I’m sitting on the patio of my Hermosa Beach apartment, reading Tony Robbins’ latest book, Unshakeable. I’m in the final pages now, past the parts on money and financial freedom, and onto what he thinks is the most important aspect of life which is, perhaps counterintuitively, life itself. He describes a meditation practice he enjoys and teaches.

Think of the happiest moment of your life. Feel what you felt that day.

Then think of another.

One more.

It is, I must agree, an effective practice. Every time I do this exercise, I find it legitimately impossible not to be happy, for whatever worries or stresses I once had not to be washed away. I’ll often open my eyes and wonder what had been bothering me in the first place.

And every time I do this exercise, I laugh as I think about those moments. All three of them include Delaney Knudsen.

I can’t think of a time that will ever change.

When Delaney and I announced that we were engaged this past November, I received a number of messages asking, perhaps joking, perhaps not, for me to write the story of me and Delaney. I hesitated, because who would ever actually want to read such a thing? But over the past five months, the story began writing itself in my head, as the important ones do so often, and now, as I’m sitting on a plane bound from Atlanta to Los Angeles, after a week away from my wife, the words alas made their way from my brain and onto this page.

For the past week, I have been driving up and down and around the upper half of Florida, beginning in Tallahassee, popping down to Orlando, stretching over to Deland, then circling back to Gainesville and up to Atlanta. I’m a natural homebody, and homesickness has never been an unfamiliar concept to me. My brothers were the best men in my wedding, and I debated having them and my father be my only groomsmen. I have been labeled my entire life, not incorrectly, as a mama’s boy. I love home, and maybe once a week I’ll feel the aching pangs of homesickness. And yet, this past week in Florida, it was a new kind of homesick, in large part, I think, because I’ve built a new home, a new family. California has always felt a little foreign to me because my entire family is thousands of miles away. Holidays are often hollow, and while I’ve been taken into the loving homes of close friends on Thanksgivings and Christmases, anybody who has missed a holiday from home knows that it’s just not the same. It’s not home.

But this was a new type of homesickness because, for the first time in 29 years, my home has moved from Hampstead, Maryland and into the heart of a 5-foot-10 24-year-old who has taken on my last name – our last name.

Who would have thought?

At times, despite how badly I wanted it to happen, not me. There are so many ways that Delaney and I appear, and are, perfect for one another. We were raised in families so similar, with mirroring parental dynamics and sibling relationships that it’s honestly sort of strange we weren’t neighbors our whole lives. Our mindsets, our passions, are priorities, are perfectly in sync. We’re made happy by the same things, are fulfilled by the same things, seek the same types of goals. But there was one giant way in which we were, and are, the same yet different: Faith.

I was raised in a Christian household with loose church attendance. We operated mostly — or tried to, at least — under the morals and ideals the Bible preaches but never did I read the Book and rare was the time I volunteered to go to church. Delaney, as many of you know, is Mormon, which, as many of you do not know, is Christian. The Book of Mormon mentions Jesus Christ more times per sentence than the Bible does. This was not the problem.

It is a belief among the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that in order to be married for eternity, you must be sealed in the temple. This is something Delaney’s been envisioning as a part of her life for as long as she can remember. It is also something that requires her to marry a Mormon husband. I am not a Mormon husband. So there were some mornings after long, difficult conversations that I wasn’t entirely positive if we were still even together. I wouldn’t describe any of these conversations as fights, and maybe that’s why we made it. We approached it from an understanding, empathetic perspective. Her beliefs had helped raise her into the woman I fell in love with, and vice versa. Neither of us wanted to change the other. This is far more important than most of you likely realize. This was the first time in any relationship I’d zigged where I normally zagged.

My typical response in a disagreement was to acknowledge the inarguable fact that I was right and whomever I was dating was wrong, and that I’d be happy to prove it. Anybody who’s ever been in a relationship knows that this is a recipe for long nights and a foreseeable end to the relationship, or “relationshit” as my friends used to dub rapidly devolving couples. But Delaney had these angelic hooks in me. I didn’t argue because I didn’t want to. Here was the Greatest Human on the Planet, the best woman I’d ever met. She had a different viewpoint on life than I did – not radically different, but different – and I found myself not wanting to argue, but to learn. Every time we had a tough conversation, I’d find my curiosity piqued to new ends. If that community had helped her become the person she was, it was doing something right.

I could learn a thing or two.

I still do. Every single day. This isn’t just about faith, either, of which I’d still consider myself a novice. I learn from the way she approaches the many various aspects of her life, some big, some small. When she cooks – which she does wonderfully, I might add – she pays such an attention to detail and recipes, to do it the right way. This could be an easy metaphor for life, to live down the straight and narrow path prescribed by the Bible and Book of Mormon. But, eh, it’s just the way she does things. When she’s given instructions, she carries out instructions. I could not be more different. I am given instructions, and my natural instinct is to question every one of them: Is this really the best way of doing things? What if I switched steps three and four and took out five entirely? What is the actual value of vanilla extract in this sweet potato casserole?

I think it is, ironically, these differences in our personalities that give others the almost unanimous impression that we are one and the same. They say opposites attract, but I would never go so far as to call us opposites. We are more alike than not, but we have these differences that I do believe work in harmony, not unlike a blocker and a defender. Like Delaney and I, blockers and defenders share more traits than not: They must pass, set, hit, get to 21 points before the other team does. One might be more physical, the other softer. One might be quicker, the other more powerful. But the goal, the outlook, the underlying foundation, is much the same.

It’s a Sunday morning as I finish this little story. Because it’s Sunday, I’ll allow myself to divulge on a little spiritual theory I have. I believe we all have infinite destinies, mapped and planned out by God. Which destiny we fulfill depends on the choices we make with our own agency, a blessing from God and a trait that makes us human and gives our life purpose. I also believe, however, that God wants us to fulfill our best destiny, to “live our best life” as social media would put it. In order to help us do so, he’ll “nudge us” to make the choices that will lead us to that best life. In my experience, sometimes these nudges will be subtle, sometimes not. When I reflect, as I often do, on the roundabout, circuitous, itinerant, wandering path that led me to Delaney, full of nudges both big and small, I know, beyond a shred of a doubt, that this is exactly what God had planned for me and, I hope, for her. This “best life” doesn’t mean it’s an easy life; rather, I think quite the opposite. It will be filled with the challenges anybody else will face, but, as it says in Isaiah, “no weapons [in this case, challenges] formed against thee shall prosper.”

We know that, because we built our relationship on a foundation of faith. The one thing that almost pulled us apart is exactly why we do appear perfect in so many ways, why I’m living what I’d like to believe is my “best life,” and why I can’t imagine a time that, when I sit down to think of my life’s happiest moments, that Delaney Mewhirter will not be all three.