Our house is very small. Our vehicles are old and rusty. Money is tight. Our fridge isn’t always full, or always working right. My house isn’t always clean. We don’t go on fancy vacations, or vacations much at all. Yet I find myself content, most of the time that is.
I am a garage sale, thrift store, Dollar Tree kinda girl. I don’t care about clothing brands or expensive purses. Fancy, new cars aren’t really my thing either. I don’t find myself wanting too many “things” that others have. But, it’s the experiences that leave me yearning for and jealous of other people’s lives. As I listen to stories of family hikes, weekend getaways, even just time playing with their children at the park, it stings at my heart, as salt stings an open wound. Oh, what i wouldn’t give to be able to hike with my family or run and play at the park, yet honestly, that would land me in bed for days. Weekends are usually spent recovering my body from the week, so weekend getaways aren’t the best option for me, either. So even knowing all that, why do I find myself wanting another person’s life? Because, in those moments, I am looking at it all wrong.
Blesssed. We are blessed beyond measure, as so are you. No matter what storm you are walking in, you are blessed. Although it might be hard to see through the fog or to understand His ways, we are still blessed. Yet seeing that blessing may be harder at times than others, as evident in my journal entry from years ago.
April 5, 2014
I cannot wrap my mind around your ways today. Not that I can all the other days, but today is darker and much rougher terrain in my mind. I know you have given me blessings – so many blessings. Yet today, I can’t seem to see them through this haze, through the fog of my circumstances. You are my sun, my warmth and my light that this soul needs, and even though the sun is shining out my window today, I can’t seem to focus on it. Your truth and peace is standing right before me, yet it is out of my reach. I cant quite grasp it today, Lord. And quite honestly, I have stopped trying to reach it – I’m too tired and this marathon has gone on too long for me to even breathe. The hope I speak of to so many has somehow dissolved into just a memory.
I feel so hurt, so burdened by all the trials in this world. And even though I know you have come to overcome the world, I can’t seem to get out from under this boulder I am shouldering. I am tired, Lord. I am tired of fighting, tired of missing out, and tired of the hurts and sins of this world causing me pain. You have promised you would never leave me or forsake me… so why can’t I hear your voice today? Of all days, just a word from You would surely mend my broken heart long enough to get through this day. This sadness is consuming me, yet I am too weak to raise my hand for you to save me out of this sinking ship.
Sometimes, it’s hard to see our blessings isn’t it? This world consumes us and tells us that all we need is a different life, one free from suffering and anguish. The world whispers that we deserve happiness at whatever the cost. So we try to loose weight, because being thinner will surely heal our hearts. We buy bigger houses, believing more room would help fill our void. We cry out for healthy bodies, because then all our troubles will be better – if our bodies would be healed, so surely our hearts would be also, right?
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you”. Hebrews 13:5
But, God doesn’t promise us an easy life. He does however, love us so individually that He gives us a unique life – one catered to our own heart’s needs and characteristics. One that He will always walk through beside you, guiding you. Currently, my family is being called to a time of trust that would only be possible through the absence of our comfort. That is the path God is using to build my continual reliance on Him. Would I be more comfortable being able to freely spend my money, time and energy on anything I wish? Absolutely. But would God be able to reach me there to teach me the trust I can only learn through empty hands?
So that your trust may be in the Lord, I teach you today, even you. Proverbs 22:19
My life is meant for only me and the life God has given you is meant for only you. If God loves us enough to know the very number of hairs on our heads, He loves us enough to not give us cookie cutter lives. He loves us too much to make our lives comfortable, for in that comfort, we find complacency. No matter how much we want to change our lives, whether that be having the new car your friend has or just wanting our bodies to be healed, we are missing the point. When we covet someone elses life and their experiences, we are telling God that He somehow messed up on our life. He “forgot” to add in all those things that we falsely believe would heal the salted wounds of our heart. These dreams we have for “bigger and better lives” are us telling our Father that He is not enough – that WE know what would make us happy and fulfilled and it’s NOT Him, it’s more than Him. What we are missing is that God is using each one of our hiccups of life to shift our focus to Him and shower us with love and contentment, if only we allow Him too. When we are trapped in our own selfish desires, that fog overtakes the bigger picture. Yet, when we allow God to show us glimpses of His beautiful plan for our lives, true contentment lifts that haze and all becomes clear again.
Yes, our house is small, yet cozy and inviting. Our cars may be rusty, but they are paid for. Money is tight, but due to God’s calling of working less (which has been the biggest blessing on my life). We don’t go on weekend getaways, but beautiful memories are being made ever Saturday morning when my family goes garage saleing together. I am content with my life, and content with being taught daily to trust my Savior’s will for my life. It’s not always comfortable, but it’s out of His love for me that it’s necessary.
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through Him who gives me strength. Phillippians 4:11-13