I hope you’re all having a wonderful week! I can’t believe the semester is almost over! I just got through with my last round of exams before finals, so a little bit of breathing is in order. 😉 In other news, this former Florida girl is thrilled out of her mind with all of the spring flowers popping up here in NC! Did y’all know that dogwood trees are a thing?! They’re everywhere right now and I’m ridiculously happy about it. 😉
Speaking of happiness, today I’d like to share with you a little anecdote from my biology class that happened just this week, and what I learned from it. I hope y’all enjoy, and by the way, make sure to follow us over on Instagram @_herheritage_ if you haven’t already! 🙂
Recently, my biology teacher started class with a casual discussion about the differences between generations, and she mentioned that Gen Z’ers (who make up most of the class) seem to have been born with the world in their pocket and yet they don’t appreciate it.
“I tend to think that your generation isn’t really amazed by anything anymore because you were born with all of these technological advances and discoveries already around you,” she said.
“Well, not all of you,” she added, motioning towards me.
I blushed a little. “Why not me?” I asked.
“I mean, you seem to be really happy, like, all the time,” she laughed. “And because you’re so happy all the time, I’m assuming you won’t kill me for saying this, but you do your dang homework.”
“But, like, I’m sure you can’t be this nice all the time,” one girl chimed in jokingly. “Sometimes you must be really mean, right?”
I laughed and said that no, I’m pretty sure this is how I am all the time. I wasn’t offended by any of that, but for the rest of class I was wondering in the back of my head why these people think I’m different, and why they think I’m so happy all the time.
First of all, let me make one thing perfectly clear. I am definitely, decidedly not perfectly happy all the time. I have hormonal, crazy, emotional days sometimes where I cry over things like cookies and rain. It’s called being a teenage girl. 😉
However, I try my very best to be a steady person, and especially when I go to classes, to get in an upbeat frame of mind. I view it as an opportunity to impact people positively, especially in lab classes where I get to work closely with a small group of people. If I have to spend six hours a week with the same people, why not enjoy it? Why not compliment them or make lighthearted jokes or ask them about themselves?
Back on Valentine’s Day, I brought little cellophane bags of cookies for everyone, which I could tell was perceived at first as weird. I know, I know, this isn’t elementary school—it’s college. But you know what? Later that week I asked my lab partner if he did anything fun for Valentine’s Day, and he replied,
“Well, I ate the cookies you gave me. That was about it.”
And this is exactly why I wanted to make cookies—so I could make an impact on some people and give them something fun for Valentine’s Day, no matter how small it was.
I guess that—along with almost an entire semester’s worth of my cheery “good morning!”s—translates roughly to “happy all the time.”
Later that week, however, this whole conversation about my being an apparently weirdly happy person came back to me when my teacher was talking about Charles Darwin and the Theory of Evolution.
Oh, Charles. You and your Galapagos finches. 😉
It’s so funny to me how throughout my homeschool education, I’ve been reading books by creation scientists about the arguments evolutionists tend to pull out in debates about the origin of life, and now I am seeing those exact same lines of reasoning used by college textbooks and professors. Kids, listen to those books like Don’t Check Your Brains at the Door and It Couldn’t Just Happen—trust me, you will be glad your parents and Classical Conversations tutors made you read them. 😉
I’ve taken college chemistry and two levels of college anatomy and physiology before, but none of them spent too much time on the origin of life—there was simply no time. Although my current teacher hasn’t been too terribly rude about cramming the Theory of Evolution down our throats, she does (like many college professors) take a very flippant mindset when it comes to where we came from in the beginning.
So, while I was sitting there watching her roll her eyes as she disdainfully explained that Aristotle (among others) believed in a Biblical account of creation, one word kept popping into my head:
If you don’t believe in intelligent design, you essentially believe that we, and all life, are here by accident. In that view, we don’t serve any real purpose, and no one lovingly made us—it’s just a lucky coincidence that some prehistoric biological soup somehow *popped* a cell into existence from which all of us somehow descended…
…and I started thinking about how constantly depressed I would be if I truly believed that I was here by accident—if I didn’t have a higher power in my life, if I didn’t have a relationship with God—if I didn’t know that I was born for a reason.
I would be a hot mess.
