Contentment: Seven Months Later

At the end of every year, I pray and ask God to show me what He wants me to learn for the coming year. Last December, I felt like God wanted to teach me about contentment and being satisfied with what He has given me. I wrote about the word I chose—content—in a post on Christmas Eve last year, and I said this:

I’ve often struggled with contentment, with being satisfied with the life the Lord has given me. I find myself dismissing the blessings that are already in my life and holding out my hands asking for more. More money, more clothes, nicer possessions … material things that don’t matter. But I also find myself discontent because I don’t feel like God’s answering my prayers for what I desire the most: a family.

When I wrote that blog post on December 24, 2016, I had no idea that we would be starting the adoption process just seven weeks later. I had absolutely no clue that Stephen and I would be entering into a difficult, challenging season of life.

But God did. 

Just a few weeks after I wrote that post, God started working in my life and heart. I had been praying about adoption for a couple of months, but still didn’t feel peace. But in January, God said “adoption,” and Stephen and I said, “Well, OK.” Seven weeks after I hit “publish” on that post, we attended an information meeting and filled out the first adoption application.

And now, here we are—almost seven months later. I’ll be honest, I’ve struggled with contentment this year. I’m not a patient person. I don’t like waiting. And the adoption process? It involves a whole lot of waiting. It’s easy to feel forgotten, too: There’s no growing baby bump, no due date circled on the calendar, and no physical reminder that there is a baby, at some point, on the way. Contentment with this path the Lord has placed me on? Though I’m confident that this is the correct path, it’s a daily challenge as I learn to wait on the Lord and trust in His plan.

I’m choosing to take it one day at a time, asking God each and every day, “Help me be satisfied in You alone today.” The Lord is growing me, drawing me closer to Him, every day. I want to be able to confidently say, “God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Ps. 73:26). And one day, when I’m rocking a baby in the nursery that currently sits empty, I’ll praise the Lord for the gracious, beautiful gift He’s given me, while remembering that He alone is the only One who can satisfy my soul.

In December’s post, I quoted Seasons of Waiting by Betsy Childs Howard. I’ll end here with another passage from her book:

You see, once you start walking in daily dependence on God, you have to keep walking in it. God’s desire is to be in fellowship with us, and one way he draws us into that fellowship is by meeting our needs one day at a time. He doesn’t just give us what we need; he wants to give us himself. He gives us himself through his Word. The trials of our life that make us crave the life-giving sustenance of the daily nourishment of Scripture are like the hunger pains that drive us to the daily food our bodies need to survive.

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