Here’s the story of Jacqueline,a young girl in my fellowship.
“Life had not turned out the way I had hoped and planned. And I wasn’t happy about it.
In fact, I was discontent with everything. It’s not that I wanted “more,” I just wanted “different.” I found myself feeling stuck in a life I didn’t love and powerless to change it.”
Here’s the reality,
When life is hard, heartbreaking or even just disappointing, it’s easy to start disliking life altogether. Especially when we feel as if life should be one way, but instead it’s another way entirely, and it may not be self-inflicted. When this happens, we can easily develop a fixed negative mindset — not only about life, but possibly about God — both of which open the door for discontentment.
Here are ways to get unstuck
Recognize the perception of being stuck
We can feel stuck when a difficult situation pervades our lives and we don’t like it one bit, yet we are already stuck. We can feel stuck when it seems we’ve done everything possible to bring about change of some sort — yet nothing seems to ever change. Or when we’re constantly trying to manipulate things to go our way. Struggle to control things that we know its pretty out of our control or change people whom we have no power to change.
When our lives are filled with obligations- We “have to” meet, or responsibilities we know we “should” or “must” do, we can feel as if there is no way out and be unhappy about the perception of being stuck.
Don’t lose sight of the good things
During these times, it’s easy to lose sight of all of the good things in our lives. Through faith alone, I’ve finally come to realize that even if it seems justified, I don’t have to let discontentment poison my heart and mind. I don’t have to let the things that are not perfect cause me to take life itself for granted. And I certainly don’t have to let unhappiness with some things blind me to all the wonderful things in my life God has given me that bring me true joy.
Considering the apostle’s difficult life, this is a pretty amazing attitude. He wrote these specific words while sitting in a prison cell. He’d been arrested on false charges by corrupt officials and faced the possibility of execution, yet he wrote that he’d learned to be content with whatever he had. Which at the moment was literally nothing, not even his freedom. How could he feel that way after all he’d been through … and while he was in prison?
Have a heart right with God
Regardless of Paul’s circumstances and despite having endured much persecution and loss, Paul could live with peace and contentment because his heart was right with God. He knew his unwavering faith was the foundation for lasting contentment.
Life is not always exciting. It’s not always easy. It’s not always fair. It’s not always overflowing with opportunity and adventure. Consequently, we’re all going to feel a sense of unhappiness or discontentment from time to time. But we don’t have to stay stuck there.