This word content is a real demon for me. It’s a word I’ve wrestled with for many years, especially when I was in college and I was three classes away from graduation. I wanted to up and change the entire focus of my degree. Luckily I have a very wise father and he was able to knock some sense into me, so instead of a seven-year college plan I just stayed the course and went for the four-year plan (sigh of relief).
To be honest I’m not sure where this root of discontentment really came from. I could easily claim that this stems from being a Millennial. Man, I’ll tell you what Millennials get a terrible reputation but I agree that there’s a reason for it. Forbes claims that 60% of Millennials are leaving their companies in less than three years and research and studies claim that one of the roots for this is discontentment. So, yes part of it is my society and generation but I think for me it has been many experiences that have led me to feel insecure about who I truly am and where my Identity lies.
If you’re not aware, I’ve been a teacher for four years now. I grew up wanting to be a teacher. I absolutely loved it. I remember so many times when my cousin Emily and I would play school and both pretend to set up our classrooms. Her mom (my aunt) worked at a school at the time and she would bring us home old grade books and curriculum material. It was like Christmas! It’s funny because we both ended up becoming real-life teachers. I experienced so much joy through this. When I decided to attend college, I felt God calling me to this profession. I didn’t exactly know why but I knew I needed to pursue it.
After I got into teaching and finally experienced my first classroom, I went through a lot big life changes. I was thankful for where I was at and the first principal who took a chance on me, but quickly learned that the principal who had hired me was moving to another school a week later. Over my first year, teaching started to feel so fragile. For the first time in my life, I slipped into a deep depression and a whirlwind of anxiety attacks. This all stemmed from the big life changes I’m sure. It never occurred to me that God would take me through something this deep. Over the next several years things seemed to get better but other areas of life seemed to get worse.
I think what I’m learning is that there’s discontentment in my heart. When something isn’t going how I want it or how I dreamed it would go that’s where it stems. God is pulling my heartstrings in ways that I can’t grasp. I’m finding that when I’m discontent it feels career-related or not being adequate enough. But what’s going to bring me that feeling of being contentment? I have to believe and have faith that God is telling me that I’m not content in his soverignty and that he has me where I’m at now for a reason. I’ve asked God this entire year to make me uncomfortable. It has really grown my faith but at many times made me question it as well. I hate being uncomfortable. I want to live comfortably with contentment. Don’t we all?
I’ve been encouraged so much by those around me. I want to leave with doing the same. If you’re feeling like this in anyway, I just want to challenge you to ask yourself why you’re feeling this way? If you believe in God really bring this to him in prayer. Ask Him to reveal in your heart why you’re having the thoughts of discontentment. I promise you He’ll answer. It may not be right away but when it is time it’ll be beautiful. I know I’ve had many beautiful glimpses of His answers. If you don’t believe in God then my encouragement would be to ask your closest friends or family your questions and see what their advice is. I know that’s helped me a lot. If none of this is clicking with you then reflect on the words of Sir Thomas Edison.
Restlessness is discontent — and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man — and I will show you a failure.