being content in all things.
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Natalie, get up. You have morning class.
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Oh I'm sorry, we don't offer anything in that price range.
These words have plagued my mind for the past month. They slowly start taunting me from the moment I rise, until I sit down to do homework before bed. Swirling around in my head reminding me that I don't have it all together and I might as well just stop trying. I've been getting stressed and losing sleep and crying a lot more. I've been snapping at Mark and getting jealous of my engaged friends who seem to have the whole "wedding thing" figured out. I hate that. I don't want any part of that in my life, so I've decided to do something about it.
When I think about what is causing me to feel so insignificant and worthless, I realize that it stems from that comparison game that I've been playing in my mind lately. I've been looking at my dreams and plans and watching them slowly fade as my friends and colleagues strive forward, getting the things they desire. What I don't see is that they're attaining things that I don't really want, their styles are completely different than my own, and the place that they're at in life is not where I am. I'm comparing myself to people who are older and have worked hard and who are being used by God in a way that I am not called to. So really, I'm comparing apples and oranges. No bueno!
The phrase "comparison is the thief of joy" has been ringing in my head all day and I realize that I'm only unhappy because I am comparing where I'm at in life to where someone else is, what I have to what they have. This behavior breeds jealousy and anger, talking down on myself and not celebrating the blessings God has given me. Taking a step back I realize that (while it's difficult) the only way to not feel this way anymore is to stop comparing. To be content.
I turned to the greatest piece of encouragement I could find, the Bible.
Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."
1 Timothy 6:6-8 says: "Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content."
Being content is a choice, one that God asks us to make daily. Counting our blessings isn't so hard after we start. He's given me food, clothing, family + friends, an education, a supportive + loving fiancé, passions + ideas, and my health. I am truly blessed and although I know that there will be days in the future when I don't feel good enough and when I start to forget about my blessings, I know that God will always love me and take care of me and that is something that will give being content a permanent place in my heart.
What are some things that you've been blessed with? Where has life's journey led you on the road to being content?