My balance in the bank isn’t as high as it used to be. I weigh more than I used to weigh. My phone rings less often than it did years ago. My closest family members live the farthest away.
There! I said it!
I was so hesitant to put that information out there. What if people think I’m broke, fat, and lonely? What if people start “counting my money,” throwing a party in their minds celebrating my new-found hips, or pitying the distance between my family and me?
I decided to take the risk and help not only myself, but also help you!
When was the last time you were completely honest about what concerns you? When was the last time you answered the question of “How are you?” with something other than that one word shallow, hardly ever true response: “Fine”?
I want to challenge you to fess up. Open up. Be honest. Say how you really feel. Express your true heartfelt concerns, worries, fears, and doubts. Not necessarily on the world-wide web, but share them somewhere and with someone. Find a safe person and go deep!
Why? Because I believe that once you do, what happened to me will happen to you. I decided to be real, honest, and open about what was truly in my heart. Once I got over all the “what-ifs” and the “what will they think” stuff, I was able to deal with my concerns. I realized there was a comma at the end of my list—not a period.
What my full disclosure led to was contentment. Yes, I had less money than before. I also have two beautiful well-fed children, a home, and countless memories and mementos to itemize where those resources have been wisely spent. Yes, I weigh more than I used to, but my husband still blushes when he sees me, and my health is intact. I do wish my closest family members and childhood friends lived nearby. In the meantime, I have places to visit, reasons to mail Christmas cards, and a greater appreciation for the times when we all are able to get together.
The Apostle Paul said it best in Philippians 4:11-13.
“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.” (Philippians 4:12)
Paul admitted that things weren’t always “fine.” It is through his transparency and honesty that we come to appreciate the words that followed: “I can do all things through him who gives me strength.” Paul is saying that although his situations changed causing him to go from a place of plenty to a place of want, he never lost his strength. The strength he needed came from God—not stuff or people.
And so it is with us. Our ability to carry out God’s will is not supplied by our account balances, our body mass indices, our proximity to family and friends, nor any of the other concerns that flood our hearts and minds. But concerns do indeed flood our hearts and minds. They do affect us, bother us, nag at us. So, let’s stop faking and sugar-coating and hiding. Let’s follow Paul’s example of full-disclosure. Let’s allow God to use all of our true concerns to remind us that He is the source of our strength. Trust that He can help you read past that “comma” and find true contentment no matter your current situation.
We too can do all things through, not the stuff we lost, not the people we miss, not the unfavorable situations we face, but through Christ who strengthens us.