In looking back over the years, I realize that I searched and worked for many things I thought would bring me happiness.

In the days of my youth, I thought acceptance would be the key to happiness in life. However, it was only a short period of time until I discovered that it really didn't matter who liked me if I didn't love myself, and more importantly, if I wasn't walking intimately with God.

During my young adult years, I found they were a time of extremes. There was the joy of finding love, and the heartache of losing things I loved. It was in those years I found Jack...but lost more than one child to miscarriage. I found a new calling as a minister's wife...but lost my father when he was in his mid-forties.

Joy and sorrow often come intertwined, yet there is a constant thread always present: God has never failed me and his mercies are ever new each morning.

As I travel down the journey of life God has ordained for me, I am often reminded of a Bible verse I memorized years ago. The verse has become my life verse, for I have come to quote it daily, and in days past it has even been my midnight anchor when days and nights have run together:

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart. (Jeremiah 15:16)

Jeremiah was many times distraught by the intensity and harshness of his life's calling, yet he found that all he really wanted in life was to rejoice in his heart. And so I find myself drawn to his message of hope.

In reviewing the seasons of my life, I have wanted many things and received most of them. I am blessed to have been raised in a Christian home where a mother and father loved each other. I have a sister who lives and loves her family as we were taught.

I married a man who loves me without reservation and with whom I am blessed to share one of the highest callings in the world, that of being a pastor. I have three wonderful children who love me and each other. I have two "daughters-in-love" who bring happiness and fulfillment to my sons. I have a "perfect" grandson who lights up my life with his every word and smile.

I have friends who share this journey of life with me. I have the job I always wanted and to top it off, I have everything I need materially!

Yet, with all the blessings and privileges I have, I must confess they are but things. If living on this earth for over 50 years has taught me anything, it's that things don't last forever. There is only one thing that lasts, and that is what I believe women want whether they realize it or not.

To answer the question, "What do I want as a woman?" is simple. I want the joy and rejoicing in my heart that only God can give. When Jeremiah says he found God's words and he ate them, he literally means he internalized the love of God in his life. He realized that all the things of his life, even good things like family and friends, were nothing in comparison to the love he found in God.

Perhaps today, you are searching for, working for, and living for things. The secret to finding what you need, want, and desire is to do as Jeremiah of long ago did and eat the words of God. What follows is the most fulfilling thing possible in this life-the joy and rejoicing of your heart. And that can never be taken away by anything in this world!