I’ve been spending a lot of time in thought lately—probably too much time since I have a tendency to overthink everything. But sometimes all the time spent thinking can actually result in good ideas and conclusions instead of making me frustrated and obsessed. This morning I stumbled upon a relationship between trust and contentment. Actually, I think I’ve always known of this connection, but recently it was made all too clear.
If I’m honest, I don’t find it at all easy to trust God. Maybe I could blame it on the level of importance placed on independence in our modern culture, but it’s more than likely because of my own stubbornness—and ultimately because of fear. Probably too many of my blog posts have mentioned singleness, but it seems to be the central theme of my life currently. And my failure to give up control of my relationships vs. the lack thereof is definitely impacting my ability to trust God fully. Several months ago I decided to “take things into my own hands,” which was obviously not the best decision—especially when I knew God was calling me to trust Him. My reasoning was that if God wasn’t going to “do” anything, then I would just help the process along. I tried online dating and went on a few extremely awkward dates. If you know me, you know that meeting random strangers in new places is not comfortable for me at all. I know that dating sites work for many people, but they are definitely not for me.
My initial frustration at my failed attempt to “fix” my singleness quickly turned to anger. I kept asking God why everyone else seemed to have someone when I had been alone for so long. And of course I know I’m not really alone. I’m surrounded by really amazing friends and family. Maybe I have simply fallen into the trap of wanting what I don’t have instead of being thankful for what I do. And I think that is the most accurate description of discontentment. When I am not trusting God, I sink into feelings of discontent; but when I’m actively trying to trust Him more, I feel much more at peace.
Learning to trust God is a long, slow, and painful process for me. My longing for a romantic relationship has far too often been stronger than my longing for God. The best part is that He has always forgiven me for wandering away and welcomed me back. I feel sometimes that God must be tired of continually teaching me the same lessons only to have me make the same mistakes. But I think that’s what a Father does. Maybe I will never feel completely content on earth because earthly contentment will always be lacking, but I am consciously choosing to trust that God knows what is best for me.
This is not easy, but I know it is right.