WORDS | JESSICA BILLS
PHOTOS | KATEY LEE
LETTERING | SAM PALENCIA
She sits in the coffeeshop, not alone, the window is her friend. Her foot taps in the same cadence as her thumb that double taps the places she'd rather be. The hashtags tell her it's okay to be a wanderer. It's normal to want to be somewhere else. If you're not wanderlusting, you're not really a twenty-something.
We've glamorized discontentment.
We've dressed it in flannel, given it a Forever 21 headband, placed it in front of a mountain and told it not to look at the camera.
The result is an amazing portfolio and a terrible day-to-day life.
I know because I have been enraptured by these illusions. It has seeped into my ideals as a photographer, spread to my personal desires, and affected the wellbeing of my spirit. I've cried out to the Lord in my confusion and dissatisfaction, but failed to realize the problem has a name. It’s name is discontentment.
Discontentment can be spurred by comparison, envy, pride, entitlement, and impatience. John Piper said, "Our contentment is not determined by our circumstances. We often want to blame circumstances for our discontent, but that’s barking up the wrong tree."
He continued, saying that contentment is determined by belief and belief is determined by what and how you see.
That's what it all comes down to. First, we need to admit that we are discontent, then we can open our eyes to how that has affected our friendships, our jobs, our relationships, our church involvement, etc.
When I throw myself a pity party, I am utterly useless. I am a jerk to be around. There is no ministry happening. All I am is a robot. I am a roadblock to the Spirit who wants to use me to encourage and edify others.
It is our human nature to want what we do not have. It is a perpetual part of us. But as Christians, servants of our great Lord, we have to combat those wantings that can paralyze us, otherwise we let discontentment zombie-fy our lives. Personally, I do not want to be in friendship with a zombie. Have you seen the Walking Dead?!
Adventure is out there. It really is. But you are missing out on the adventure God has in store for you on a daily basis by letting your dissatisfaction in your current situation limit your trust in Him.
But that is part of this journey with Christ; offering trust in the excruciatingly mundane and receiving peace, joy, and hope from walking in His tempo.
Maybe you need to get to a place where you desperately want that sweet peace in our Lord. Maybe you need to be willing to change your perspective to align with His. Those things take time. It takes intentional effort to find gratitude in each day, in each hour of each season you're in.
Be patient, friend.
Instead of trying to change your situation, change your perspective.
Instead of trying to control your life, pray with your hands open.
And instead of finding comfort in day-dreaming, ask our God to show you real and lasting comfort.
"I am learning, in whatever situation I find myself, to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound, in any and every circumstance. I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:11–13)
I’m praying for you, friend.
For more on John Piper’s article see: http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/lay-aside-the-weight-of-discontentment