Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Progress in Contentment

Just about a month ago I wrote about the struggle I was having with contentment as it relates to my family size, and let's be honest, my "Iwannabepregnantnow!" attitude that mirrored my 3- and 2-year olds.   Since then I have been earnestly seeking God's help in learning contentment, through prayer and through a Bible study on the topic.  

I'm happy to say that since a month ago, God has been faithful to teach me contentment.  What has helped tremendously is memorizing Philippians 4:6-8:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 

Whenever a thought of discontentment comes to mind - such as sadness at seeing a pregnant woman or a newborn, or jealousy at learning that yet another friend is pregnant - and I mean the very moment it comes to mind - I run that scripture through my head and  PRESTO! the thought is banished. Sometimes if I can't remember the whole scripture I'll just remember "...whatever is true..." (since it is not true that I'm pregnant, and it is true that everything happens in God's timing and not mine) and that is enough to banish the wayward thought.

What made me realize that I had come such a long way from a month ago was a moment last week when I was typing out prayer requests to email to my Bible study group.  I got to my own and started typing my usual prayer request: "Please pray for a third child and contentment as we wait on the Lord."  But I stopped myself and just stared at the sentence. 

And then it finally hit me: I need to want God's will above all else. My thinking, even if not confessed, has been "Lord I want a third child, but also your will to be done. But please give me another child (because that's what I really really really want)." 

I have been wanting my own way above all else, instead of HIS way, whatever that may be. I have known all along that this is the point I needed to reach, but had no clue how to get there. Now my prayer request has become "Please pray for God's will to be done concerning our family size, and for me to continue to learn contentment."

Another confirmation that God has brought me a long way happened last night when we visited friends who have a two week old baby boy, their third child. I held that warm, soft little newborn for a good half hour and felt nothing but untainted joy and happiness for their family for the blessing of that tiny baby. One month ago I would have been a puddle of tears just at seeing a newborn baby let alone holding one.

I haven't fully arrived at the destination known as "completely content", but I'm definitely on my way. I'm still not completely at peace with the idea of never having another child, but with God's help I'm working on it. 

1 comment:

  1. Autumn, I appreciated reading this entry. Your surrendered heart must be such a beautiful thing in the site of our Lord. :) I have had the same experience of quoting scripture to myself and almost instantly having the blessing of God's peace. God' word is powerful in bringing change. :)

    I think it is safe to say that we all have areas in which we are not as content as God would have us be. You are not alone, which makes this blog entry so helpful. I am going through this exact thing, just with a different desire right now.

    Another conviction I've experienced recently is I am allowing my present joy to be stolen as I look ahead for something I want so much, instead of having the contentment God desires to give me in this moment.

    I will be quoting this verse to myself all day and look forward to God's peace which transcends all understanding. :)