Do you believe we can be justified to be discontent?

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After reading this post from Tim Keller

We would never imagine that getting our heart’s deepest desires might be the worst thing that can ever happen to us.

and hearing my friend from Pa tell me she’s going to the pool that day,

My immediate response is pure, green, ugly,  jealousy.

But, as quick as the pouchy lip protruded, this thought struck me.

“Just because I’m a (married) transplant does NOT give me the ‘right’ to be discontent or jealous.”

I think sometimes because of our situations, we feel we have the right to ‘sin’ – if I can be so bold to call it sin. I feel kinda preachy calling it that. But for real, when do we have the justification to be discontent or selfish or envious? Is it ever ok to knowingly live jealously? Or enviously?

I don’t like the person I am in those moments where I stew for hours about how horrible Texas is and I don’t belong here. I wouldn’t want to be a friend to me ~ let alone married to a disgruntled, ‘pity me’ me. Yes, that’s how I go about sometimes. I am not the saint I try to fool myself and you into believing.

Those feelings of jealousy and homesickness are real though. What do I do with them? I don’t want to stuff them and walk around with a fake, cheesy smile plastered on my face (which sounds incredibly hard to do anyway) or live in poor-me-demanding-everyone-change-for-me Land either.

It is hard to miss out on things back home especially when the current away from home life is so V E R Y difficult from time to time and you can’t live another day being friendless or socially awkward because nobody understands what I’m saying or your In-laws are nice but just not like mom and if you want to drink coffee and get away you have to drop 25miles to get there.

Yes. Hard.

I want to be real. I want to live this life God has called me to. I want be fully alive wherever I am at – even if it’s someplace I’m not the most comfortable in at times. I want to impact people and be impacted by people around me. I want to live my life actually with those beside me because after I’m gone, as morbid as it may sound, the biggest impact I will have made is in the here and now. Not the years proceeding my death. I want to live in This today.

I changed my banner on my blog. You might have to read it 2 or 3 times to feel it’s impact. Our interruptions and what we encounter daily IS our life. It is MY life. It’s YOUR life. Whether we like it or not. Whether we are content or not. Jealous or not. Homesick or not. Expectations being met or not.

It’s our lives.

How do we live engaged in our life?

I don’t know yet. But, I intend to give it a shot. I hope to slow down. Look at people around me. Listen. Smile. And, not rush around and blabber the first thing that pops into my head. I want to learn to sit in the uncomfortable rooms with people and not rush off because these people are different and they don’t get me.

Also, I want to mourn. Mourn the loss of changed relationships with family and friends back home. I want to mourn the loss what I had. Embrace the ache. The sadness. The difficultness of not being close to parents and my siblings. To communicate with God my feelings but not camp there. Tenderly relate with a God who deeply cares about how I feel.
Is mourning an option to stuffing feelings? Does mourning mean I won’t just ‘get over it’? Do I need to just ‘get over it’? What does mourning look like? Is mourning pitying myself sorta? If not how is it different?
Like my quote from Tim Keller, if God answered my desire to live closer to family, might that be the worst thing that happens to me? I don’t know. Maybe it’s more important we are open with God about how we feel but let it remain open and not become demanding.

I don’t want a demanding heart.

 

So much to think about for one blog post. I welcome your thoughts, stories, experiences & revelations on the matter.

 

And, if til next time I suffer a huge round of homesickness may I read this 20 times ore!
Peace!

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14 thoughts on “Do you believe we can be justified to be discontent?

  1. Yea, as I’m considering moving to another state I’m having trouble figuring out if this is God’s calling or my own selfish will. When (if) I move I know I will get homesick. Will I suddenly feel God’s “calling” to go back to where I’m comfortable again? Thanks for your thoughts. Life is truly difficult to figure out sometimes but I agree with you (or C.S. Lewis, or both of you for that matter) that life consists of the everyday, not some grand and spectacular place in the distant future we always seem to be striving to get to.

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  2. Thanks for your comment, Josh. I can only imagine the 2nd (or is it moving into 1st) state of choice would be Alaska? 🙂
    If I’m right, man, that’s far. Farther than Texas.
    One thing my husband has repeated over and over is that if God’s calling you, believe it and then when the times get tough, because they will, you can lean back into the same God who called you away in the first place and look to him that has called you for strength. I like that idea but it goes without saying that it might be easier said then done.
    Moving away for me was at first a honeymoon experience then low points (I won’t go into detail about those) and after a while it sorta levels out and the new normal actually feels normal. So much so that when you go ‘home’ to Pa, you look forward to leaving and going ‘home’.
    Each experience is different to the individual, I’m sure.

    I wish you the best in relating to God through it. If anything, may it bring you closer to Him – your desire, right? 🙂

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  3. Thank you for posting!
    I live in my home community and still struggle with discontentment. It is far too easy to try to justifying that discontent and try to give it new names, rather than to smack it right on the head and call it sin. It seems so much worse if we call it what it really is!
    Thanks for the reminder to continue intentionally rooting it out.

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  4. Loved your thoughts. I don’t think longing = discontentment. I think we can allow our longings to take us to unhealthy places. Or we can allow them to take us to Christ, and in Him, we find contentment. Can’t wait to talk in person about such things.

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    1. This is good, Lucy! So good. I guess I was trying convey that idea in my thinking out loudness going on here. Or that’s my desire to take my difficulties to Christ and not unhealthy places,
      Yes, can’t wait to chat- IRL!

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  5. Oh I love this post and can relate. I wonder are you church planting in texas?
    A older women once told me this and I tell it to myself often. Contentment is realizing that God has provided everything for my current day happiness.
    And it’s so true. He has provided everything and then some.
    We moved to a community 9 years ago with one person we knew at the time.
    Oh and texas?!! Sounds like a fun adventure;)

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    1. I married a man who lives here hence the relocation 🙂
      Love the older lady quote. I should read that often.
      Your transition sounds difficult. You can surely relate to this post!
      Blessings on your journey and may God capture your heart today come what may!

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  6. Oh my goodness, Jolynn! This is so spot-on!! As a transplanted girl myself (because of marriage), I KNOW how hard it is to battle the poor-me thoughts, and how contentment really does come down to a CHOICE, not a feeling. I love your heart – and your humility to call sin sin. That was something that took me so long to be able to do, because I thought I was justified in my emotions! There are some hard realities with moving far away from what was home, and there have also been some priceless things I’ve gained by moving. I wish I would have read this years ago when I first moved here. It might have saved me years of struggle. 🙂

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  7. I think the Psalms is full of expressions of mourning and I think God wants us to do just that.. bring Him the heartache and discontent instead of stuffing it and letting it brew. If I brew I am more susceptible to find myself creating a major pity party for myself.

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    1. Thanks you, Tess. I wonder if our culture has lost sight of mourning with our strong emphasis on feel go and instant – when nothing in reality is instant and it’s impossible as human to always feel good. Life is hard and we go through difficulties. It’s ok to be sad and have heartaches but like you said to bring them to god and not brew them on – you are so right.

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  8. Wow! It’s so good to hear this from you… and makes me miss seeing you in PA even more! Because of all the re entry memories I have, I can easily relate… and I have remember that someone once said, God is more concerned about our holiness then our happiness. Seems like some of us have huge mountain ranges to cross to get there but ultimately, if we knew everything like God does, we’d choose the same story He’s chosen for us.

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    1. I like that – if we knew everything God like God does, we’d choose the same story he’s chosen for us.’ Good words!
      Yes, I will miss seeing you in Pa! Hopeful our oaths will cross someday soon….

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