Is It Wrong to Long for “Happy?”

Marriage is not about our happiness. It is about our holiness.

I often say this, because I believe it. But the reality is this.

I would really like some “happy”. 

Image courtesy of farconville /

Image courtesy of farconville /

I think that’s a curse handed down for generations. I was told as a kid to “follow my heart.” But Scripture says the heart is deceitful above all. So that advice isn’t really helpful. And the fact is, maybe I did follow it down a path that I thought would lead me to happiness–by marrying a man who in hindsight was not a good choice for me.

But at the time I didn’t think I had any other choices.

No one will want you. This was a message I was given as a kid. But you know what? It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy because even though I got married, the reality is, my husband doesn’t want me. I’m not blonde enough. I’m not thin enough. I obviously do not worship him the way he desires.

I did try three burnt offerings a day but it went unappreciated.

I’m joking, I am a good cook and he eats too much of whatever it is I make.

The fact is, I have to grieve what I don’t get. I don’t get to be treasured. I don’t get to be protected. I am barely provided for. As a person I am non-existent unless it is important, or he finds something to fault me for.

But I would still like happy.

I want happy for others too . . . and this has caused some problems. See I tried to help a friend going through a tough time in her marriage. That’s not the problem. The problem was I took the weight of her pain and added it to my own. And I wanted to try to fix it.

Fixing my difficult marriage or someone else’s is not my job.

It’s God’s responsibility.

And I have to learn to let go of happy for not only me–but for others.  I wish I could say this is easy but it’s not. See, I would love to see adulterous men held accountable. I would like to see abusive men confronted.

Not my job. And the reality is sometimes those confrontations cause even more pain for an already hurting wife (or ex-wife). I need to let God take responsibility because He can handle the consequences as well. It’s not my job to save the world.

Whew, what a relief!

My heart aches for those who are hurting in difficult marriages. My heart yearns for someone to speak God’s truth to my own husband about his behaviors or, as my pastor sometimes refers to it, put on a velvet glove and smack him upside the face. As part of a desire to be rescued from our pain, I suspect that wish is only natural.

But God is sovereign. He sees your pain. He sees mine. He knows the beginning from the end and none of this journey is wasted as we persevere in our difficult marriages. He is good. Faithful. Provider. Even when my logical mind can’t figure out the way he’ll work things out, maybe that’s even more reason for me to hide in that. So I will trust in Him.

And maybe in that place of trust and peace, I’ll find my own version of happy.


Lilly Grace


Do I Even Know How to Be Happy?

My therapist had pointed out that  the list of things I had been bringing in and reporting lately have all been generally good. My autoimmune disease is in remission. I’ve been offered a contract for my book. My kids are doing well.

I sat there later, at home, and thought: If things are going so good, how come I don’t feel happier? Do I even know how to be happy?

It’s a stupid question really. I do know and have experienced happiness and joy and the bliss and freedom of contentment in Christ when I have been in those “sweet spot” moments in ministry. But here? Now? When my marriage is still filled with control and abuse? When I have a title of a married woman but no relationship with a husband due to said abuses and his choices?

See, it seems WRONG to feel happy when that one major aspect of my life sucks.  It’s like a woolen cloak I have to carry around with me to remind myself how miserable I really am and should be. Like I deserve this. Like I’ve earned the right to be angry and miserable.

But why would I choose that? Isn’t that a bit twisted? God is doing great things. My dog makes me smile every time I come home and he so eagerly greets me. My children want hugs and to be with me. I have wonderful friends and a writing career on the brink of something fabulous. After years of hard work my body is healing itself in a rare and cool way.   I should be happy!

Being happy doesn’t alter the reality that still sucks. It doesn’t make my husband my best friend and lover. It means that in spite of that, I can still choose joy. I can make a choice to focus on the negative of which I can do nothing about and try to garner sympathy, which is twisted because out of respect for my husband (that he does not deserve) I cannot shout his abuses towards me from the mountaintops (or at least on Facebook!).

In spite of my husband I should choose happiness and to live there. In spite of him I should choose joy. Because GOD is my lover and provider and is always faithful, I should find my contentment in HIM in all things. Because God is working out GOOD things for me to bring glory to Him and in spite of the darkness of the backdrop of my marriage in which those things are placed – they illuminate His glory all the more!

So, right now. Today. I choose to smile. I choose to rejoice. Because I have a happy God. Because I have a GOD who delights in and loves me JUST AS I AM. Because He has done great things. How about you? Can YOU be happy? Maybe this song below will help. We have so much to be happy about in Jesus!


Lilly Grace

Happy Day – by FEE


No Gift?

I’ve been feeling a bit blue this Christmas. Financially things are worse than ever. My marriage isn’t good and I’m just feeling depressed about the fact that my difficult challenges in my marriage, are unlikely to change any time soon.

I also know that while there are gifts under the tree for my kids, and even something for my husband, there is nothing for me. Nada. And as I didn’t get anything for my birthday or anniversary from my husband, I doubt there will be anything under the tree with my name on it.

Waaah. Big baby, aren’t I?  I love to give gifts and yes, I do enjoy receiving at least SOME token that someone thought of me. Not to be. So kick me in the behind for having a pity party.

Because this isn’t my birthday anyway. This is the anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ.  A holy day set aside to remember that the Creator of the Universe deigned to come down in human flesh and endure life on this planet, to safe ungrateful, rude, sinful, selfish, human beings.

Like me.

So instead of moaning about what I won’t get for Christmas, or that I couldn’t enjoy buying and wrapping gifts for people who have blessed me this year. . . I need to think differently. What instead do I have to offer the God who has sacrificially suffered, died and then rose again, simply to have a relationship with me?

My heart is really all I have. I can do a million things for Jesus but not have them mean anything if my heart is not fully devoted to Him.

How do I do that? By spending time with Him. By giving Him all of who I am, my thoughts, my dreams, my desires. Laying that at His feet to do with as He wills. He is my sovereign King.

So this Christmas, I will not be sleeping in. I will be spending time in the quiet, in the solitude, to simply be. Be with the One who loves me more than any human on earth.

And in so doing, I will find my greatest treasure and joy.