Okay, I had this whole other post ready to go. Was about ready to get it up on the blog, but then Jesus stepped in and whispered a certain something into my ear and I JUST HAD TO WRITE ON IT (as is true of writer brain…)
A dear friend of mine is moving. She is one of those people who make you feel so valued and important, like your situations matter and mean something. She would always offer to buy me a drink at Starbucks or grab some donuts for my kids at DD. She would listen and love and pray. And because she is such an amazing human, the truth is inevitable. She is going to be severely missed. But during our last playdate we were chatting and crying and hugging, and her cute daughter kept coming up to her momma. The park we were at was huge and full of anything an elementary school girl could want (except for maybe a couple more cute boys her age ;). But just like clockwork, she would mosey her way on over to us and pretend to be totally casual. She would stand just close enough to hear our conversation without looking like she was butting in. My friend kept asking her if she wanted to play over there or there, but every time the answer was no. We both smiled at her and then at each other. We knew exactly what was going on.
Many years ago (no, I will not say how many… ;)) we were her. We were the little ladies standing outside of the big girl crowd. We wanted to be included and invited and wanted, feelings that have only transformed with age. But it really was ironic. When we were youngin’s we wanted to grow up as fast as we could. And now that we were world-tackling women, we looked at the beautiful face of innocence and desperately wished we could be young once again.
Sure, we’d accept fewer wrinkles and gray hairs. And we’d gladly welcome the ability to eat whatever the heck we wanted without gaining a stinking pound. But in reality, the allure of youth has more to do with the freedom of mind it brings. No worries about debt or bills or meeting that deadline for work. No fear of sickness or disease or death of loved ones. It’s a space in time where the hope for the future outweighs the realities of the everyday. Where the biggest upset in your relationships is your fight with bestie Suzy and not the loss of a marriage. It is a tender, more simple time in life that goes by way too fast. And all the while, you wish it would go by even faster.
But sweet friend, isn’t that the human plight? We want what we don’t have and when we have it we want something else… When we are young we want to be older, and when we are older we want to be young. From an early age we practice the hard art of discontentment, and it doesn’t take us long to master it. I see it every day with my kids at home…
“Mommy, I don’t want milk.”
“You just asked for this…”
“Yeah, but I want apple juice so bad!”
“Ok, then I’ll give this to your brother.”
“NOOOOOO! I want it!”
*stares blankly at confusing child, contemplating chugging milk herself*
As women, we feel this tension in a special way. It hits a sacred part of our hearts, a place where we want to feel true wholeness in the midst of a widening hole. We long to feel like we are complete, like we are enough, like we are at peace with what we have and who we are… So we continue to pour the wrong things into our lives in order to fill the empty gap. But this desire is planted so deeply within, it cannot be quenched with the temporary. It continues to grow and yearn, and it is there for a single purpose.
It is a holy awakening. It is a gift from heaven meant to draw us kindly back to His fullness and freedom.
As our souls reach for ‘the better’, our Creator refuses let our spirits rest until we’ve found the BEST… and honestly, THANK GOD FOR IT! Because His Best doesn’t rely on things. It doesn’t rely on looks or works or popularity. Our gracious God wants all of His children to experience authentic freedom, and one of the most freeing things we can do for our souls is to rest in the glory of true contentment. It is a precious state we will know forever in eternity, but we can capture glimpses of it in the here and now. It is a place of LOVE. A place where we know that no matter what happens or what we have, we are adored as Daughters and Sons of the Most High. It is a place that cannot be shaken by circumstances or outcomes. It is a place that reigns above grievances and the grave. It is hallowed ground that is open for all to embrace, if we choose to lay down the good for the GREAT!
Because the seasons of life will come and go. Highs and lows will ebb and flow, but the faithful care of Jesus will always remain the same. Real contentment doesn’t have to do with what you have or where you are. On the contrary, it has everything to do with Whose you are and Who He is. Dear Reader, please know am there with you. I experience the weight of feeling like I need something more in order to make my life a little more complete. But at the end of the day, that just makes me temporarily happy. It doesn’t make my joy complete.
We have a such sweet Savior, and He offers us independence from many things, but in this case, He delivers us from the case of the ‘less than’. He opens His arms and invites us to come and experience life in all of its abundance. The news channels make it painfully clear that money does not buy soul satisfaction. We need the real deal. We need the One who helps us live with open hands and hearts. We need the One who pours His promises of into our minds and liberates our spirits so we can receive the beauty of NOW. Right here. Right as we are.
In a world addicted to more, let’s be the rare ones. Let’s be the ones who trust the Giver of all good things, no matter how big or small. Our stories cannot be compared to anyone else’s, so let’s stop wishing we were them. God’s faithfulness is stamped into the fabric of our lives, and His cup of blessing will always overflow with love because He is an incredibly good Father.
Apple juice or milk, my friends…
Drink it in. And drink it fully.