A Shocking Revelation
I’ve always felt so grateful for my positive outlook on life, and I really believed that I met each day with joyful expectation and peace for what was to come. This probably explains why I was completely shocked when I realized that I had been sowing seeds of discontentment (& for years)!
A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing
It can be such a subtle thing, really. Maybe it starts with a contrary comment towards the weather, or perhaps its over the fact that our shorts from last summer no longer fit. No matter it’s beginning, I think it’s safe to say that discontentment most always seems harmless at the start.
Dangerously enough, my discontentment also felt completely earned and justified.
My Seeds of Discontentment
My own personal abyss of discontentment is best understood within the context of my back injury.
While pain is certainly an arduous cross to bear, I had also taken many opportunities to throw myself a pity party. Sure, at first, I had a streamlined focus on the pain and subsequent goal of healing, but as the weeks (& the pain) went on, I started to notice other things.
I noticed how I no longer could hold my kids.
I noticed how many days had passed since my last run.
I noticed (& grieved) my inability to change diapers or give baths.
Admittedly, as a mom and athlete, these are pretty big things, but as time went on, the infection of discontentment only grew, extending its ungrateful claws into each and every area of my life.
I don’t know how I missed it, but discontentment took over completely.With its deceitful wand of disillusionment, it became so easy to notice more and more of what was wrong and less and less of what was good and right and whole. Click To Tweet
Instead of gratitude for the extent that I could play with my kids, I became blinded by my limitations.
Joy for simply being with my children was exchanged for sadness, because it couldn’t be the way that I wanted.
My children were right there in front of me, and I was missing it!
Over and over again, I was missing the blessings
in favor of the dark discontentment
of my unmet expectations.
Stuck in the Middle
Once I realized that I was sowing seed after seed of discontentment and bitterness, you might think that I would have jumped ship, in favor of that whole “count your blessings” thing.
Turns out it wasn’t as easy as that for me. Turns out that I’m still struggling.
See, while I knew that focusing on what I could not have made me incredibly unhappy, I just could not let it go.
Have you ever been there?
Have you ever seen the way out but just weren’t ready to take it yet?
I guess I just didn’t want to accept my limitations. I didn’t want to be okay with not picking up the kids. Retiring my running shoes was never part of my plan (not at any point in my life)!I didn't want to go forward without these parts of my life that I felt I'd lost, and yet, by not moving ahead, I was darkening not just this area of my life, but everything else around it. Click To Tweet
I felt stuck.
Over and over again, I could feel God telling me, “If you would let go, you will find your peace”. He was showing me that it wasn’t the injury and limitations that brought me sadness but rather my reactions to them.
I’d filled my hands with grief, leaving me utterly incapable of receiving the happiness and peace that God was waiting to pour out on me.
Surrendering for the Win
A life where I am fighting against God’s plans for me is not the life I want for myself.
I understand now that surrender is not the same as giving up.
I understand that surrender is sometimes the best way to fight, when it’s given to the right One.
Surrender means deliberately taking note of everything I’ve gained rather than keeping tally of everything I’ve supposedly lost.
It means feeling grateful for the ability to carry a laundry basket rather than lamenting over how hard I first need to focus before I can pick it up.
Surrender means that I can replace my grief over running days lost with joy that I am still able to walk.
Instead of allowing myself to be swept away in grief, fear, and heartache over my back injury, I can overflow with gratitude for the gracious way my Lord and Savior has completely transformed my spiritual life and relationship with Him.
Turns out that unraveling from discontentment involves many steps. It’s humbling to see that there is no way I can do this on my own. Yes, I have to do my part, but it can only be done by the Power of God alone.
What a lousy and deviously toxic emotion discontentment can be! It will suck the very life out of your life if you let it.
If you find yourself in a season of discontentment, maybe it’s time that you too surrendered in favor of a blessed, more abundant path.
Are you ready to free your hands for Christ’s blessings? Leave me a note in the comments. I’d love to come alongside of you in prayer. I’d love to walk this journey together…even if it’s just for a few steps!