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Feb 3, 2015

Choosing to Be Content in All Seasons



contentedness is something i've never been good at.  when i was in high school, i dreamed of college, of having boyfriend, of what my life would look like someday.  i'm a planner, and i always thought i knew exactly what my future would hold.  attend college as a pre-med major, start seriously dating someone, get married soon after graduation, and then on to medical school or grad school and eventually have a career and a family.  but oh, if only the twenty-five-year-old me could have coffee with seventeen-year-old betsy.

i headed off to college north of boston with the intent of not dating my first year so that i could "figure out who i was."  a noble thought, in my mind, and surely god would honor that commitment and reward it by bringing the perfect guy along at the perfect time....in my sophomore year!  i worked on being content throughout that first year, and honestly, i'd say i did a pretty good job of it.  i focused on school and my friends, and just enjoyed my freshman year.  but then, when i hit my second year of school, the expectations and pressure of what i hoped for weighed on me.

discontentment began to seep into my relationships with others and with my school, and i ended up questioning nearly every decision i had made that got me to where i was.  that year was the hardest of my college career, but also probably one of the years that made me grow the most.  i didn't understand at the time (or even at my graduation, when my life looked so differently than i had imagined as a freshman), why god wasn't giving me the desires of my heart.  and of course, i didn't have the foresight that he has.

on the other side of those college years, and now being engaged to my best friend, i'm so glad that i trusted god's timing.  but that doesn't mean that the waiting period was easy.  in fact, there were times during those years where my heart physically hurt within my chest and i questioned if god ever would fulfill my desire to become a wife and mom someday, or if that season of loneliness would ever end.  and i know it sounds cliche, but it really wasn't until i had found a place of true contentment in my season of singleness that aj walked into my life.

after i graduated, i had gone through a pretty hurtful few months with a guy that i liked, and i decided that no man that god would give me would ever make me feel that way.  and in that time, one of my friends suggested that i listen to andy stanley's sermon series, the new rules for love, sex, and dating.  in those messages, he talks about becoming the person that the person you're looking for is looking for.  (confusing, i know)  and i realized something:  i wanted to be a girl who was so in love with jesus, that it was evident in everything i did, and that no guy could get to me without going through him first.  and along with that desire can a true sense of contentment.

eventually, i learned that contentment doesn't mean giving up the things that we dream about or want most, it means learning to balance the tension of wanting those things with the peace that god's timing is best.  ultimately, it's believing with everything you have that christ is enough for yesterday, for today, and for tomorrow.  and it's looking at whatever season you're in as an opportunity to fall even more in love with jesus.



i'm convinced that discontentment is one of satan's favorite weapons.  he whispers lies to us and plants seeds of discontentment in the slyest ways, and we live in a culture that promotes discontentment.  we're wired to always want the next best thing; to desire to look or act a certain way;  to have accomplished all of the things before our neighbor.  and that life of comparison and want leaves us robbed of joy.  but god wants so much more for us.  he asks us to be content with him and to lose ourselves in him.

see, discontentment doesn't end when you get the dream job or find yourself in a relationship with the perfect guy.  it's always there, and it always tries to snatch away your joy.  contentment is a choice that we must make every day.  it's a battle that we face every time we turn on the tv or flip through a magazine or step outside.  contentment isn't a switch you can flip; it's a learned attitude, and it's won through intentionality and hard work and a whole lot of prayer.

no matter where you are in life, being content is a choice.  how are you choosing to be content right now?


24 comments:

  1. 1 Timothy 6:6
    But godliness with contentment is great gain :)
    Great post. Thank you.

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  2. Thank you for sharing this. I loved the part where you said that contentment is all about learning to balance the tension of wanting things with the peace that God's timing is best. This is so true. I had never thought about that way before. Thanks.
    God Bless

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  3. I love this Betsy! I've been reminded of this lately. It's easy to be happy and content now that I am finally in season of life I wanted to be in. But what about the future? I have been learning over the past couple years to be content in all seasons. It can be hard at times, but like you, I'm so glad that I trusted in God's timing.

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  4. YES! I love this. I always get such itchy feet and want to move. So sometimes I find it's hard for me to make long-term decisions (like buying a house) because I know I get discontent easily. It's a constant battle against Satan, that's for sure.

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  5. I'm practically near tears because this was beautiful and so spot on. I've been struggling with being "content" so much since I graduated college in May and this was just everything I was feeling in one neat little post. It also just gave me relief, and I know that everything will work out and that I know better than anyone what works for me. This was wonderful!! Thank you so much for sharing this :)

    Briana
    RoyallyPink.blogspot.com

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  6. You bring up an interesting point with contentment. I often feel that being content means accepting things as how they are. Not striving for more. I often felt it was a passive emotion and one I never wanted to settle for. When you bring in the religious aspect it takes on a different meaning. I love seeing the word in a different light. Thank you.

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  7. I love your heart, Betsy. This is such a wonderfully written post. I'm thankful I know you :)

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  8. awe, thank you so much friend! i'm thankful i know you too!

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  9. awe, i'm so glad that this post spoke to you! graduation from college is seriously no joke. i wish someone would have warned me about the roller coaster or emotion and transition that that season holds! if you ever want to unpack what you're going through more, feel free to be in touch! betsygettis@gmail.com

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  10. I totally agree about Satan. Also, that sentiment of improving yourself for your future spouse is something we talk about in my church!

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  11. yeah, it's a totally different way to look at it! i honestly redefined my view of contentment so long ago and have strived for it ever since that i forgot that most people probably think about it in the same way you described!

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  12. i totally feel you! i mean, i think my issue is that i struggle to not look forward to the next season...i always want the next thing to be here now, and i don't savor the season that i'm in enough!

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  13. yes girl! you're totally right. and i'm sure that there will be times in engagement and marriage that i will need to fight the beast of discontentment! but it's such a good habit and mindset to get into!

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  14. yes! i think so often we think that contentment means we don't want for anything, but that's our human nature. we need to learn to manage that tension to find contentment!

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  15. yes! it was a seriously life-changing concept for me. not that i was really doing anything bad that i would attract the wrong kind of guys, but it helped me to really refocus where my energy and time was spent!

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  16. Oh my this is so what I needed to hear right now. Thank you for that and always being so open and honest!

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  17. Like you, I have never been contented in life. I have been always asking for more after every gift, accomplishment or what not. But now, I tried to appreciate things more and live to my mantra, Cultivate the habit of being grateful. =)


    I hope you could answer a bit of questions posted on my blog too.

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  18. That;s what I love about blogging...different views of the same thing may lead us to seeing a concept in a whole new light!

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  19. thank YOU for reading! glad you connected to this post! :)

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  20. 'Discontentment doesn't end... it always tries to snatch away your joy'


    Very wise words! Thank you for sharing so honestly!

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Hi! Thanks for reading! I read every comment posted here. Your thoughts are valuable to me! Thanks for taking the time to contribute!

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