Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dissatisfaction.

It's amazing isn't it? How life can be going so well and yet somehow you can still feel unsatisfied?

Today as I was uploading photos onto this bloggie of mine I was realizing (again) how stinkin crazy I can be.

I'll break it down for you...
My life is ridiculously blessed.
I have a dream husband. Literally. He is the best man I've ever met.
I live in sunshiny southern California.
I work a job that I love.
I have the best friends that life can offer.
I eat and drink like a queen.
Materially speaking... I am rollin.
I have an iphone with a pink case.
I am typing on a laptop.
I drive a car.
I wear adorable clothes, that most days, have all been given to me from my incredibly generous friends.
Physically I am healthy and lovely... not that I always feel the lovely part... but I know it is true.
I travel A LOT.
My family is awesome. Unique. And awesome.
Spiritually speaking, I am blessed as well.
Intimacy with the Creator of the universe. Saved by grace.
The LIVING God has taken up residency in my body!?! Are you serious?
Even Moses, Joseph, and David didn't get down like that.

Now forgive me if I have gagged you with my boasting. That's not at all my intention. I can ensure you that life is not all butterflies and rainbows over here. But I am just pointing out that something very strange has been happening in me, and I have a feeling it has been happening in some of you as well.

I'll call it dissatisfaction.
Symptoms of dissatisfaction can be, but are not limited to:
boredom, depression, hopelessness, lack of motivation, laziness, and irritability.

It causes us to focus on what we don't have, rather than what we do.
It steals our joy.
It invites us to hate things that once brought us fulfillment,
AND if it is not dealt with,
dissatisfaction is capable of deceiving us into forfeiting the very things that are most precious to us, in search of something "more satisfying".

The only reason why I know this...
is because I feel it.
And quite frankly, its wearing me out.

C.S. Lewis said,

“If you find yourself with a desire that no experience in this world can satisfy, then the most probable explanation is that you were made for another world.”

Makes sense to me.
It's so easy for me to put my hope in things on this earth. Success. Location. People. Career. Family.
As if my deep desire for happiness will finally be met once I have conjured up the ultimate combination of perfect circumstances.

Oh if only that were true.

But its not.

If only I would learn from King Solomon who figured this out WAY before I did. The Bible says that he was wise, wealthy (the MOST wealthy man in his time), and basically attained everything he could ever dream of.

So what did he discover through acquiring every "good" thing available to him?

"I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
    I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
    and this was the reward for all my toil.
11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
    and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
    nothing was gained under the sun." (Ecc. 2:10-11)

Sounds depressing. I know. But honestly beauty, to me it is completely encouraging. If I continue living as if my happiness is dependent on things outside of myself, I may end up a mess one day. Because I will think that change is the answer to my dissatisfaction. Change of husband. Change of career. Change of location. Change of friends. Even maybe... change of the God I serve. But Solomon had everything we could ever want, and he determined it all to be "meaningless, a chasing after the wind".

What freedom comes when I realize that satisfaction is available right here. Today. Because it has nothing to do with outward circumstances and EVERYTHING to do with my inward heart. It's about my perspective. Sure I may not feel happy right away, and I really may need to change up some of my circumstances. That is okay. 

But I am resting in the beautiful truth that nothing on this broken earth will ever meet my deepest needs for love, security, hope and fulfillment. People will let me down and circumstances will leave me empty. My needs can only be met by the One who is perfect. The One who died to save me. 

I recently heard a song that said something like, 
"We are no longer chasing shadows. We have hope beyond tomorrow." 

That's it. In Christ we have true hope. Beyond money, that comes and goes. Beyond people that fail and eventually pass away. Beyond homes that burn and cars that break down. Beyond jobs that are lost. Beyond our relationship status that changes and babies that are or aren't in our wombs. Beyond beautiful bodies and flawless skin, that are both fleeting. 

Christ offers hope beyond tomorrow. Hope beyond next year. Hope forevermore. 

In Him we find strength to pick ourselves up from our puddle of tears on our bedroom carpet (...I just gave you a glimpse into my life a few evenings ago...) and begin looking for ways to appreciate our lives, right where we are at. It takes faith. It takes gratitude. It takes courage. 

Self-pity stifles creativity. 
It is nearly impossible to improve our situation when are focused on our losses. 

So we begin with gratitude. What is there to be thankful for? There may be a little. There may be a lot. Even if all we can think of is the fact that there is air in our lungs, go ahead and start there. That in itself is a gift. 

Next we set some goals. What is it that is bothersome to us and what can WE do to make it better. Unfortunately we can't change others. But we can change ourselves. That is a wonderful thing.

For me I began with a bit of home improvement. May sound silly, but for me it is significant. I was focusing too much of my energy on desiring a life OTHER than the one I have. So in an effort to change that, I settled into my own roles as a woman and a wife. I cleaned. I painted. I bought some fresh flowers for the jar next to my bed.

Start small. Start anywhere. 

I also confessed some of my struggles with my friends. That's helpful because it goes against what we feel. We would rather isolate and perhaps eat or drink our feelings away. Numbing ourselves into paralysis, rather than taking responsibility for our lives. Sharing with loved ones opens us up to receive love. Friends can pray more specifically for us, and encourage us in our journeys. We need that. We were not made to do life alone. 

Lastly I recommend exploring the depths of love available to us in our relationships with God. It might sound difficult, but its so important. Most important really. I suggest you open up your Bible. Reading the Bible for me is a lot like drinking water, I know I need it, whether I am thirsty for it or not. If you need help knowing where to start, maybe try the book of James. Its short and extra good. Listen to worship music too. Lately I have been listening to "All Sons and Daughters". Attend a church. Plug in with other believers. Connect authentically. When people ask how you are doing, try not to just say "Good," and move on. Be real. How are you really doing? An awesome thing about God is that He works through people. He will use other Christians to strengthen and encourage us in our walks with Him. Don't resist it. Even if it is awkward at first, it will get easier.

I share this with you as a friend who is wrestling through it myself. I don't have it all together, but I'm hopeful. Not in myself. Not in my circumstances. But I have put my hope in a God that promises to be everything I need. He is faithful. Life is hard. It will always take us places we don't really want to be. But we will be okay. Because this is place not our home, we were created for eternity, where Revelation 21:4 says, "He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain."

All that we experience, both good and bad, are simply pointing us towards deeper intimacy with Christ. It is in that place where we find true contentment, and the satisfaction we are looking for. 

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.

    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
Isaiah 41:10



2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful. Amazingly honest and open.
I love you, Colleen

hajasheriff said...

Nice blog which you have posted, really help full.i hope you will continue with the same.
steve jobs 10 commandments | dissatisfaction at work