If I could sum up my life for the past few months in one word, it would be this: striving.
Constant. Endless. Exhausting. Striving.
And even though I can daily feel it sucking the Life out of me, I can’t let it go. Because I keep telling myself, if I just try a little harder, if I just go after one more opportunity, if I just accomplish one more thing – then I will be content. Then I will be happy with everything.
Who else has wished: If just this one thing would work out, then things would be great. I wouldn’t even mind if ‘y’ didn’t work out, as long as ‘x’ did.
I’m pretty sure I’m leading that scoreboard because as much as I hate to admit it, I do this all the time. I become so fixated on one challenge that I see in my life that it consumes me. Suddenly, every aspect is somehow connected to this one problem. And since this one problem is present, then nothing else in my life is perfect because the part that is connected to the problem isn’t perfect.
Are you confused? You should be. Because how irrational is that?!
The funny thing is, a lot of times, ‘x’ works out. The thing I pleaded and obsessed over and bargained with God about- it works out. And guess what? It’s not ok that ‘y’ didn’t. I know God, I said it would be fine if ‘y’ didn’t work out as long as you just gave me ‘x’ but ya know, I kinda secretly hoped that you would just go ahead and give me ‘y’ too…
See, there’s always going to be just one more thing.
(And let’s not even get into the whole issue of “bargaining” with God- like anything we could “give” Him is a fair trade for His hand in our lives.)
I rationally know that there will never be a time in my life (this side of heaven) that every single thing will be perfect. That’s just an unfortunate fact about living in a fallen world. Yet I continue to strive for perfection. I am blatantly unwilling to soak in God’s peace and contentment in the midst of whatever season I’m in – fantastic, terrible, or otherwise – if it isn’t my version of perfect.
This is a tough post for me to write. Even as I am typing these words in my room on a Friday night, I am struggling. I want to be free from the chains of striving. I want to fully trust that the God who put these dreams in my heart will be faithful to fulfill them. But I’m stuck right now. I’m stuck in this waiting period. I’m stuck in this feeling useless state. I’m stuck in this how the heck is this ever going to work out? moment.
And that’s hard. And admitting this makes me vulnerable. Especially when it seems like everyone around me is succeeding- their careers are taking off, they’re meeting the man of their dreams, they’re conquering the world. And I’m in my bedroom on a Friday night.. haha
But I have a feeling I’m not the only one. And even if I am, do I not trust that God has a plan for this period?
I have to. Even if I don’t fully believe this at the moment, I have to keep telling myself that I trust Him because the more that I choose for trust to be my perspective, the less that fear can be. And at the end of the day, fear is fueling my striving. Fear that my life will fall short of expectations. Fear that I will never feel fulfilled.
The truth is, for as long as I strive for my career and relationships to conquer that fear, I will never defeat it. Only Joy in the Lord can provide the fulfillment I long for daily.
Easier said than done. But if I’m going to strive, better it be toward Him, right?