It all started about 3 years ago…
I remember being back in Tennessee when my grandfather, Pawpaw, got really sick and I wanted to spend time with him… just in case. My grandmother, Baba, had just passed away a couple years earlier while I was living in Atlanta. I’ll never forget the regret of wanting to be there to see her before. I struggled with seeing her in such an unhealthy state because I wanted to recall all of the fun memories, not the morbid ones. So when I got news of Pawpaw being in the hospital from an intense stroke, I got on the earliest flight out and jumped into a rotating schedule to visit with him. This was a man that I truly admired and I don’t say this lightly. I met him when I was 14, after my mom married my stepdad. I never had a good relationship with my “real” dad or his father so I never had much to look up to when it came to a fatherly figure in my life. And let’s be honest, when my mom remarried just before I went into high school, I wasn’t exactly open to my stepdad. But Pawpaw – I could handle the idea of that. He was a bit standoffish, which I was drawn to. The whole family was about big hugs. Some of the ladies (Baba and my aunts) would greet me with kisses but I never really was used to all of that. So Pawpaw was kind of my comfort barrier as I was getting to know the family. He carried a disciplined demeanor that I had never really been around. I craved discipline. I craved his approval. Unfortunately, Pawpaw passed soon after his stroke and I spent a couple weeks at home with my family mourning and preparing for the next chapter. I ventured to Nashville a few times to break away and see friends and I remember feeling led to write but I didn’t want it to be about me. (Ironic, considering that’s exactly what I’m doing now.) I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about. My girlfriends kept telling me to start a blog but I couldn’t do it. Rather, I started praying about it and God made it pretty clear to me that not only was I in a season of trying to learn to be content with where He had me but He was also speaking to me through my friends’ seasons. Almost every conversation I had with close friends led to a new chapter in a book series I wanted to start. I made it through 7 chapters before the computer crashed and I gave up.
… I wish I could go back and rewrite those stories.I was diving into different struggles and joys with each friend in a completely different season than me. I was going through a loss while some were seeking a significant other, or trying to have children, or find a new career path. It was actually pretty entertaining to write out each chapter and see how amongst the small webs I was weaved into each was so utterly unique. Yet each of them seemed the same in us seeking some type of peace in our season – or to learn the acceptance of exactly where God had us at that time.
Do you find yourself trying to rush through your season?
I know I do. I’ve had a picture in my mind my entire life of how I want my life to look.
That picture in my head can be great on a vision board pushing my toward my goals, but it can also be gut wrenching to see when I feel like I’ve failed on the route to those.
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my 33 years, it’s that this contentment thing is a journey. It’s an ongoing process that can be a bit riveting at times. Although, I genuinely believe that a shift in perspective of a season, event, or just a moment can change my level of contentment.
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13
If only we could be completely content with the good, the bad, the ups, the downs, the drought, the flood.
My prayer for each of us is to find gratitude in each moment, being thankful for how God has made us and where he has planted us. To be careful in not looking too far ahead or behind that we miss the opportunity to find contentment with exactly where we are right now.
Check out this awesome devotional that helps keep me in check every (well, not every but almost) morning!
Also published on Medium.