My present examination reminded me of a big lesson that I learned about contentment a few years ago.
When I was younger (like, from birth through middle school) I had very straight hair. My mom was nice enough to have it cut in an outstanding bowl cut style that made me look like that little kid that was friends with Gary Coleman on Diff'rent Stokes who grew up to be Bobby Budnick on Salute Your Shorts. (I hope you followed that reference.)
Once I reached adolescence, I decided that I wanted to grow my hair long. But there was one problem: once I hit puberty, my hair changed. It became super wavy, then curly. I hated it! So, I did everything I could to get rid of the curl. Unfortunately, since I know absolutely nothing about hair care (other than shampoo is a thing and that I should use it), that meant I kept my hair short. This meant getting it cut short every four weeks and scheduling another cut before even leaving the barber's.
So in college, I grew my hair a little, cut it off, grew it a little, etc.
But the point of all this isn't my hairstyle. That's just how I learned the lesson. The real lesson is me accepting me and learning to not only be happy, but to embrace who I am.
I wish that I had a three step formula that I could give you that would help you to do the same. I don't. I suppose there's only two things that really help. One is time. I'm still learning how to do this. Some days a wave of comparison washes up and knocks me down from contentment. It's aided by jealousy and it's a nasty little bugger. But the other thing, the most important thing, is an understanding and embrace of God's love for me.
It's something that, if I'm honest, I still don't fully understand. But I understand more today than I did 14 years ago. And that understanding has caused a shift in me that draws me to think less of what others' opinions of me are and more of what God says about His love for me.
And that's a beautiful place to be.
I know I'm not the only one out there who struggles with contentment, comparison, jealousy, and pride. But, if I can offer you an encouraging word from my struggle it'd be this: Learn to shift your focus from you to God. In moments of struggle, take time to intentionally meditate on His truth. Spend time in His Word. It will change your heart!
|Embrace the curl.|
Question: What personal reminders do you have in place to help you when you lose focus on God?