Where Happiness Comes From

I don’t know why my brain decides to give me ideas right when I’m about to sleep. Lol. I’m in bed thinking of the wonderful time we just had at a pool party with people from our church. By we, I mean my kids and I. I just can’t keep all this happiness to myself and had to share with you all what’s been going on and where it comes from.

So, I was born and baptized in a Catholic Church. I also went to Sunday school for my confirmation and communion preparation. After that, I don’t remember going to church often. As a teenager, I got lost in a world of confusion. I felt alone and neglected and all I could do is refer to my friends and learn how to cope with my own feelings. It’s like the blind leading the blind, right?

Through those rough years, I thought God was not around. I lost faith and I drowned my sorrows with any substance I could get. At age 12, I started smoking pot and drinking. By the time I knew it, I was taking sleeping pills and sniffing cocaine. It wasn’t long that I became pregnant with my baby girl. I was only 14 years old. By that time my mother and I had left my dad and were living with a cousin of mine. Sharing a room with their mother is not the most suitable situation for a teenage girl. My mother didn’t have a job, nor a car, or even a place to live. So it was a hard time for both of us. But there I was, pregnant!

I never imagined that a few weeks after my baby was born, my mother would be diagnosed with leukemia. I still remember that day as if it were yesterday. She was on a phone call and I saw her start crying. It was unreal to hear that she had 6 months to live. Like how? She had been perfectly fine and we were so happy with my baby girl.

After that, everything came crashing down. I kept living my life like everything was going to be the same. Like it wasn’t true and she would be fine after some treatment. I eventually went back to drinking and partying. My aunt had come to live with us, we had gotten an apartment now that my mom was disabled, so she would take care of my baby and my mother.

My mother got really sick pretty fast. Once she fell in bed she stopped walking. Every time I saw her she was weaker and all I wanted was to leave like if not seeing her would make things go back to normal. I was a horrible daughter.

During these times I met my husband. He was my comfort. All I wanted was to be with him. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into! But that’s another story. My momma went in and out of the hospital and also nursing homes. Those times I was left by myself and my alcoholic father. We were both a mess. We comforted each other with drugs. My aunt would take my daughter with her because I wasn’t fit to take care of her. Now that I think of it, I was also a horrible mother.

I got pregnant with my second child at 16. I also lost my mother that year. I was only 7 months pregnant when I got the call. I was still in denial. It broke me entirely to see my mother hooked to those tubes, knowing that they were the only thing keeping her alive. She suffered for one year and five months and now it was over. I never got to tell her how much I loved her, I don’t think she heard me when I said goodbye.

The days after were still as if it were a dream. I felt like I was outside of my body. I couldn’t cry. I buried my mother and didn’t shed a tear. Everyone was crying but me.

I was alone in the world with a baby and another on the way. Homeless. Broke. Alone. I moved in with my boyfriend in Mexico. That was another great adventure! We eventually got married, came to the United States, and had another kid. That didn’t go well. I found out he was using heroin while I was still pregnant with my third baby. I had no idea what that was! The rest was a nightmare, but he was all I had and I loved him so much.

In 2006, he just disappeared off the face of the earth. I had left him and he went back to Mexico. They never found his body. I was devastated. Once again I was alone, but now with three little ones. How was I to believe that God could let this happen to me? Where was he? Why did he hate me so much?

The next few years were harder than ever. This had to be the hardest thing I had gone through. I was broken. I was lost. I didn’t want to continue life without him. Seeing my kids was torture because they reminded me of him.

It wasn’t until I had my fourth baby, that I woke up. I hit rock bottom. I was at my worst and I was dragging my babies with me. A lot of things had to happen for me to realize that they were all I needed and they needed me.

I started to get my life together. Trying my hardest, but kept failing. And each time it felt like I was doing everything wrong. College was not working for me, I was on welfare because I couldn’t keep a job, I didn’t have anyone to help with my kids.

My baby was born into all this chaos, but he made it all better. He brought us joy and brought me back to life. Things were still hard and I still made so many mistakes, but I decided I was going to change.

I did change and slowly I started searching for God again. He had to be around, I had been in dangerous situations so many times, but he never left my side. I am still here because he has a greater purpose for me. I didn’t know how to find him. But I still kept praying. All this time he was right beside me. Now I know that. I was still having hard times but I kept changing and never stopped praying.

The day that the missionaries came knocking at my door was the day God knew I was ready to receive him in my heart. He had been preparing me to accept him. They changed my life completely. Becoming a member of The Church of Jesus Christ has been the biggest blessing of all. Now I understand so many things. I don’t feel lost. All the sadness was replaced with His unconditional love.

I have met the most wonderful human beings in this church and I am so grateful. My heart is so happy to see my kids happy with their new friends from church. Now my tears are from pure happiness and gratitude. To see my children dance and smile is the greatest gift of all.

I have a very strong testimony that Jesus Christ is alive, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that the gospel was restored, that God is my Heavenly Father, and that I am a member of the true church of Jesus Christ! Amen.

Ps. I respect everyone’s choice of religion, this is only my testimony and life story to share with you all.

Love Pao.

“Come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye also may be partakers of the fruit of the tree of life” (Alma 5:62)

22 thoughts on “Where Happiness Comes From

  1. warhorseminiatures says:

    It also helps to hold on the happy memories when things aren’t going well. Tomorrow it will be one year since my Father passed away after being sick for a few years. The last few months we would talk about or I would remember the trips we would take to historical places. My continued interest in history is because of him. So part of him lives on through me.

    Take Care, Mike.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Simply Pao says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss. It does help to remember the happy moments. I didn’t have many with my mom, I can barely remember any time we spent together. I was a teenager when she passed, we weren’t too close. Thank you for sharing Mike!❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Michele Rios says:

    Thank you for sharing your story, appreciate your vulnerability. I grew up in Mormon religion but am no longer. Always remember you are saved by God’s grace not by your good works. Being in relationship with God is what he asks of us. With all due respect, the Mormon religion is based on false doctrine. The Bible and that alone is His true word. I pray the veil will be removed from your eyes in Jesus name, Amen!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Lee Poskey says:

        Hi miss Pao,

        Thank you for sharing your testimony, and thank you for following my site.
        I too have a horrible past of sin, and I too have hurt many people’s lives before I was saved.

        I realize that you have found happiness in the group of Mormons, but as a born again Christian, I am reaching out to you to help you.
        The Mormons do not have the genuine Christ of the bible, it is in fact a cult. Jesus is not the brother of Lucifer in any way, shape or form.
        And our good works contribute nothing to one’s justification before God.

        I’m letting you know this in kindness, to help you. So understand that I’m not being ugly towards you.

        I will pray for you to know grace, and you are invited to explore my blog to see if anything there can bless you.

        Thank you for listening to me.

        All glory to the risen Lord Jesus Christ.


  3. MyFridayNight says:

    God bless you great resilience. God’s grace is made stronger in dark times. It’s funny but when we are going through the most is when we often feel closer to God. Each one of us is given an individual cross to bear. God also puts people in our lives for a season. To help us through situations, but they’re never meant to stick around. I’ve been there myself…when we seek comfort in others or substance we are pushing God away. Since, God wants to be our source of comfort and all things, not just a resource. God bless you. Glad you are doing well. Bloggers just remember no matter what you are going through today or tomorrow God has already given you the power/grace to deal with it and overcome it. Your season is coming. Stay strong in faith.

    Liked by 1 person

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