Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Contentment

I think I may have written about this very word before, probably more than once. The word is so daunting to me in these trying days. I keep coming back to it over and over and over again ... "be content, be content, be content."

The definition of contentment, according to Merriam-Webster, is not what I have always perceived contentment to be.

Contentment:
the state of being happy or satisfied

When I read this definition, it changes things for me. When I substitute the meaning in the Scripture I have been wrestling with for these last couple of years, it becomes even more difficult to wrap my brain around.

Watch this...

 ...  for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. 
-Philippians 4:11b

Learning to be content with whatever I have ... whatever my circumstance ... whatever life throws at me ... in just the "whatever" has been extremely difficult. I struggle with quieting my spirit, shushing my mind.

But, here, Paul says that whether he's in need, or in plenty, he has learned to be content in it.

I always thought being content was just being able to cope with a situation, not complaining, waiting it out quietly, but, I never imagined I was supposed to be happy, much less satisfied in it.

...  for I have learned how to be HAPPY with whatever I have. 
-Philippians 4:11b

...  for I have learned how to be SATISFIED with whatever I have. 
-Philippians 4:11b

What a difference a word makes!

I must confess that I am neither happy nor satisfied and haven't been for some time. I am, most definitely, the opposite of happy and satisfied.

I don't know how to be that.
I can put on a good face, but inside I'm filled with sadness. Still broken. Working as hard as I can to be content. 

I realize that this is an impossibility for me. It's totally possible when life is filled with blessings and life is good. But, I truly find this to be impossible feat for me.

Then, my husband, the wise Bible scholar that he is, pointed out the rest of the Scripture to myself and La Petite Belle a few nights ago. This particular night, La Petite Belle was in increased pain and had been crying most of the day.

... for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:11b-13

My husband pointed out to me that the verse, we, as Christians, always quote and speak out like some sort of victory chant and mantra is actually not about just being able to do anything and everything with Christ at your side. 
It's about the struggle.
It's about making it through the struggle and the trial.
It's about Jesus, not me.

Whatever the circumstance, no matter how hard, I can have confidence in the fact that He will not leave me to make it through on my own. Honestly, I don't think I could make it on my own at all. Without the hope of Jesus, without the strength He provides through these times, I would be lost in this.

The contentment comes only through Jesus.
I am unable to be content on my own.
But, when I refocus my attention onto the One who holds every moment we are facing His hands, I can rest. I can be satisfied. I'm still not sure about the "happy," but satisfaction and rest will suffice.

In this moment, I feel content. But, in five minutes, I could be out of my mind with worry and anxiety. It's the circle of life right now.

Beau and I are desperately trying to be content not knowing where our next dollar is going to come from, not knowing if one of us will be employed any time soon, not knowing when our sweet girl will be completely healthy again.

Today, we are inpatient again. Good news is that it's not because La Petite Belle is sick, but she has thrombosis in the vein where her PICC line was placed. She has to be inpatient to start a blood thinner so that they can monitor the levels in her blood. As soon as the level is where they want it to be, she can be discharged.

Of course, La Petite Belle wasn't happy about having to get admitted yet again. She cried. But, I just kept telling her she wasn't getting admitted because she was sick so that was a definite positive. And, it's going to be a quick stay ... another positive.

She cheered up later on and actually wanted to eat. Chicken fried rice and a California roll was what she wanted, so that's what she got. She ate quite a bit compared to her usual diet of nothing.


I would say it ended up being a good night.
I went to bed content.

Today, she woke up with some discomfort and vomited. She's been sleeping ever since.
That's when the contentment gets hard.
But, thank God our circumstances don't change anything about Him.
When our life is good, He is good.
When our life sucks, He is good.
And, in either scenario, He is in control.
I am learning to be content in that.

If you would like to financially support Katie's (aka La Petite Belle) journey to healing, you can find more information here: www.gofundme.com, and www.youcaring.com
All funds go to cover medical bills and expenses.


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