I’m sure that I would have dated and dumped multiple boyfriends by now in a search for validation. I would have gone on dozens of crash diets and would still obsessively worry about my weight every single day because I would care so much about what people think of me and fitting in. I wouldn’t have a good relationship with my parents because I would be unbelievably self-centered, I wouldn’t strive to get good grades, and I wouldn’t have any aspirations for a career. To be honest, I probably wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning.
I truly wonder how in the world we can sit in that class learning about the trillions of possible genetic combinations, and the insanely intricate way that DNA replication, transcription, and translation works one week, and the next week be talking about how all of it is here by mere chance—by some freak twist of fate.
The short answer to the question of why I’m so happy all the time is simple:
I know I’m not an accident.
Soon after, my mom randomly found a quote that sums up exactly what I was thinking (the author of the quote is allegedly Albert Einstein, although it’s been disputed):
You can live life as though nothing is a miracle, or as though everything is a miracle.
In our age of social media, it’s not hard to find people to compare to, who have seemingly better lives or more followers or who get sponsored to talk about Oreos and Sephora on YouTube. We settle into our daily routines and start thinking that we aren’t special—we’re just one face in the crowd, and no miracles ever happen to us.
My darlings, this crazy redhead is here to tell you that you are a miracle: the culmination of a truly glorious, miraculous plan that God has for your life. Absolutely zero moments in your life have occurred by accident–and personally, I think that knowledge can take an awful lot of weight off your shoulders. Once you have this lifeline of confidence and peace, your priorities can change for the better—a lot. This is why even though we all sometimes struggle with those things I listed earlier like worrying about our weight and needing validation, we can make them take up so much less of our mental energy than they would if we thought we have no purpose or reason for being alive. It’s completely normal to have anxiety and self-consciousness about this stuff, but it’s what you choose to do with that anxiety that can determine your daily joy level.
Getting back to the biology class, though…
Why am I so happy all the time? Why do I feel compelled to, as my teacher so eloquently put it, “do my dang homework”? Why do I wear red lipstick on a Tuesday just for fun and dance around in my living room like a nerd to my favorite musicals for absolutely no reason? Why do I spend my spare time dressing like Disney Princesses, of all things, for community events?
I already gave you the short answer, and here’s the long one: because I view every single day that I am alive on this beautiful earth as a gift. I don’t have to go to class, I get to go to class. I’m darn thankful that I’m healthy and able to study and take tests. I’m grateful that I have enough energy to sing joyfully (albeit, badly 😉 ) and dance around my house. I praise God that I have the opportunity to dress like Rapunzel and Cinderella and visit children’s hospitals and daycares.
Additionally, I know that every experience I have (good or bad) is worked into God’s plan for me. I may not always see it right away, but that’s okay. It’s totally normal to not understand why things happen the way that they do, but as children of God we have the freedom to trust that there is a plan. Sure, I have my off days when I’m weepy and need to drown my sorrows in chai tea and Jane Austen novels, but I have the ability to move on. Part of the miracle of life is that our intelligent designer didn’t just make us and leave us here–He’s involved in our day-to-day lives and not a tear falls from your eye that He doesn’t know about.
Tying back to the biological side of things, God knitted us together in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13) and we are made in His image…that alone is a reason for happiness and joy. Every single nucleotide, phosphate, and pentose sugar molecule is in your unique DNA sequence because God knew it needed to be there for you to be you!
Finally, and most importantly, I’m so happy because I know that we’re not living for this often dark, disappointing world—we’re living for His world. Even when it seems as though like-minded people are fewer and farther between every day, and that morality is decaying at an alarming rate, we can have peace in knowing that our eternal life is secured by our Heavenly Father.
So I ask you…why shouldn’t we be happy and joyful? Seriously, why not? If your joy makes you stand out, that’s never something to be ashamed of–it means that you’re carpe-ing that diem! 😉
Personally, I can’t wait to continue being “happy all the time” at my classes—it doesn’t bother me at all that people notice I’m different. If they think I’m weird, so what? On my own, I’m an emotional mess, but if God wants to use me as an example of what His saving love can do for someone’s happiness level, then who am I to stand in His way?
I’ll keep being my weird, crazy, non-accidental, inexplicably happy self, and I encourage and challenge you to do the same. Oh, and “doing your dang homework” ain’t bad either. Just a thought. 😉