Doesn't that feeling stink? Yano... That feeling of envy? I find myself scrolling innocently on Instagram some days, and then all of a sudden, I see my skin turn green and my heart start to beat uncontrollably... and if I'm being honest, a few tears trickle down my cheek.
With access to see anything and everything you could possibly want in this life right at your fingertips, most of us experience the awful feeling of want. We are consistently exposed to the things that we don't have. It's a haunting reminder that we are not where we'd like to be just yet. On top of that reminder, you and I are probably new to this whole "adulting" thing, so it's not a great mix. I don’t know about you, but when I was little and I pictured this time in my life, it looked a lot different.
So what do you do when you find yourself feeling complete and utter dissatisfaction with the life you are living?
Step Back & Assess
I've brought these frustrations to God while journaling and one thing I always feel lead to do is to make some lists. On one page, I make a list of the things I have in my life. On another page, I make a list of the things I don't have in my life. This may seem counterproductive initially, but I have found that when I get all my feelings out before God, they start to make sense. I trust that God will always heal what I bring into the light.
When I was younger, I had a dream to be famous for my musical abilities. I wanted to live in Beverly Hills and I wanted to have a luxurious life. I wanted to go to a prestigious college and get a big fancy degree and show my dad that I beat all of the odds without him by my side. And though those dreams have been long gone since I met Jesus, sometimes Satan whispers lies into my soul. While I know it is all worthless in the end, sometimes I wonder what it would all be like if I was dealt different cards. Especially when I have a full time job which requires me to be constantly on social media.
I live in an apartment in Boston now. My life is awesome, but it's pretty consistent and steady for the most part. And while both of those words have positive connotations, I think sometimes I mistake them for the word "boring". I see people in the digital world with ever changing, drama filled lives, and while I know it would never truly satisfy, sometimes I'm enticed by what that rush must feel like.
I used to always post photos online of my body in bikinis, or in really short dresses, and I'd get more 'likes' and comments than I would on any of my other posts I put out there now... and sometimes, in the midst of the mundaneness in my life, I'll crave that attention again- but I won't go back. I know I won't. But I hate feeling that way.
So it all circles back to bringing it in front of the Lord and getting honest with myself and Him. I need a heart check. Maybe you need a heart check, too.
I look back at the two lists in my journal and I mark them. I assess them. I find ones that are superficial, and I pray that God rids me of myself and my selfish desires. I pick up the phone, I text my mentor and I ask her to remind me of the promises of God, even when I really don't want to hear them. I recall my testimony and realize that even though I don't have the riches of the world, that I have come a long way and I am satisfied and known by the King of Kinds, and that is always enough.
What's Your Plan?
When I get antsy about not being where I want to be with my blog and business, I always look to my husband. He's a 3 on the enneagram and the logical part of my brain. I always call him "the string to my balloon". He usually sits with me, asks me exactly what it is I'd like to accomplish, and then he breaks it into bigger goals for me each week, then smaller goals for me each day.
I don't know about you, but when it feels like I have a million things to accomplish, I don't know where to start, so I just hide and do nothing. It's the same way when my house is super messy. I'm not a person who makes the strategic plans, but I am a person that can follow them really well. So even when my house is a mess, I'll give my mother-in-law a call and I ask her where I should start, and she gives a solid way to get my house back into a livable condition again.
When I know where I want to end up, but I don't know how to get there, in regards to my career, Ron and I just sit for an hour or so and come up with a practical guideline on how I can make it happen. But, ya'll... I'm really bad at small tasks. I hate doing things that feel insignificant in the moment, even if it is all going to contribute to the bigger picture one day. It's hard for me to work behind the scenes because it doesn't feel meaningful if others aren't seeing it. Yeah - I'm being brutally real here.
But I know all of this small work in the every day, will pay off in a big way later down the line. So I drink another sip of my coffee, and I write one more blog post, and I pitch one more client- and I know that I'll look back on these days and smile because I was doing just what I needed to be doing in this particular season.
Acknowledge That You Aren't Done Growing
I forget that I'm only 23 sometimes. I forget that God has never let me go thirsty in a time of drought. I forget that in the wilderness is where He teaches me things and makes me grow. God is not done blessing me. He is not done making me into the woman that He wants me to be for His Kingdom. He isn't finished with you either.
My flesh is so weak, and many times my brain wanders and I am too lazy to bring my thoughts into submission of Christ- but it's here where His grace consumes me and reminds me that He is still molding me. Where I am now is exactly where He wants me to be. He hasn't failed me yet, and He won't start now.
Let Go And Let God
“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory Christ Jesus,” Phillipians 4:19.
If God isn’t bringing something into fruition in your life, maybe it isn’t what you need. Be content with what you have. And if you aren't content with what you have, beat your soul into submission and preach to yourself in the mirror. Your brain and your heart may feel so far from in sync, but the Holy Spirit can change that when you actively seek Him out.
Though it's hard to admit, sometimes we want a life that isn't and will never be right for us. We see the bright and shiny side of something and not the dark underbelly that comes with it. Sometimes you just have to trust, even though you can't fully see all parts of something. That's me with the music industry. I walked away because I knew God was calling me to.
Maybe, just maybe, God has given us this not-so-easy life so we can appreciate and cherish the little blessings that eventually come with it. I didn't have the best childhood growing up- and with that, I do appreciate being able to take long hot showers, turn on the heat in my house without worrying, cook homemade meals, and create traditions with my husband. I'll never take any of it for granted, and it makes me sick that the enemy can make it seem so dull sometimes- when it's anything but dull.
We will always have spurts of wanting stuff. We all do. But they are not needs- they are temporary earthly things that we crave for a short period of time. Those things are not the well that runs deep and provides true living water. They are broken cisterns that can't even hold water. And how lucky are we that we get the real thing- forever.