Hi guys! Today is our third #TransparencyTuesday. I have been loving this series so much and value everyone's feedback, comments, and input! Today's topic had been something that I have been struggling with back and forth for the last year specifically, but really over the last few years.
Contentment vs. Settling. The two can easily be mistaken for the other, but they are very different. In desire to always be content in my circumstances, not looking to the right or to the left to see what others have/are doing/succeeding in, in order to feel good about myself. I want to stay in my lane and do the things I believe God is calling me to do. I want to be joyful and satisfied regardless of finances, job accolades, or relationship status simply by living intentionally following the path I feel God is leading me down. This is contentment to me.
However, I do not want to settle. Settling can simply be not pursuing your goals or dreams because you are leaning on the crutch of perceived contentment.I believe thats the cruch of comfort, not contentment. We get one life to live. And I don't believe that we are meant to sit back in comfort and just be "content"... not asking for "too much" from God. I'm not referring to monetary or material items, I mean for purpose, direction, community, and for God to use us in relationships and our industries to make a difference. I have heard people say to me "you need to be content where you're at" when I've asked for advice on my career, how I'm to move forward with job opportunities, or even as Chay and I have debated business decisions. Some peoples go-to advice is to "BE content". I agree this is great advice if it's clear someone is lacking contentment, reaching constantly for the next best thing to make them happy. But, what about for those that genuinely feel content in life and with God but still have drive for certain goals and dreams? This is how I feel.
Here's the thing. YES, Contentment is vital. It's key to feeling happy. BUT, when you feel content and at peace in life about how everything is going, truly satisfied in God and your relationships but still have a yearning and a desire towards new ventures or goals, DON'T SETTLE. God is not small and shouldn't be put in your box of things you think are feasible in life. He is God. If you are listening intently and He is guiding your steps through faith, you can trust Him. You can have contentment and still dream for the future, and ask God to focus those dreams and efforts. This is not selfish or lacking contentment.
I struggled with whether or not I was simply lacking contentment or just settling over the last year and a half as I lived in Redondo Beach, where we had moved for a period to try out being closer to friends and family as well as Chay's work. I was not happy, I felt isolated, lonely, and bored and felt as if life was passing me by. It seems dramatic to say that, but for me, being around people who have similar passions, aspirations, and hopes for the future is essential to my feeling connected. I would get down on myself because I felt a yearning to move, but knew how good I had it where I was at. I knew I was so blessed but also felt like living here wasn't our path. I knew there was more but felt so guilty asking for it. Have you ever felt that way? These feelings of guilt and shame are not from God. I learned that I was not discontent, I felt like I was settling.
Once I realized I was restless because God was calling me out of where I was, things became so much easier. I could trust that if He had something for me, He would provide it. I chose not to settle but remained content with the outcome. When He provided the means for us to move despite all the odds against us, we KNEW we were affirmed in our thoughts and feelings.( If you dont yet know the story of how God arranged for us to move, check out this post.)
Are you content with where God has you, yet still yearn for more out of life? I believe this is choosing not to settle. Push on towards the things He has laid on your heart. It is not a coincidence that you have certain passions and traits. Play to your strengths and trust God in the process of how we will use them to create community, influence. and purpose in your life.
Or Are you feeling like you are settling? Does it feel overwhelming to take the steps that you know you have to take to have the life you believe God has for you? I encourage you to trust that God is so much bigger than you/ or I give Him credit for. I truly believe that we need to take steps in order for God to direct those steps and change our course. However, we need to move, we need to trust, and we need to seek Him first because at least for me, I feel lost when I don't.
There is a huge difference between settling and feeling content. I also want to encourage you to be honest with yourself and figure out if you are truly settling when you have convinced yourself you are content, almost wearing it as a badge of honor. Being" okay" with your circumstances is great but don't cheat yourself out of the wide open life that God has for you by believing that you are content when you are really just settling. I have been there and it sucks. That mind set only keeps you from pursuing the life you know you could lead if you got a little uncomfortable by deciding not to settle!
What do you think? I would love to know the experiences you have had and if you agree or disagree. I love your input!
See you in a couple days guys!