This morning a friend posted something on Facebook that really spoke to me. She said”we find small enduring unless it is connected to our personal life. We want a bigger circle of friends, more influence, bigger cars, more money when we should really be content with where God has put us at the moment.”
Contentment. Something that I have a difficult time with. I remember the first lesson God taught me about how to be content. I had been married about 3 or 4 years and we had to move from Germany to Ft. Sill in Lawton, Oklahoma. Oklahoma is not a bad place just was a huge adjustment to go from mountains and trees to tumbleweeds and dirt and I didn’t like it. The other thing that made this more difficult was the time of year of our move. My husband, who was in the military, had to attend a school for about a month and it was in the middle of winter. Basically we moved and I was left with 2 babies alone. I didn’t know anyone. We didn’t even have time to find church. So it was like someone dropped me off in the middle of nowhere.
I am a flexible person and don’t usually have trouble making friends but that was different. It was in the middle of winter and everything was dead. The trees and grass were brown and it was very cold. I felt very alone. Looking back at that time in my life, I am sure I was sad and depressed. I missed my family and living in Germany. I remember when being content became clear to me. I was walking to a little convenience store that was a couple of blocks from the house, when God spoke to me. He reminded me of the scripture where Paul says, in whatever state you are to be content. I took this literately to mean the actually state I was living in. So from that day, to the rest of the time I lived in Oklahoma, I tried to find things I liked about living there.
Fast forward to today and I still have a problem with contentment. I moved to Phoenix, Arizona about 3 years ago. (ALOT more dirt and tumbleweeds) I’m okay with living in Phoenix until it gets 115 in the summer and then not so much. The discontent comes with other things in my life. The church I have attended for the last 3 years, I have never made any close friends. This was very unusual for me. In all the moving I have done being a military wife, I’ve never had trouble with this until I moved to Phoenix. Actually, sitting here thinking about this issue, that’s not completely true. In the last couple of tours we did, one in Georgia and the other in Italy, the “friend” thing was controlled by my ex-husband so that has probably made it hard for me to find friends.
At first, I was hurt and sad that I didn’t have any friends in Phoenix. I have friends in other parts of the country but just not here. I think that maybe God was trying to get my attention. Instead of focusing on something I didn’t have, I need to cast my attention on him and be content with where I am. It is a hard lesson but I have learned it. I can sit here today and feel content in myself in this aspect.
But God isn’t done with me. Now I’m learning how to be content in my work. This is seemingly more difficult. I work for the federal government. In that job, it affords me the opportunity of changing jobs without losing a job. I can take a job in another state or country and move without any penalties. This works good for me because I love to travel. But the kicker to this is listening to God when I’m considering jumping out to do something else. This has nothing to do with my current job. I have a fantastic boss and work with great people. It’s just the ambition and discontent of wanting something more. There’s nothing wrong with wanting more. I just have to follow God’s leading and pick the right “more”. If I can just grasp the fact that once I become content with the place I am right now then God will open the doors to something new. I know this but applying it is more difficult.