Friday, April 3, 2015

Finding Contentment & Joy

My church asked me to speak and give my testimony at our women's retreat last month. At first, I was kind of excited and felt like God wanted me to share my story. Then, the more and more I thought about it, the anxiety of it crept in and some nervousness and those feelings of inadequacy raged.

The theme of the women's retreat was CONTENTMENT.

And believe me when I say, that contentment is probably my biggest struggle area in life. Everything leads back to this issue, which is of course, precisely why God would want ME to share about it. You must love how he uses things like this to pull us our of our comfort zone and more into His likeness.

When I said yes I focused on this topic even more and I've realized something.

The ONLY thing stopping me from living a content and thankful life is ME. 

Often times, I convince myself that IF I had XYZ, then I would be happier. IF my house looked Pinterest perfect. IF my child did not have a rare disease or at the very least behaved. IF finances were never a worry. IF. IF. IF.

And the truth is, maybe for a little while, but at the end of the day, if I don't draw my complete joy and find myself in Christ, time and time again, then I will always be lacking.

Before the retreat, I had a personal melt down.

Being a mom. Being a wife. Dealing with broken relationships. Staying in the house taking care of sick babies. Dealing with constant clutter and never getting things done. Dirt. And mess. And sickness. And days melting into days that all blurred of the same mundane stuff. It was enough piled on top of each other to have a giant pity party.

And then it didn't get better. It got worse, because instead of leaving the mess of utter chaos of my household for a little while and getting a break, I ended up at the doctor with the baby. Again.

I was done. Done. Done. Done.

I kept asking God why he would have ME get up there and share about this. Maybe I could just call them and tell them I've changed my mind. My life is too much of a wreck to talk to anyone else about something I don't even do well.

The truth is, at the end of the day, that my JOY is in CHRIST ALONE.

Life is going to pile up. It is going to feel like it's too much to bear. And living life with Christ will never be easy or picture perfect or always great. The whole point of the gospel is that God sent his only Son to live that perfect life for US, because ours is SO messed up. We will fail time and time again, but Jesus will never fail. We will throw big giant pity parties and God will restore that JOY, but not in things or stuff that will always fade, but in the treasure of who he is. We have to deal with this crap, but we don't have to do it alone. We can trust in God and walk through the muck onto dry land with him holding our hand.

"For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, for I am the one who helps you." Isaiah 41:10

God provides us with His strength even on our weekest days.

No matter where we are right now, God is IT! He is our beauty and our everything and even though I will have to repeat this to myself every single breath I take, I find my contentment, because of Christ. Let's gaze upon Him. And Him alone.Particularly as we go into this Easter weekend!