seasons of discontent

Last year when I was talking about gracious living, it seemed like an absolute mentality. Either you were gracious, or you weren't. And even when your life hits a rough patch, you can still always choose to be gracious. Contented living is different. It's foolish to say that we all need to be content all the time. That's not how we're made. Living contentedly is a fluctuating endeavor, one that ebbs and flows just as surely as we breathe in and out.

We will all experience seasons of discontent in our lives, and that's okay. When they happen, we needn't feel the urge to rush through them. The six months leading up to my move to Oregon were intense: my grandmother had died, I'd graduated college, I'd worked a challenging internship, I moved states, I got married, and I had started a new job. Most of these things were actually good things, but all compounded together, they made for a monumental adjustment. Discontent was a natural part of my transition. I see now that I needed it, because if I thought I had to be happy all the time, then I could have seriously hindered my progression.

What are the seasons of discontent in your life? Maybe it was a new job, or leaving an old one. Perhaps you weathered discontent when you had a baby, or maybe when you lost one. You could have moved homes, or maybe you were stuck in a home you'd rather leave. Maybe your marriage went going through a rough patch, or you could have been yearning for companionship that you have yet to find. 

We can't hurry through discontented seasons, because in reality we need them. And sometimes periods in our lives can't be rushed, however much we'd like them to be. Take grieving, for example. When you've lost one you love--a brother, a son, a wife, a mother--the pain is all-consuming. To say that grief is discontented is to put it lightly. But you can't rush it. And just because you're discontent and grieving doesn't mean that something is wrong with you. It means you're human. You're beautifully human, and you live a beautiful life full of things both glorious and heartbreaking. None of us could ever be content if we didn't know how to work through the discontent.

Discontent can change us, and it can change us in good ways. When we find ourselves face to face with a discontented season, don't automatically reject it. Work with it, figure it out, and allow your heart and soul to grow. 

This post is part of a 31-day series on contented living. You can find the other posts here.


Kelly(M&M) said...

I love reading your blogs, but usually I don't comment because you are such an eloquent writer that I don't want to simplify anything you say. :-) I just want you to know that I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I had never really thought about the need for discontent. I am a happy person in general, and I think I tend to try to rush through tough times to get back to the "happy." I look forward to reading many more of your posts. I actually live in Portland as well. I think I found you through Jill's blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You are a very talented writer.

Sonia said...

So beautiful. You so have a way with words.

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