if i were to use my handy dandy dictionary.com and search the word “content,” this is what i get: satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else. and no, i am not about to preach the pretty speech about minimalism or type out this long, demeaning message to you if you struggle with contentment. no, none of that. if we all are honest with ourselves, we all struggle with the very act of being content. we live in a world that wakes us up everyday with the idea that there will always be MORE to do, MORE to be, and if you even think you have succeeded in the slightest, you haven’t. DO MORE, right? we live in a society that deems our “slow” seasons simply irrelevant. that whole swipe right mentality; i think that is present in every aspect of today’s society. they think hardships are a silly waste of time and if you could just swipe right and rather deny than accept the painful times, everyone would be signing up and making a profile. yet, i disagree with that mentality. i mean, i will not deny the fact that slow, hard and painful seasons can be irritating and annoying, but i wouldn’t want to swipe right and make them leave. i don’t want to sit in that season and do nothing more than yearn for the finish line, yearn for something more than what is in that season. instead, i want to learn to be content in every season. to find contentment in pain. to find contentment in my humanity that i face everyday, because my confidence i have in the Lord’s promises speak louder than my fear in a dreadful season. as i may be working through this mentality still, i want to tell you guys a big piece of my testimony that i have gained this past semester that has not only made my heart grateful for slow seasons, but it has taught me the beauty of contentment.
i have mentioned it here and there, throughout a few blog posts in the past couple of months. i have referenced that “trial” i am going through in my life right now that is most literally one of the hardest i have ever faced. funny thing is, as i mention my past few blog posts, there truly have only been a few. since this season of hardship started, i have felt trapped in my own words. i have felt as if i couldn’t write about the goodness of the Lord or the beauty in living life to the fullest. i felt as if i couldn’t sit here and preach freedom when i was living in bondage of what season i have been in for the past couple months, so i just didn’t. i couldn’t find the right words to tell you all the truth, so i just didn’t. i kept it chill. in my opinion, i felt like i kept it surface level. that may explain why i have thirteen rough drafts of blog posts that i have written in the past WEEK, simply because i finally felt myself coming full circle with all that has been going on. i now feel as if my words make sense, my heart is coming from nothing but a genuine place because i am not trying to forcefully label some powerful philosophical meaning onto my season. better yet, God finally let me see my season from His eyes and i am so thankful for that.
i’m gonna shoot it to you all straight: on January 4th, 2018, around 5:08 am, i was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler. my sweet kendrick (thats the name of my beloved pathfinder i used to drive, lol) did not make it, but my friend and i did, by the goodness and sweetest protection of the Lord and nothing else. it all happened so fast. one minute we are calmly listening to music, planning to make our exit and the other second we were spinning multiple times, hitting the embankment of the freeway every. single. time. i don’t really remember anything from before or after we stopped spinning due to the head trauma my friend and i suffered from spinning and hitting our heads on the window and steering wheel over and over again. all i recall is the lack of control i felt between the second we started spinning and the second we stopped. i just wanted my friend to be okay, truly. i didn’t know what it was going to look like or if we were even going to stop spinning. those seconds were filled with the greatest fear i have ever felt, and the months after the car accident were filled the the greatest pain i have ever felt, physically and emotionally. the rollercoaster of emotions i fought against felt similar to the post break-up emotions you battle, ya know? kinda like the schedule your best friend makes you. so, you are allowed one week of sadness. you are allowed one week of anger, one week of pettiness, one week of THANK GOD THAT HAPPENED, and then you move on. short, sweet, and to the point. oh, if only this had been cookie cutter to that, i wished. i wanted to treat my physical injuries with a bandaid when they needed things like surgery and a cast. i wanted to treat my emotional injuries with some joyful quick fix that would numb out all the pain, forever. i would make myself a timeline. on THIS day i would go back to zyn22. on THIS day i would go have a quiet time at Starbucks and everything will be better. on THIS day, i will finally be able to drive alone in a car again and get that freedom i miss so badly, BACK. i would pray for the days where i would hang out with friends like a normal nineteen year old without my parents around. you know, normal things. after about a month or a little longer of this battle i tried to control myself, i finally got tired. i got realllll tired of placing expectations on my life that were so out of reach of my season. i got tired of running in circles and never seeing a finish line. so, i just stopped running. i sat, instead. i understood my new scheduled programming of life and i decided to put my best heart forward. i promised to try my best in physical therapy everyday, and soak up the relationships i had rather than finding anger in the friends that left. slowly and steadily, i gave the pencil i had been trying to use to write my life back to the Lord.
and now, i sit here on June 18, 2018 at 12:24 pm and confidently tell you i am thankful for my car accident. and now, i don’t type that through gritted teeth or slap the label #blessed on it to seem like i have my life together. the truth is, i do not have my life together and i am beyond content with that. i believe as humans, we will never find contentment when we place the trajectory of our lives in our own hands. humanity wasn’t made to bring peace and contentment, that’s God’s job. i have found my confidence and contentment by understanding that truth, and resting in it. i probably sound like one of the typical posters at the christian life way stores that read in big red letters, “YOUR WILL OVER MINE, LORD.” or i may sound like i am preaching Jeremiah 29:11 like a broken record, and that is not my intent. throughout my entire life i have had hard seasons and slow seasons much like this one, maybe give or take the heaviness within it, but you get my point. and i surely have been quick to place my feet in that whole, God’s got it!!!! mentality and moved on super quick. and ya, it worked, but this season was different. this season robbed me of so much, yet, God knew that and He was ready to replenish my heart as soon as i gave Him my cup back.
