Happiness Is Weird But Love Is Weirder

Happiness Is Weird But Love Is Weirder

It doesn't feel the way you think it will.

So, I am getting married. I will now have everything I wanted as a little girl, what I dreamed of and prayed for my adult life. Beautiful house, committed husband, loving church, fulfilling job. It would seem all my immediate needs are being met. I am uniquely blessed. Now, I have had my share of pain and struggle and heartache. It has not always been this calm. So, I am fully aware and fully appreciate this moment of Eden-like contentment.

But I don’t feel the way I thought I would.

Now, I don’t feel sad by any means. Far from it. I recognize that God has given me blessings that I don’t deserve, that I could never deserve. I will be moving into a beautiful home that my fiancé and I worked on together, that is wonderfully located and designed in a way we both approve of aesthetically. I know that I have been given a future husband that is what many women have always wanted: someone kind, full of integrity, hardworking, intelligent, patient and loving, my best friend in every capacity. And my church is a remarkable safe place full of biblical truth and kind, loving people that want to help me to become all God intended for me to be. And my job is a unique, encouraging environment that challenges me every day and has provided me with so many good friends and learning opportunities.

I am content, which is infinitely more powerful than being happy.

“Happiness” is defined as the following:

(noun) Delight, pleasure, or gladness, as over a particular thing; characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy; favored by fortune; fortunate or lucky.

Don’t you think my current life is the very definition of those things? I don’t mean to brag, because I know those things can change at any moment, and I have done nothing to deserve them. It’s an incredible grace. However, I am a human being. I don’t wake up every day with a visible, intense, happy energy. I don’t bounce around, gliding on a cloud. I feel pretty normal. Content, but normal. That’s is something I don’t think people truly understand about the process of adulthood and finding yourself the recipient of what you always wanted. It is more likely (and better) to experience peace, a calm solidified confidence, than an all-consuming excitement.

My fiancé and I intend to have a very small, very un-exciting wedding. In my mind, marriage is a very serious covenant made before God. Sure, it’s fun and the whole wedding planning process is fun. Dressing shopping is fun. Engagement parties are fun. Wedding cakes are fun.

But I am not signing up for fun. I am signing up for a very convicting, very rewarding, very challenging journey. I am publically declaring that I intend to operate (sometimes painfully) in selflessness. I am declaring publically that I will be emotionally, financially, sexually, legally and spiritually tied to another person. Just ONE person. No matter who comes along, no matter what happens within our relationship, no matter how hard life gets. I don’t leave. I stay. That, to me, is very serious.

And in regards to the other things I mentioned, there are similar constraints. Sure, we will have a beautiful home. But that home comes with maintenance, mortgage, HOA payments and expectations, repairs, etc. And it’s another serious commitment. And my job? Well, I love my job. I feel very blessed to have it. But each day, I am responsible for the tasks assigned to me. And the more I move up, the more responsibility I take on. That’s something else I take seriously. I also take seriously that each day I choose to work here (even if I enjoy it), I am choosing NOT to pursue a Masters in Psychology, something I had planned on for a long time. That is something I also take seriously.

So, maybe it’s my problem. Maybe I take things too seriously and its making it hard for me to swim in that milk-and-honey phenomenon known as “being in love” and your “dreams coming true” and “living the life you always wanted” – or maybe it just doesn’t feel the way we always thought it would.

And that’s okay.

Because, you see, happiness is a slippery thing. In some ways, it’s the most deceptive lie humanity has ever perpetuated. We abandon good people, good jobs, good circumstances because it doesn’t make us “happy” and that’s simply because we are still living in the Romantic Age. We still elevate feelings higher than reality. The simple fact is, circumstances don’t determine joy. We do. Love is not a feeling, it’s the choices we make every day to deny our own selfishness and to pursue the highest good for the other person. It’s an active commitment to put someone else first, before ourselves. That’s a very difficult thing. People don’t realize that. Well, they often do, but far too late.

Maybe that’s why I don’t jump up and down in ecstatic joy, threatening to break my ankle at the force of my locomotion. Because I am often sobered by the reality of what my dreams afford me. My joy is not a superficial one. It’s a deep-seeded awareness that manifests itself as a calm, contented solidity. My new life will breed a great deal of happiness. And a great deal of challenge. The weight of that holds me firmly to the ground.

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads


I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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Having a Plan

It's OK if things don't work out as planned.


Growing up is a lot of work. As we age, there comes a certain pressure to know exactly what you intend to do with your life. This is something that society and often times the people we love most demand of us. Our culture is so busy there is no time to waste. "You need to be driven, have a goal," is the scream of the world. This ideology has shaped every ounce of who we are. We panic when we don't know. We're supposed to have an answer.

We plan and we plan and we plan, and we make ourselves miserable in the process. We become so caught up in the logistics that we look all around us: left, right, forwards, and backward. We search all over to no prevail, and we forget to look up.

Proverbs 16:9 (HCSB):

A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord determines his steps.

This is something I've been learning in my time at college. And I'm a planner. I like a good plan. When things don't go according to plan, I tend to resort to panic.

All this to say, plans aren't a bad thing, but it's important to recognize it's OK if our plan doesn't work out exactly.

It's also OK not to know it all right now. There are things in life that will come to pass before we know it. So don't rush.

God's timing is more than perfect. Even when we don't understand.

God's plan is never messed up, so we should take comfort in that.

Rest in this truth today. Surrender your plans to the Lord, and take a breath.

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