…I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.
Philippians 4:11 AMP
Yesterday I heard from a young woman, whom I love to pieces, and our conversation brought this verse to mind. The Lord gave me such a beautiful picture of what it is to learn contentment through her story, and I was better able to appreciate the work He’s done in my life, too. We meet God in our heartbreak, but it’s our surrender that carries us into the contentment of Christ Himself.
Dying into Contentment
I’ve known this young woman for years, and for the last four of them, she’s wanted to have a baby. She’s shared her heartbreak with me along the way as door after door closed on the dream of her heart. First it was having a child of her own, then it was adopting one, and finally even fostering children was another closed door, another heartbreak. She grieved and prayed and cried out and grappled with the seeming death of her heart’s desire each and every time. And I cried with her because I’m no stranger to this particular heartbreak.
This lovely woman called yesterday to tell me that she was pregnant, and I cried again, but this time for sheer joy. And the Lord began to show me the honest work she’d done to believe in Him all along the way. This woman stayed true to her heart. She mourned and grieved when He played the dirge, BUT…she also danced and sang when He played the flute. She didn’t stay in her heartbreak. She surrendered, and died to her dream, and let Jesus carry her into His contentment.
The Audacity of Contentment
She told me that on Mother’s Day a year ago, she was so devastated that she just holed up in her house and mourned the motherhood she so longed for and that seemed more and more to be beyond her reach. But Mother’s Day this year? She threw a huge party and invited all the mothers in her family and her neighborhood and celebrated. She cheered all the mothers she knew and she honored them.
Only the contentment of Christ born of surrender will rejoice in the graveyard of dreams. I don’t think that this precious woman has any idea of how beautiful a testimony of relationship with the Lord she has! It’s not a small thing to die to what you want more than anything, to surrender to the sovereign hand of God over it, and to set your heart upon Jesus, to love and follow Him though He allowed your heart to break. Most people never even do the first, let alone the rest. And so they miss experiencing the divine contentment that throws a party in what used to be a place of pain.
The fruit of surrender and embracing the Cross is the contentment of Christ, a quiet joy and genuine acceptance and gratitude for the life He’s given. It’s healing of hurts that pierce the very core of our being. We do not die to ourselves to stay dead. We die to ourselves that we experience Resurrection Life! Sometimes we are given new dreams and sometimes He gives back the heart’s cry that we surrendered to Him in the first place. Learning to be content requires living from the heart and that’s often painful. But the reward is the deep and abiding contentment that most people spend their whole lives looking for, and a steadily growing love that is eternal.
May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.
Romans 15:13 AMP
“Only the contentment of Christ born of surrender will rejoice in the graveyard of dreams” That speaks volumes to me. I love you, Jennifer
Thank you Jen. So, so beautifully exposed. Thank you for the testimony too!
What a beautiful picture you have painted for allowing our heart-breaks and crosses to bring us to the JOY of the LORD ………”and a steadily growing love that is eternal.” We all seek and strive for contentment and miss because I for one have not always abided in HIM, trusted, relied , relinquished, and as you so aptly say, “surrendered.” Thank you, and may the LORD bless you.