In my opinion, contentment DOES NOT equal happiness.
There are so many cliché Christian phrases thrown around the church. One of my particular favorites, especially as one of the few single people left in my church, is “contentment in singleness.”
As I’ve been sharing the past few months, I have deep desires that God hasn’t provided yet and maybe never will. I desire to be a wife. I desire to be a mom. There is not one ounce of me that is happy being single.
Does that mean I am not content? I don’t think so.
For several years, I just stuffed my emotions and disappointment about singleness inside because I’ve been taught that I need to be happy in it – no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. And let me tell you, that got me nowhere fast. As I pushed my feelings of frustration, disappointment, and sadness down further and further, I felt more and more distanced from God.
These emotions and frustrations that I’ve felt haven’t been anything close to “happiness.” They’ve been incredibly painful and messy, but in the midst of the pain and the mess, I’ve grown closer to Jesus than I ever have before.
The piece of the contentment definition that I do agree with is the word satisfaction. I don’t believe it’s a satisfaction in your situation that allows you to be content, but a satisfaction that you find in Jesus that causes contentment.
It’s a confidence and trust that you grow to have in Him. That He is good, that He is faithful, and that He is always able to be trusted. That satisfaction in Jesus leads to true contentment.
I’m not sure what it is for you that you’re desiring right now that God has not yet provided. Maybe it’s to be a Mama, maybe it’s for your dream career, or maybe like me, it’s to be married. Whatever it is, remember that it’s okay to be sad and disappointed and frustrated that it has not happened yet.
I always say, “If me walking through this is going to encourage or help someone else, then it’s totally worth it.” I really do believe that is true; so learn from my mistakes and don’t shove those messy emotions down to put up a front of happiness and contentment. It will only cause it to spiral more and more out of control.
Instead, dig into the mess. This is so cheesy, but remember that Jesus has his shovel, and He’s right there digging with you.
If you fight to find contentment in Jesus, I promise you will find it. You still may not be happy, but you will have a confidence and a trust in your God that’s stronger than ever before.