November 11, 2012

Contentment... Again


I once had the privilege of meeting one of those "Titus 2" older women whose faith I had been admiring from a distance. I shared with her my greatest passions and highest aspirations, then asked for her wisdom on how to live gracefully while waiting for those opportunities. I expected practical advice on how to prepare for them or how to be patient while waiting. What she instructed me to do has turned out to be so much more difficult.

She told me, "In every season of life, you will be impatient for the next. While unmarried, you will long for a husband; you will think that once he comes along, then your heart will be content. But once you're married, you will dream of motherhood, and your life will seem empty while you wait for God's blessing of children. Then when the children come along, you will find yourself deep in the wonderful trenches of home education, discipline and nurture, and putting food on the table; and you will long for the unique freedom to serve the Lord alongside your husband, that comes when your children are grown. 

"There will always be a dream unfulfilled. There will always be some level of longing for the next season. What's important is to embrace every season as God's will for you in that moment. Live each season of life to the fullest in light of that.

"Also know that God is sovereign and good no matter what. You must be surrendered to His will enough to accept the possibility that what you long for next may never come." 

Here I am years later, nowhere near peace with that possibility. I don't like to consider that what I long for next may never come. It's been my dream forever. I truly have believed it's my calling. It's how I think and what I read and it influences life decisions. Part of my identity already feels lost in the long years of waiting and praying and hoping. I have no idea who I would be without that hope entirely. 

It's difficult even recalling this mentor's advice and typing it out. I know that she was right.

But contentment is so much easier said than done. 

Maybe I'm not the only one who struggles with being content