The bickering had momentarily stopped; our kids were actually playing nicely—for once. Hallelujah! I plop down on the swing and kick off. My sweet, exhausted friend looked from the happily shrieking kids to me and sighs, “I don’t know how you do this. I couldn’t stay home all day, alone. Don’t you ever get resentful of your husband pursuing his dreams?”
This feels like a trick question, even though I know it’s not. My dear friend is genuinely curious. And I’m well aware my life looks monotonous and overwhelming and exactly opposite of what the world tells us to strive for. So for a moment, I consider fibbing, but this is my closest friend. . .
“This might sound weird, but I think of this time as my season to pour into little souls. It isn’t my time to follow hard after my goals. Though, I do make time to write. I can’t not write. Don’t get me wrong, there are times I resent my husband. Especially, when he’s asleep, and I’m not. . .”
We laugh, and she assures me that I’m not weird. End of conversation, right? Except its days later, and I can’t get this conversation out of my head.
Resent or Embrace: The Choice Is Ours
I fully acknowledge many people have situations and “seasons of life” that are much, much harder than mine. Honestly, I quite enjoy my crazy life. I feel ridiculously blessed to have the privilege of nurturing little souls, but I still struggle with discontent.
But 3.5 years in, and I’ve decided that in this season I have a choice:
- Harbor bitterness, anger, and hurt, and envy my husband’s current season (or yours, for that matter).
- Embrace living counter-culturally. Lean on God’s strength. Look for the joy and blessings. Find ways to serve others.
Confession: I don’t always choose number 2. In good moments, when I haven’t had time to compare my life with yours, the latter comes much easier. Other times I have to fight for it.
Those moments are the. . .
- “I should be able to. . .”
- “Why not me?”
- “I wish. . .”
- “If only. . .”
. . . seep in.
But Paul tells us right there in Philippians—one verse before one of the most quoted—he knows the secret to contentment. And it has nothing to do with our circumstances.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. 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
If there was ever a man who had every right to complain about his season of life, it was Paul. Because of this, we can trust him, even more, when he tells us that it’s faith in Jesus that makes the difference, not our circumstances.
Which leads us to this beloved Bible verse:
I can do all this through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13
The choice is ours, friend. We can wish for a different life, or we can lean hard on our Savior. He offers us strength for this time. Will you surrender your wants for His power?
I encourage you to take some time to journal your thoughts and feelings on this. Ask God to reveal to you the areas you harbor resentment and envy in. Repent. And lean boldly on Him and His Word. You may see God clearer than ever before.
Keep loving well, friend!
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