Wednesday Wisdom: Happiness vs. Joy | Seersucker Sass

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom: Happiness vs. Joy

Lately, it has been a good time to be me.  I don't mean that in a conceited way.... My life has been really full of excitement for the past month.  On June 1, I celebrated being four years cancer free and the one year anniversary of my boyfriend and I living in the same city.  On June 8, I took the LSAT.  On June 9, I put in my two weeks notice at a job that I absolutely loved in exchange for a new opportunity with more growth.  On Father's Day weekend, I was actually in the same city as my dad!  I was welcomed into my new job by smiling faces and open arms, and I even have my own bathroom at work.  

I really felt like I was climbing the ladder of life, but yesterday I realized I was riding a roller coaster.  I was up at the very top, and then I got my LSAT score, and I hit one of those drops that you feel in your stomach that sucks the breath right out of you.  It was not fun.

I was really angry - with myself and with God.  How was it that I spent so much time studying and couldn't improve my score?  Why couldn't God let me be happy for a minute after all of the sucky things I've dealt with?

And then I realized something.  I had asked to be happy, not to be joyful.  On Easter Sunday, I went to mass with my boyfriend, my best friend, her fiance, and her family.  It was such a special thing, and I will never forget the sermon.  The pastor spoke of joy, and how joy is a gift from God.  I can get happiness from things of this Earth- Diet Coke makes me happy, retail therapy makes me happy, goat photos make me happy.  But I get joy from doing God's work and from spending time with a family and boyfriend that he has blessed me with.

Before I took the LSAT, I prayed that God's will would be done.  And even though my score was not what I wanted, I really think it was a sign that God has something better for me in store.  As I work toward finding out what that is, I will continue to seek joy.

And if you got your LSAT score yesterday, and it was exactly what you wanted, I am genuinely so happy for you!  And if you're in the same boat as I am, I feel you, and I hope that you will remember your worth is not tied up in a test score :)

Hope everyone is having a JOYFUL Wednesday!




  1. I love this post! It's so humbling when we fall straight down from the top, but thanks to faith we can refocus on the bigger picture and see things more clearly when that specific distraction has been removed. Keep your chin up girl, there's so much good to look forward to in this life! Just remember that God's plan is bigger and better than anything that we can think up for ourselves.

    xo. A Peachy Sonder

  2. Sometimes things don't go the way that they go in your head and THAT'S OKAY! I have a lot of trouble with this and it never gets easier! But that's also okay! Everything is going to turn out exactly the way they're supposed to!

    Ally |

  3. It makes me so happy to hear that even if the LSAT didn't work out as planned, you remained optimistic and looked for joy out of your experience! You go girl! I know so many people who gave up on their dreams ~completely~ after receiving their scores from a big exam like the MCAT and LSAT. Things will be looking up for you xx

    Alessandra |

  4. I seriously struggle when I don't succeed at doing something the first time. It wasn't until one night a few months ago when I totally screwed up dinner and I just sat on the ground and cried. I then realized it was so not worth it to be SO upset! I've been working hard on staying more positive lately.

  5. This is such a great post. It's so important to put everything in perspective and you're clearly great at that. I'm so glad that most things are going well in your life!

  6. I love how you're keeping a positive outlook despite the setback -- so inspiring.
    You just have to be able to see the good in things and be able to look past the negativity which you're doing flawlessly at by the way.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  7. It's so hard to recognize and remember the difference between happiness and joy, thank you for reminding me! I really struggle when things don't go the way I expected or planned and I generally have a hard time getting over it, which I'm working on, but disappointment is hard. Kudos to you though for being positive and looking at your LSAT scores in a different way. Plus if I told you how many times the attorneys in my office had to retake their LSAT or specialization exam, you would be surprised. I just know your happy roller coaster will continue, and it will include some absolute joy.

    Southern Belle Secrets

  8. This is such a thoughtful post, and I really loved reading it. Your positive outlook despite some obstacles is very inspiring!

  9. You are so wonderful and so inspiring! I took the MCAT last year and I didn't do as well as I had hoped and it really blew. So many people have to retake the LSAT - just keep trying and I know you will do great things! xo

    Michaela || The Monogrammed Midwesterner

  10. Such an inspiring post. I am glad that you didn't let this discourage you. I'll pray your next test goes well. :)

  11. Awww, this is sch a beautiful post! Yes, there is a difference between happiness and joy, but I think it just makes us realized what is important. <3

    xx Bash | Bash Says Hey | bloglovin'

  12. I'm horrible at taking tests. Like really bad.. and I used to get so down about it because i felt dumb but I realized that they aren't really a way of measuring how smart or unsmart we are (not a word but okay). I'm sure you have such beautiful things in store for you and I can't wait to witness them come to fruition!

