How I Learned to be Content

img_9633

 

My Problem

In my haste to satisfy the pride of life, I have diligently fed my flesh by trying to be one step ahead of my season. What I found, instead of joy & contentment, was feelings of failure, frustration, unmet/unrealistic expectations, & a restless spirit that settled so deep in my heart I couldn’t see my way out for trying to fix the way I was approaching life.

The gentle nudge I started to hear echoed Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

I quickly clung to my abilities, meek as they are, and hoped to do better. I can be steadfast, I thought. I can work on a pure heart.



What I Didn’t Do

As I didn’t do much struggling or wrestling (that would have required actual effort, and unfortunately, I trying to just do better weren’t going to work for me), I settled with trying to rest on the areas of my life that seemed natural. Once I was working out of my strengths, and even comforts, I could hear the whispers that could only be heard in a stillness.

I cannot, after He has clearly spoken to me about how my outset is not working, continue to work so fervently to be a step ahead of where I am in my life as a woman, wife, mom, or any other aspect of my roles.

Then it presented itself like a blooming plant that is emerging from the blossom that has rested, filled with nutrients and all the perfect setting up for a beautiful, bountiful expression of nature. Contentment. I knew the minute my soul was filled with this, alluring to some, actual manifestation of the Spirit.

It’s not an emotion. It’s not a feeling. It is the culmination of hope, mercy, grace, and trust.

I began thinking “this is so good…I need to write this down.” That pride of life crept back in and then I exclaimed in my heart “this IS good, thank you LORD for getting my soul to a place of understanding, rest, movement, and finally the acquisition of contentment.

Finally, A Looking Glass

It began with anxiety and panic that I wanted so desperately to be ahead of my season, onto the next step, planned/prepared/ready, and without a shred of help from others. The deep sorrow I felt after not feeling prepared and ready when a new phase of discipline was necessary in the heart of one of my children, left me feeling the way I mentioned in the introduction. The trepidation was almost more than my person could handle.

With the newfound contentment, I could almost hear “this is the next step…look at this Scripture….look how God led His people here….look at Paul’s admonishment here….who are you right here…..what the goal for this season…..what is hard right now in your heart….” questions that I haven’t left lurking like I used to when I thought I could move forward and fix the questions with my approach instead of listening to His guidance.

Moving Forward in Understanding

The joy and contentment found in resting in His guidance for where I am now, ABSOLUTELY does prepare me for the NEXT season.

If I am not walking so closely with His guidance, direction, hope, and correction right now, then I will surely suffer more when His planned suffering/trials/chastisement enters because I haven’t absorbed the gentle preparation He was providing all along.

The discipline of the Lord is love. An example from my life would be when He tells me to slow down. Before, I would have rebuked that thought that I don’t have time to slow down because I need to be ahead of my children’s needs (discipline, health, homeschool, etc) or that I need to be working diligently throughout the day to make sure we are ready for dad to get home to a peaceful place (which never happened when I was pushing out the Spirit’s prompting and pushing hard at home). The result of my efforts was stress, anxiety, discontment, and anger. Meeting the words “slow down” with obedience, speaking gently to those around me, opening my heart to the needs of others, always works in great motion towards whatever my future holds.

The sufferings and trials are not big and small in His divine wisdom. They are specific to the days ordained of OUR individual lives and He is faithful and just to give us all of Himself to walk through them.

I learned to be content, by recognizing His ability. That ties up so much in my heart that is lacking trust, faith, hope, and an acknowledgement that He’s in control.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 “The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.”

Advertisements

Two Hearts, One Flesh preview

Image

So much of our discontentment and lack of joy or peace comes from our expectations in relationships. When looking deep into the reality of conflict in our marriages, we must be honest with ourselves about where the conflict stems from concerning both the husband and the wife.

A wise lady once told me “major on the majors and minor on the minors”. (You can see more on that HERE). She meant: don’t be consumed by the little details, inconveniences, and frustrations of everyday misunderstanding and miscommunication. That is a downward spiral into bitterness, anger, and resentment. Be forthright with the major conversations that need to take place and follow your husband in all areas. We’ll talk more about submission in another place of our study. She also told me that apathy is bitterness matured. Ouch! Are you feeling a little apathetic about an area of contention and therefor remaining stagnant in the conflict?

Forgiveness is not a feeling, but a secret choice of the heart. -“Calm My Anxious Heart”

When you’re wrestling with decisions about what the majors are and what the minors are, broaden your picture and bring a healthy perspective from Scripture.

Jesus gave His primary reason for coming to earth in Matthew 20:28 when He said He came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.-“Calm My Anxious Heart”  He asks us to enter our sphere of existence every day with the same motive. We must ask Him to practice Psalm 139:25 on us daily.

23 Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

This is especially true in our marriage relationship as it is the closest, most personal relationship we have on this earth.

Are you ministering to your husband? Or are you manipulating him? – “The Marriage Builder” Larry Crabb

Check the area of contention as see if there are ways, in your own spirit, you can respond (instead of reacting) to minister in the moment.

It’s a narrow road. But Scripture is clear about our roles in marriage. We will discuss those roles in one week of our study.

email me at sharp.mrs@gmail.com for questions about our study.

facebook event here https://www.facebook.com/events/369112496526434/?fref=ts