that would counter it…when we allow it to. Sorry about the news you received when the day was supposed to be a happy one. I’m so glad God remains with us with loving arms. Praise God that your mom is with Him now.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Amen Stephen. God is so good to us. God bless

  17. Yvonne, I haven’t been to Disney in years, but I agree to reverting back to our childhood and being kids at heart. You know, I have never heard Piper’s quote on joy, but I so love it! How true that real joy is produced by the Holy Spirit.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Amen. True joy is what feeds our souls and keeps us going through the valley. God bless

  18. Christina – United States – I am a writer, wife, and mom. God has lit a passion in me for pursuing thoughtful parenting. I am a seeker and investigator that likes to challenge the status quo. Also founder of Finally Family Homes - a ministry serving kids who are aging out of the foster care system in LA.
    Christina

    Yvonne,

    We live close to Disneyland, but I hope to go to Disneyworld with the kids someday!
    Definitely sadness can happen at the “happiest place on earth” – in fact sometimes I think my sadness is amplified in surroundings that are overly happy.

    But how beautiful is that joy, that hope, that we have in Jesus. No loss, no death, no more tears one day. All this, fleeting happiness and all shall pass. And then we will have just that peace, joy, and the fulfillment of hope.
    🙂

    Thanks for the reminder of where to put my anchor.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      You are very welcome Christina. Our anchor will hold strong with Jesus. God bless

  19. I think I’m the odd one out. I don’t like Disney World. :). But I do love this post. Thank you for providing insight into what can be a confusing subject. I love the way you explained joy vs happiness.

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks Stephanie. You are not alone, I have some cousins that don’t like Disney either. Thank you for visiting and God bless

  20. Great article! I’m a Disney lover too, and I have often though that what we feel and see there is like a little glimpse into Heaven—or maybe just the outer courts of Heaven! But, your point is well-taken. Happiness is fleeting, and joy is something much deeper and more permanent. Joy helps bridge the gap during those seasons in the valley. Thank you for sharing this with us!

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks Michelle. I appreciate your thoughts. We are so blessed that no one can rob us of our joy. God bless

  21. Antonia – Hi, I'm Antonia! I'm 21 years old, from the United Kingdom. I'm passionate about Beauty, Hair, Lifestyle and Health. Since the age of 5 I used to go into stores (accompanied of course) and see the magazines that came with 'free eyeshadow and blusher' and would literally have a tantrum if I didn't get it. Spoilt and annoying I know. I've been diagnosed with many different health issues so I'd like to share my past and future experiences to hopefully help others who might be going though the same and what's worked for me. My blog is to share tips, reviews, opinions, and experiences about all the above but also to use this space as a judgement free zone where we can speak about anything! I'm quite a girly girl so I love to play with makeup but trust me I also love just as much to chill at home in an oversized T-shirt and just watch Documentaries, Movies and funnily enough News! Come on the journey with me to have endless honest girly chats!
    antonia_

    I definitely need to go to Disneyworld after reading this! Great post

    1. Yvonne – I am a wife, a mom of two grown daughters, and one son who lives with Jesus. I am also a grandmother. I am passionate about missions and writing about the amazing stories of seeing Christ in action on my journey. God led me to set up a charity, which cares for orphans in Nepal and Myanmar. I hope my stories inspire you to reach out and be the hands and feet of Christ to someone.
      Yvonne

      Thanks Antonia.

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