My whole life I have struggled against discontentment. It’s always this season, this job, this ailment, this moment that is the problem. If only “this” would change, then I would experience a sense of fulfillment and purpose. “This” trickles down into every area of my life making me bitter, frustrated, and an overall negative person. “This” makes me live beneath that all things bad that happen to life happen to me on purpose. “Why does this kind of thing ALWAYS happen to me???” Newsflash: “THIS kind of thing happens to everyone. All the time. And usually to other people in larger doses and quantities than what you experience, Little Miss Charmed Life.” I don’t say this to bash myself. I have a lot of other redeeming qualities, none of which are humility, obviously, and I feel alright about identifying my own weaknesses. No need to worry about me.
I used to think that this discontentment issue was a direct byproduct of my lack of a growing relationship with the Lord. By that, I mean daily time spent reading and reflecting on the Bible and talking with Him throughout my day. I do still believe that, but I am finding that even in seasons of intimate relationship with the Lord, I still feel something akin to discontentment. Although my regular communion with the Holy Spirit helps me combat some of those other issues, i.e. the whole, “My life is pretty great but I whine about it like a spoiled brat,” mentality, I still experience a restlessness that is often trickier to identify and pricklier to handle than the one of my flesh.
I think that I am BEGINNING to identify it as a restlessness of spirit. God is challenging me a great deal in the area of obedience for the sake of knowing Him more intimately, of choosing that which appears to be a little more difficult for the sake of being stretched and strengthened and changed.
As I was deciding which college to attend, both my senior year in high school and the summer after my freshman year – because I second guess myself when things get hard – and in this case things getting hard looked like my boyfriend – AKA Josh Blackwell – breaking my heart, I ultimately based my decision upon what I KNEW would be the most challenging situation for me. Someone asked me why I had chosen to stay at a school where friendships were hard and my ex-boyfriend was a womanizing philanderer [I can’t even type that with a straight face] when I had the choice to hop into a really great life with all of my dearest friends somewhere else. I’m not going to pretend that I wasn’t still in love with and partially hoping to reconcile with said philanderer, but in large part, this answer was true: I could have chosen the easier path, and God still would have used me. He would have changed me and blessed me, and I don’t event think that it would have been a sin. He never was exactly clear about His opinion in the matter. It would have been wonderful in a lot of ways – maybe even challenging. But to me, in the moment, staying where I was seemed like the most challenging choice, and if you have the opportunity to be challenged and grown, why not choose that? Why not choose an opportunity to become more as a person and a follower of Jesus? Why not?
Somewhere along the way I lost that “bring it” passion. I released it out of fear because that which was challenging began looking bigger and harder and less worth it to me. I began to believe that life had gotten really good at challenging me all by itself, and I’d not go daring any-One or anything to use up any more of my courage, determination, or passion, thankyouverymuch.
And that’s where you find this gal in this particular season on this particular morning. 30 and restless unless I’m ignoring Jesus, and then I’m just discontent, but God is doing what He does best and causing me to think outside of the neat little box I’ve put Him in. He’s causing me to open the lid and add a few more ideas, and tomorrow I’ll fill you in on just what it is He’s teaching me.