A few days ago, on a Sunny California morning, as I was walking to work, I experienced a strange sensation. It wasn’t joy or necessarily happiness. It wasn’t a desire to be doing something else or a striving to change and to be “better.” No instead it was contentment. Not contentment in the bad sense, when you should be changing and growing but instead you have choosen to be content and have gotten, in a sense, stuck in one location. No, this contentment was something different and it surprised me because over the course of my life I had never really felt true contentment. For as long as I can remember I have always been striving for something or someone.
As a young child I strove to not feel the way that I felt, I was striving for the me from the inside to be the me on the outside. I had this constant desire to feel different than I did and for people to really know who I was, even when I wasn’t exactly sure who that was.
In middle school I was never content with who I was. I felt awkward in my own body. The person looking back at me from the mirror wasn’t the person that I knew myself to be. I knew that there had to be more to life than what I saw and I really wanted to make a difference for God. I knew that God was in my life, that He had changed me dramatically and so I wanted to be the very best for Him. At the same time I wanted to make my family, especially my sisters, proud. I worked hard at school because I was good at it and I knew that I could excel. I strove to follow in their footsteps in word and deed. I was always striving and moving forward in some aspect.
I went into high school and the race continued. I was always going after something or someone; grades, friends, boys, God, all of it. I knew that I was changing because of my pursuit of God and yet I never measured up to my own measuring stick. I could always do better, I could always be better. I wanted to be friends with everyone and yet never fit into a specific group. I wanted to be the girl who had sports, grades, boys and friends. I wasn’t at the exact top of the class, I had to fight to keep my place in sports, boys (from what I could tell) wanted nothing to do with me and I had a lot of friends but… there was no contentment.
And then college. Oh, college. I don’t think I have ever been as thankful as I have been during my time in college. God has blessed me abundantly and truthful I would not be where I am at, I would not have experienced what I have experienced, I wouldn’t know who I know and I would not be who I am today if it wasn’t for God’s intervention in my plans. And so college has always been this amazing spot in my life that I can’t fully explain and yet, in the past few years I was still always striving for something and to be someone. I have been told time and time again that God’s hand is upon my life and trust me I know that. I have been told that I am a beautiful and wonderful young woman of God and that I have a lot of love to give. I know all that, I believe it and yet, there have been times when I have wondered if there wasn’t more, if I couldn’t be more. I have read book after book about finding out who you are and using that fully. I have taken notes in classes and during sermons and then applied those lessons to my life. I have always strived to be as put together as possible, to be as productive as possible. I have stayed the course, moved forward and known exactly what it is that I want and where I want to be. But… there was always something more I wanted to do, somewhere else I wanted to be, someone else I wanted to know, something else that I should be or could be doing more. Never exactly becoming content.
But… now it’s all different. I still have dreams, goals, desires, aspirations. I still want to be the best that I can be and do things the best that I can do them. And yet, everything in my life has changed. I am realizing that I am an adult but I don’t know how to be one. I am realizing that I am an individual but I don’t know what that means. I am realizing that there is so much more than I ever thought possible in this world that I could do. And I have seen that life often doesn’t end up the way we planned, the way that seemed logical or even the way that should have been. I have more questions than answers. I am waiting but I’m not really sure who or what I’m really waiting for. Really in almost every area of my life I have no idea what I want… And yet, I am content. I am content and I know that no matter what, this is where I am supposed to be at this exact moment in time. I have found myself waking up in the morning not dreading the day but instead excited because I am content. I have a job that is more than I could ever have asked for, friends that love me no matter how messy my life is, a family that is changing and growing but who support me through it all. But above it all and more important than all that, there is a God who loves me more than I could ever fathom and who through that love has placed me specifically where I’m at for His purpose. I don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow or the next week or even the next month but that is okay. I am content.