Have you ever felt like the choices you’ve made in the past weren’t the best choices?
Maybe you feel stuck in your single life, stuck in a not so happy marriage, stuck with a bunch of screaming children you prayed for or plain stuck in your 9-5 that you absolutely hate. Regardless of where you are in your life, I want you to know that I can sympathize with you.
I was once single and I never thought that God would ever bring my spouse; I was once at a job working as receptionist with a degree from Michigan State University and I felt purposeless. And, during that first year of my marriage, you better believe that I felt stuck in my marriage. I wanted OUT. I began to evaluate my portions in life and I realized that Heather was the common denominator. Me. I was in the center of my single life, my marriage and my discontentment with my purpose. Nothing my husband could do would satisfy me.
I wanted so bad to blame everyone and everything around me for my frustrations because I felt like external things were the forefront of my frustration. I cried out to God, “Lord, if you would just change my husband! If you would just give me a promotion, if I was just this or that, THEN I would be satisfied Lord! Then, the Holy Spirit arrested my heart and showed me that a wedding ring didn’t change my discontented heart.
The same discontent Heather from my single life stuck its ugly head into my marriage. You see, my issue wasn’t external, it was internal. There was a war going on in my spirit and this fight is a spiritual fight, not a physical one. As Christians, we must stop going to war with physical means when God has instructed us to fight spiritually! War in prayer! War in fasting! War in guarding your heart! War in renewing your mind!
When things get hard in our life, we have a pretty hard time shining the light on our hearts. So, we begin to look at our bank accounts, our not so present friends, our marital status and what we think we lack. We begin to fantasize what life would be like if we had this or that. We assume that the grass will be greener on the other side if we had _____.
The reality is that the grass is as green as our perspective. When we begin to seek the Lord and see things through the eyes of Christ we will understand that all things are working together for our good (Romans 8:28), that He leads our path (Proverbs 3:5), and that we can capture every crazy thought and make it submit to God’s word. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Philippians 4:13 tells us: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
So, I challenge you today – what is frustrating you? What do you think you need in order to be satisfied? Many times, God is trying to show us that what we really need is Him. Intimacy with Him so that we can remove the clutter and sit quietly before Him for instructions. The beautiful thing about spending time with the Holy Spirit is that He begins to show us ourselves and where WE are wrong. For me, I was always placing my worth and value in relationships and promotions. I felt important. And, it’s almost like the Lord had to remove my void-fillers to show me that those things will never satisfy me and that I must stop blaming everyone and everything for my portion in life.
Here are a few suggestions if you feel like you have a discontented heart.
1. Be intentional about your prayer life and reading your bible uninterrupted. Even if you have to wake up before your family, it’s important that you’re in tune with the Holy Spirit.
2. Guard your heart. Refuse to watch certain TV shows, read gossip magazines, entertain ungodly conversations, listen to secular music as all of these things can plant bad seeds in your heart that will harvest discontentment fruit.
3. Stir yourself up in the Lord. Refuse to host a pity party and stir yourself up with scripture.
4. Write down scriptures (long hand) and put them up around your house, office or a place where you will see them. Meditate on them daily!
5. Get a hobby! Find something that you love to do and get busy about serving in your local church/community! Getting your eyes off of yourself and helping someone else in need will put life in perspective!
Heather Lindsey is a speaker, author, first lady of The Gathering Oasis Church and founder of Pinky Promise – an non-profit organization that encourages women to honor God with their life and body. She is the author of several books including her most recent, The Runaway Bride. You can connect with Heather on her blog.