Get this: The day after I wrote my post on “being on the road to contentment”, I gave myself a hearty slap in the face.
We all grow up wishing things, right? On the stars, on birthday candles, on whatever. (One time, I wrote a preadolescent wish on a slip of paper and placed it in a “wishing jar” my aunt gave me from Hallmark. The wish came true. But I won’t tell you what it is… yet. It’s pretty funny, because it came true. Insert suspense here.)
There’s nothing wrong with hoping and dreaming for your life, until you’re 25 and feel as if you still haven’t gotten anything you’ve wished for. I know.. it’s overdramatic and whiny. I have plenty of great things.. an awesome husband, we’re provided for, we’re employed, we are madly in love.
But lately I’ve been grumpy. My husband has noticed it on multiple occasions, and it’s really none of his fault. Really. It’s been my choice to be grumpy, which is just plain ridiculous. I wished for two whole years that if we could just be together, live under the same roof, then I’d be happy. Well guess what? Our happiness is not, cannot, be wrapped in circumstance. Because when it doesn’t go our way, we get grumpy. And when Elizabeth is grumpy, it’s a bad day to be inside her head.
This whole week has been pretty bleak, mindfully speaking. Blah.
I have a confession: I am a covetous person. I really have always been this way… unfortunately it’s a way of life here in America, always wanting the bigger, better, more grandiose things in life. If we could only have this, only have that. Only look like her, have a different body.
The truth is, to covet is to sin. It says so in the Ten Commandments. “Covet” is such an ugly word, and I hate to say that I do this. All. The. Time. I compare and judge myself against others, and most saddening, against myself. It’s a horrible game of tearing myself down.
Part of my problem has been running. I know, I know.. when I started running it was never supposed to turn into a sick game of beating myself up. It’s like a punishment, that I gladly take upon myself. Go faster, run longer, follow a strict training plan (even though there’s no race or weight goal). And when I don’t meet my self-imposed goals, I feel guilty.
I want to do my hair like that.. then I’ll feel more confident.
I want to have smaller body proportions.. then I can wear cuter clothes in smaller sizes. (My wish, [remember?], was that I wanted big boobs.. Lord help me, because genetically it shouldn’t really have been possible. Ha.)
I want to run faster so I can be better than… myself. (WHAT?! But this is what goes through my messed up brain!)
I want a job better than the one I have now, because then I’ll feel like I’m really doing something.
I wish I hadn’t missed that exit.. now I have to waste time and take the next one. I hate wasting time, and now I feel guilty for wasting a part of my day.
This is just a sneak peak at what goes through my mind for what seems like every second of every day. I apologize to my husband incessantly for saying or doing something that I think hurt him, when in reality, he told me that I’m really apologizing to myself. It’s so true. What a sick cycle!
It really makes me want to cry, because this is not a reflection at all of who I am in Christ! Where is the freedom, the joy, the grace?
I tell you what.. I am so glad that Jesus ate with sinners, that He chose to forgive those who were putting Him on that cross.. and that the fact that He lives now is what sustains me for eternity. I need grace, I need forgiveness, I need a Savior. Without those things, I am doing nothing but putting myself through a downward spiral…. and that, eventually, will send one to the grave.
I want to live a simple life of contentment and freedom. That’s really what I want. I don’t have to covet someone else or push them around to get it, either. It’s freely given to me through grace.
I want to stop striving all the time, and just start living. I want to eat ice cream, and not feel guilty. I want to run and just be thankful that I can run. I want to go to work and be content there.
Romans 8:1-2 says,
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation
for those who are in Christ Jesus,
because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit
who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”