The other day I read these words from my devotional and was quite challenged by them:
Many people view happiness as a future state, something to achieve later when a certain goal is reached. Have you ever reached that goal only to find the happiness short-lived?
Once you got what you thought you wanted, were you happy with it?
Have you ever reached a goal only to find yourself already looking for something else to give you a sense of fulfillment?
(Quiet Moments for a Woman's Heart)
This challenged me because it was already what had been weaving its way through my thoughts for a few weeks. Not just on a spiritual level. but in my everyday doings.
For example, on a small scale - coffee mugs.
I own 40, probably more (and let's not talk about my tea cups) yet there are never any more than 6 or 7 people in my home at any one time. So why do I need so many?
Well I don't, but I go through moods of liking bright colours and then moods of wanting pastels, then I'll move on to roses, before deciding spots are wonderful - and all this is expressed in little things like coffee cups.
My husband groans when he opens the mug drawer and it's full, when he opens the top cupboards and he's greeted by even more, when he looks into a box downstairs in the laundry and still more empty-of-coffee vessels peer up at him. And he asks me, "why so many?'
I buy a few new mugs and it makes me happy. I take them home, move a few older ones to another drawer or cupboard, and for the next 6 weeks I get a little giddy inside every time I pour coffee into my cup. Then the glow dissipates and I take longer each morning to choose a mug for my first breakfast beverage. It's not long before I see a new mug or two which stop me in my tracks and after some mental bargaining with myself they are purchased, packed, and brought home where they're very quickly washed, given centre stage in my mug drawer and I'm giddy with anticipation of using them. The cycle begins again.
Now, this is just a small example of a 'short-lived' satisfaction in my life, and I do have other areas that are quite a bit more complex that need to be dealt with, but hopefully you get the point?
If I hadn't had an "aha" moment this week you wouldn't have been privy to my coffee mug confession, however, the Lord has been gracious and lifted the veil to shine light on a particular area of my life and I don't think I'll be shopping for coffee mugs anymore.
When we find it difficult to be satisfied for any length of time with what we have - now that can be our hairstyle, furnishings, music, fabrics, clothing, friends, whatever YOU can think of that causes problems for you personally, things you keep changing or wanting to change - I believe it's often because we have some deep issues inside of us that haven't been settled, things that we're trying to cover with 'stuff', people or experiences which temporarily mask the sadness, pain, grief, hurt, shame, fear, insert your own word, that we have not been able to deal with in our lives.
God has shone a very clear light upon a few areas in my life which cross over in many ways, and seeing them with clarity now I feel free to throw away most of those coffee mugs as well as plenty more things in my home.
But most importantly I sense a weight lifted, one that has kept me blind to what truly brings contentment. As simple as this sounds, I am getting to know who I am and what matters to me. I'm discovering why I seek certain colours or styles at certain times and why I no longer need to follow avenues that do not reflect my true self.
Like Saul when the 'scales' fell from his eyes, the Lord is giving me sight to see me as I really am and not as I imagined I was. This new/old Jenny who is quietly emerging is familiar in that "don't I know you?" kind of way and it's kind of beautiful to meet her.
This experience is just one more step in God's plan to make me whole, a plan that will take my whole life, but I am patient because He has been, and still is, more than patient with me.
If you have struggled with dissatisfaction and think you have underlying issues at the core of this problem, pray about it, seek the Lord, and don't be afraid to seek good and Godly counsel about it too.
PS: After some comments and emails I should assure you I don't 'throw' things away, that was just my expression. Excess is always lovingly gifted to those in need. xx