Monday, February 23, 2015

Practicing Contentment

Is it possible to "find" contentment in every situation? Through the years there have been many, many times I have prayed for God to allow peace to invade my heart, a yearning to live in contentment despite the circumstances.

There is one life event I have absolute, steadfast contentment. A peace I can only describe as supernatural because it defies human comprehension. In 2005 our daughter Emma died from pneumonia, secondary to Cockayne syndrome, a rare, recessive genetic disorder. The limits that horrid syndrome put on her life never defined who she was and what she meant to us. After she passed away I stumbled through the darkness of grief, fully absorbing all the ripping side affects generated from living in that state of circumstances.

Then came peace. And with it contentment living in the knowledge my daughter was not with me, that I would never watch her grow up, never have another photo, dress her, hug her, pray over her, hear her laughter again or her unique Emma sounds.

I began living out Philippians 4:7. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I gave every moment of the grief, pain, suffering and gut wrenching heartache back to God. I chose to live, to ask God what to do with the experience and the pain instead of focusing on why had it happened. God showed me to honor him, and Emma by helping others.Through that, contentment came.

That same contentment has evaded so many aspects of the rest of my life. I have prayed for the same peace I experienced after Emma died to spread to other areas of my life. What I have realized is that I've been getting it wrong. Instead of asking for peace I need to be practicing contentment by choosing to do the things which came so naturally after Emma passed away.

Choosing to give my troubled heart to God,choosing to pray specifically over certain areas of my life, choosing to find the good in all circumstances.

All circumstances?

That's going to take practice. Intently looking at each situation and finding something positive. Or at least not focusing on all the negative. Giving every fiber of worry to God -when we can't see the end in sight, when the burden seems so heavy we can't possibly continue on the same path. When we are at the end of our figurative ropes. In the middle of illness, financial burdens, whining and complaining, wild children...

Choosing to practice contentment. Today I choose to be content in the midst of sick children (focusing on the fact I am blessed to have them), dreary weather (at least I don't live "up North"), slow adoption process (it will happen eventually), financial burdens (spring is on the way and we have some awesome fundraisers planned), weight gain of 30lbs over the past year (ok tying hard on this one, ummm....). Obviously I need to keep practicing contentment.

Have a blessed day, and what ever circumstances you are walking in I hope you can find contentment.

No comments: