This month I decided that I would participate in The Peony Project’s monthly link-up. If you’re not sure what The Peony Project is, it’s a community for women who love Jesus, love blogging, and are looking for a common space to share ideas, encourage one another, and make real, honest friendships with one another. It’s been such a blessing to be a part of an online group that is so uplifting and encouraging – it’s too easy to find groups that are about self-promotion rather than group growth and support. February’s prompt is “Content,” and because it is the proverbial “month of love,” this link-up challenged us to write about how we find contentment in our current season of life and love.
In June, Caleb and I will be celebrating two years of marriage. When I was in high school, I wrote a list of things I wanted in a future husband. I remember including qualities such as: adventurous, caring, funny, and may have included “rich doctor/musician” at the very end just to be safe. Looking back on that somewhat shallow list, Caleb has exceeded all of the expectations that my 16 year old self had. I could go on and on about my husband, but that’s not really where I want to go with this post.
When I think about whether or not I’m content in this season, there is no question that I am. I’m ready to graduate and move on to bigger & better things, but in the end, this season of learning to live with Caleb, traveling & having exciting adventures, and supporting one another, has been so sweet. I’m grateful to have had such a great first year and a half of marriage, and hope & pray the next 100 years are just as wonderful.
Then I think about my relationship with Jesus. When our marriage is going well, when we don’t have petty arguments, when I build my husband up, when we respect one another & listen to each other’s words without assumptions – these are the times when my relationship with Jesus is easiest. There is no struggle to be grateful or content with my choice of a mate. Joy comes without effort, and the words “I love you & I like you” slip off my tongue with ease.
But what about the other days? The days we act childish, and throw dagger-like words at one another. The days where we (and by we I mean I) go to bed angry, and offer the silent treatment instead of a peace offering. By the grace of God these days are few and far between, but they still come. What about those days? Do I still find contentment and comfort in the arms of my Savior, when my best friend, lover, and companion has hurt me beyond immediate repair? Am I still able to muster up gratefulness, or extend grace that in my eyes is wholly undeserved?
It’s easy to place my relationship with Christ to the side when I am able to find temporary contentment in other things. But that is the extent of the comfort those things provide; it is painfully fleeting. However, nothing is more lasting and fulfilling than being able to bring myself completely (baggage and all) to the feet of my Savior, and all at once being accepted and repaired. I am constantly finding new cracks in my being, yet how sweet it is for the One who created me to know exactly how to make me His perfect vessel, and find new ways to use me despite my deepest flaws.
I must rely on Him for contentment not only through times of trial, but through times of joy, celebration, and blessing.
For me, contentment is more than just a feeling of happiness. There are so many things that offer me joy that eventually lose my interest, and fade away into nothingness.
Instead, contentment is knowing that regardless of what my circumstances or the world tells me, I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.
It is peace that passes all understanding.
It is Jesus.
In order for me to always find contentment in my living situation, my state of employment, and even my marriage, my ultimate pursuit must be Christ, and within that pursuit, He provides the strength to be content in both the extraordinary and the ordinary seasons that we all face.
How have you found contentment in your current season?
If you’d like to link up with The Peony Project this month & share your thoughts on contentment, click here.