June 15th, 2011 by admin


Snapshot Portrait: Mary Decker

Snapshot Portrait: Mary Decker

Columbia, MO, June 13, 2011

The hardest choice I’ve made in my life was when…

…I chose to be happy. My life was crumbling around me. I was sad, angry, depressed, and mourning the loss of my marriage. My husband had kicked me and my baby out of our own home. I was homeless and helpless. One night, while pleading to my Heavenly Father, I very distinctly got the feeling that that very moment was going to be the crossroads of my life. I had to choose then and there: Was I going to be happy and have the life I had dreamed about, or was I going to wallow in the mess and become bitter, sad and lonely? It was up to me. Then and there, I chose to be happy.

Was I going to be happy and have the life I had dreamed about, or was I going to wallow in the mess and become bitter, sad and lonely?

I got up, washed my face and set to it. I made a list of what I wanted, what I had to do to make those things happen and who I wanted to become. I got back to basics, reminding myself of those lessons I had learned in Primary and Young Womens so long ago and reminding myself who I was. I read, I pondered, I did as I was prompted to do, I went to the temple, I journaled and I prayed. Over the course of a year, I went from being a scared woman to a very short time later becoming content, strong, and determined to get the joy in life I deserved. It all came from the decision to be happy while sobbing on my bedroom floor.

Now I have a wonderful supportive husband and three beautiful children. I marvel at how far I’ve come. I am thankful for the answer to my prayers and the reminder that night that my happiness is not dependent on others, but it is a personal choice that I get to makeā€¦ on that night, and every day.


  1. Andrea
    12:02 am on June 16th, 2011

    Thank you for sharing your message, its exactly what I needed to hear. It’s amazing how a short and simple declaration can impact so much. Thank you, thank you.

  2. Sara
    4:59 am on June 16th, 2011

    Thank-you. More than words can express right now- thank-you.

  3. Leah
    10:19 am on June 16th, 2011

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I am currently living in Afghanistan while going through a divorce after 12 years of marriage. The thought of being single is the scariest thing I’ve ever faced, but I know the Lord has a plan for me. Your experience is very encouraging and helpful for me to read right now.

  4. Have you got a story to tell? MWP Snapshot Portraits : Segullah
    4:51 am on July 11th, 2011

    [...] I’ve been interviewing women for Segullah and the Mormon Women Project for the last few years, and one of the things I’ve learned from the experience is that every woman has a story to tell. You might think your life is boring, and that no one wants to hear about your struggles with your kids, your financial crises, or your flashes of inspiration. I’ve interviewed women who have thought they didn’t have anything interesting to say, that their lives were too boring, and who have been astounded by how many people were comforted and inspired by the stories they’ve told about their “ordinary” lives. You can find our first Snapshot Portrait, a conversation with Mary Decker, right here. [...]

  5. Portraits of Blessings, natural light photography, photography, Portraits of Blessings Photography
    11:15 am on October 27th, 2011

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I have keep in mind your stuff previous to and you are simply too magnificent. I actually like what you have got here, certainly like what you are saying and the way through which you say it. You’re making it entertaining and you still care for to keep it smart. I can’t wait to read much more from you. This is really a wonderful website.

  6. Rebecca Watson
    11:39 pm on September 16th, 2012

    Thank you SO much for posting this! Because it’s true. Happiness is a choice– and it can be a really hard one to make.

    I was in a similar situation when I discovered my husband had been abusing our daughter and reported him, he closed our bank accounts and took all the money, and I found myself single mom of 6 with no income or work experience and a lot of questions. I decided to start a blog about being happy in hard times, partly to remind myself that happiness is a choice. http://www.1001ThingsToBeHappyAbout.com And partly to help others who are facing hard times as well.

    Thank you. I’m posting a link to this on my blog. =)

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