    The Fashionista's Diary

  13. I love this post! I am SO happy for you! Cancer free for 4 years?? That is amazing girl! On a test taking note, I am a horrible test taker. I used to have panic attacks (embarrassing, I know) and had to leave the room. I remember thinking "I know this!" but just totally blanking. I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and something amazing is coming your way despite your test scores. You are not your test score (Sorry...I'm a teacher, I had to!).

    xo Ashley

  14. Joy and happiness are two different things, and I love your post about this! I have had almost daily moments of how in the world is my life going to work out? But it has up to this point so I am going to have to trust that God has a plan!
    Remember you're not your test score, and that you seem to already be making such a difference where you are! Law school is a great opportunity but it's not everyone! I know that everything will work out for you!
    PS I'm so glad your 4 years cancer free :)

  15. I am sorry that you didn't do as well as you wanted. I think adjusting your attitude about it like you did is absolutely the best way to handle it! Everything happens for a reason and this is definitely the right path to be on!

    Marie H.
    Progression By Design

  16. Great post, I love your perspective!! Life is such a rollercoaster ride and I feel like you never know how long you'll be going up before shooting down but it's so important to remember it's not the end! Congrats on all your achievements and I hope you get to see God's will work in your life soon!

  17. I really admire your attitude during this time. You are way more than a test score. Whatever comes next for you, I'm sure it's all what God intended. Keep thinking positive!

    xo, Alicia | Alicia Tenise

  18. Dana, I got goosebumps reading this! You are SO RIGHT - God's will might just literally not be for you to go to law school! It just means He has something THAT MUCH MORE MAGICAL in store for you. And that's just such a powerful realization, isn't it? I love your differentiation between happiness and joy. I need to read that today, because you're right - there is definitely a difference between the two, and it's incredibly important to remember that when it becomes too easy to seek out immediate pleasures instead of waiting it out for those raw, real joys from above. A+ post, girlfriend. Sharing on Twitter!

    Coming Up Roses

  19. I absolutely love this post. Your relationship with God is just so inspiring!!♥

    Felice Raina { The Kiss Of Joy }

  20. I love that things are going well for you! Don't feel conceited when talking about it, you deserve it! :)

    xx | Steph @ The Lovely Essentials & Jenssen's Designs

  21. I love your attitude, and I completely agree! I know that God has big things in store for you! And by the way, a huge CONGRATS for being cancer-free for 4 years! How incredible!

  22. Sometimes we focus so much on one thing we forget to recognize what God has done, you are absolutely right he has something better lined up for you, this post is really encouraging...thank you!

  23. I loved reading this post! I never really though about the difference between joy and happiness before, but that is very true! You have so many exciting things happening in your life that you can't let the LSAT get you down. I'm sure everything will work out in the end for you!

    Jenni // The Beautiful Little Fools

  24. I'm always telling myself that God's plans are better than what we plan for. He answers our prayers in 3 ways: Yes, Not right now, or I've got something better in mind for you! I truly believe that!

  25. I love that you stay so real to your blog. So often, many bloggers only tell the "good" stuff. Sometimes as Christians and followers of God, we expect life to be hunky dory and that He'll honor our plans for our lives. But yet, we forget in life, we're to honor HIS plans. Not sure what God has in store for you but I know it's going to be so much greater than anything you've ever imagined for yourself!

  26. I have never thought about the difference between happiness and joy before so I'm really glad you wrote this! I think when something we really want to happen doesn't it is really easy for us to be angry with God and ask "why, me?" I know I have done that countless times, but remembering that he has a bigger picture for you and that he only gives you what he knows you can handle gets me through those harder times.

    At the end of the day you're a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul and one of the best friends I could ask for! Thank you for this inspiration!

    xx. Brittany | Southern Soul

  27. Even though I'm not overly religious, I believe in God and that he has better things planned for us - so if something doesn't turn out how you've expected, there is definitely a good reason behind it :)

    Pop over to my blog!


  28. I was very disappointed when I failed the Bar exam but now I am ready again to take it. I have studied hard for that and have prepared with the help of online Bar Review Courses and I am sure that I will score high this time.