to just ramble on about the goodness and sweetness of the Lord SOME MORE, i’m gonna tell you all a little bit about what He did when i gave Him my cup back, when i gave Him the control i was trying to have back to Him. He gave me a friendship in my friend Nicoletta that would have never happened if it wasn’t for my car accident. Nicoletta was also going through a slow season and God gave us each other. He gave us each other to strengthen each other and point one another back to Him, ever. single. day. without fail, we daily reminded each other of the Lord’s precious plans for our lives, even though we were two humans trying to navigate a crazy life. through my hours of physical therapy and work physically, the Lord has slowly restored my strength and i have never been more faithful for a working body. He taught me to appreciate the things i am still allowed to do physically rather than bask in what is missing. in the same with relationships, i battled with missing out on the whole college girly vibe this past semester. my friends used to be three doors down, and now i am rooming with my parents, again. it felt weird and i would get SO FED UP with the fear of missing out, but PYSCH. once i took that fear off of my soldiers and left it at the feet of the Lord, He slowly revealed to me the beauty of community i was able to have just around the corner. heck yeah, i spent so much time with my friends that were current seniors in high school, and they filled me with so much joy. a relationship in my past came back and i got to see COMPLETE redemption and the power of grace i once thought was so lost. God has blessed me with the ability to be a freakin baylor bear next fall and I AM SO STOKED. He also graced me with the greatest roommate ever, and we would’ve never crossed paths if it weren’t for my car accident. kid you not. i would’ve never been at the oakmont starbucks one day in march on the baylor application page as she walked in, telling me she was transferring to baylor as well, searching for a roommate. THE LORD IS CRAZY GOOD, YALL.
now, i may have just listed a bunch of blessings. i probably sounded like the list you call out during sunday school when the teacher asks for “good things or prayer requests.” the greatest thing about all of those blessings i have seen in my life is that those aren’t even the best parts in all of it. better yet, i have seen an even greater change in my heart. that is my true treasure i get to take away from this season. heck, i don’t even know if it is over, but i don’t even care if it isn’t. why? because i am going to wake up and that contentment and confidence isn’t leaving. it isn’t fleeting, or even temporary. it will be present in my seasons of greatest joys and my seasons of great lose. i have realized that life isn’t one big competition, where we all compete to see who can go through life the quickest and easiest, with the least amount of falls. and maybe for you, that’s what your heart wishes life was like. but friends, LET’S REJOICE BECAUSE IT ISN’T!!! yeah sure, we may get a few scraps and bruises, but we get to bask in these intimate moments with the Lord as He picks us back up onto our feet. and it is as if as He picks us up and beautifully whispers truth into our hearts. our truths all look different, but He speaks to what He knows we need. that is the beautiful provision we are given without even asking for, all we have to do is embrace the fall. not because God is some sort of bully who rejoices in our failures and hurts; instead, He is the complete opposite. He is the father teaching His child to ride their bike for the first time, watching us fearfully grip the handle bars that are life while we scream to let go of the back of our seats, because we are sure we’ve got it. and He listens, not because He wants to see us hit the tree we don’t see hard, but because He isn’t going anywhere. He delights in the cry of His name after we fall. He will equally delight if we don’t hit the tree and fall down. but He still won’t be far from you, even when you’re succeeding. He delights in the nearness of His children and He will fight for our hearts no matter how hard our pride punches Him back.
so friends, let’s stop running. let’s stop trying to match up. let’s stop trying to set our expectations in the hands of ourselves. instead, let’s just be present. yes, let’s run our race of life towards Christ, but let us not get so defeated when we get that side stitch that causes us to breathe heavy. rather, let’s grab our sides and ask God to supply us with His breathe instead. and let’s work to let go of the anger in the slow seasons. let’s release the discontentment we live in. place your life in the GOSPEL truths that never cease. place your seasons at the feet of the Lord, and i promise He will take care of them. heck, you probably won’t even notice until months later when you finally realize you have been living life in such contentment, you haven’t had time to look back to see if you’ve met those silly expectations. i pray we all can wake up everyday and strive for that good good contentment and confidence that i have found in Jesus. it is going to be a daily battle. we are going to have to fight for it. we are going to have to wake up and dismiss our pride and radically place our lives in the hands of the Author of them. it sounds silly because of the fact we even fight for the control of our lives with the one who created it, but pride makes us do silly things, like let us think we can run our lives alone. let’s armor up. let’s dress ourselves in the Truth everyday, no matter how hard it may get somedays. let’s fight for the contentment we all yearn for, together! i have a feeling it’ll be worth it.