A few weeks ago, I was eating lunch at my desk listening to the hit country song, “Die a Happy Man” on repeat because love music is my kryptonite and silence makes me uncomfortable. If you are not familiar with the song, please click here and enjoy the best 4 minutes of your life.
Lunch that day was leftover baby back ribs that I made myself in the crock pot on Sunday. They were delicious and I ate them all.
I also had brought mashed sweet potatoes that day, because apparently I was feasting like a queen, but realized as I went to start on them that I didn’t have a spoon.
One option would have been walking down the long hallway to the staff lounge and getting a spoon. That option was not going to work for me. The second option suddenly became clear, like an enlightened idea: the curved bone of a single rib.
There I sat, using a rib bone as a spoon for my mashed sweet potato, using the curved end to scoop and eat. Covered in barbecue sauce, and utterly happy.
And I thought, someday, someone will be observing me doing this from another room in the house, and think to himself, “How did I get so lucky?”
The song “Die a Happy Man” is literally the cutest thing I have ever heard in my 25 years. I am pretty sure I just keeled over and instantly passed out the first time I heard it, but once I came back to life, I was never the same.
It is absolutely adorable.
What makes it better is that the music video for the song is Thomas Rhett’s ACTUAL WIFE IN REAL LIFE. (fall over again).
The lyrics talk about how he could never accomplish all the huge goals he has for his life, seeing the Eiffel Tower, building a mansion in Georgia, and he would still die happy because he has her great love. Swoon. All he needs in this life is her crazy love.
I find myself in the opposite situation, but recently have found overwhelming peace.
My dreams and my goals are taking off. I am writing and people are reading and I am teaching and students are learning, but one giant thing is missing for me. At 25, I thought I would be married, and maybe even starting a family.
I thought the ring would come first, and then my life would fall into place, into neat little pieces that fit together perfectly, after my heart’s desire had been met.
But it hasn’t worked out that way.
So, while Thomas Rhett sings of contentment with his wife, even if that means he achieves nothing else, I must learn contentment in God alone even if that means it’s all I will ever have.
Not as flashy- the song would probably not be a smash hit.
But, I don’t want to spend my life wishing and waiting for the next thing.
I don’t want to spend the one life I have in fear of not getting what I want, or consumed with anxiety that tomorrow doesn’t hold what I hope it holds.
For me, it’s marriage, but for others it could be a career, a baby, a dream job since childhood, a friendship, traveling, or ANY desire of our hearts that we don’t have yet.
I have struggled with contentment since I can remember, but recently I feel as if God has spoken to me loud and clear about where He has me.
While I have spent much time anxious and afraid of never obtaining my desires, in fear of being alone, I have forgotten one key thing:
“…be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”
So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.”
If my lot in life is nothing like I planned.
If I never achieve the things I want to achieve.
If I never have a family of my own.
If I have to mow my own lawn the rest of my life.
Could I die a happy woman?
Like, I said, this would not be a popular song. It goes against EVERYTHING we naturally are as humans. It actually sounds a little depressing.
For others it might be:
If I never get the job I want,
If I never lose the weight ,
If the relationship never mends,
If I never get a ring,
If the disease never goes away,
If the cancer comes back,
If I never fix everything that’s broken,
If I never have the baby I so badly want,
Could I die a happy human?
Because we are not alone, our steps are ordained, and our hearts can be content in knowing there is a greater plan than our own.
The absence of what we so badly desire feels lonely. But we are not alone in the waiting.
It is hard. It is a daily surrender. It is not natural to go against my selfish desires and simply be content.
Philippians 4:11-12, Paul writes:
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
If you are like me, and are living in want, remember that those desires are not wrong. But there is a secret to living a life of peace and contentment: and that secret is finding your joy in something that no one on earth can either give or take away from you. His love and His satisfaction.
It’s a lesson I will continue to learn over and over. Some days will be better than others, but let us encourage each other to find our contentment in one thing alone.
So if all I got is His hand in my hand,
Then I could die, a happy woman.
Blessings, not chins