Lord, what’s wrong with me? What woman wouldn’t love to go to Charleston, SC for her birthday? I love spending time with my friends, shopping and eating Low Country cuisine. Why does my heart feel sad about leaving home for a few days?
I talked to God and myself as I walked down the airport corridor trying to find my gate. I’d be leaving in 45 minutes and landing in another 45 in Charleston. I hadn’t been able to get enough hugs from JJ and the boys when they dropped me off. Funny how every time they squeezed me, my stomach felt a little better.
It was Sunday afternoon and my friend Margaret was driving 5 hours to spend my birthday with me the next day and attend an event I was speaking at Monday night. We’d go out for dinner Sunday night and then stay up late reading magazines and talking about fashion and Starbucks and how we can get her husband to retire in Charlotte. Then I’d fly back Tuesday afternoon. Sounds like fun, huh?
My mind said “yes,” but my heart wanted to stay home with my family. Then I felt guilty for all the moms who’d read about my heartache on my blog, and secretly wanted to slap me because they would move mountains for this kind of get-away.
Finally I begged God to help me understand why I was feeling this way. Was I just wanting what I didn’t have, or not wanting what I did have? Please tell me you have these kind of conversations with yourself. If I were not going, I’d probably wish I were! Was I just being discontent?
Discontent…that is the word that unraveled God’s answer. For years I had prayed He would help me be content as a mom and a wife. When our kids were younger I had a hard time staying home. I wanted to be going and doing. I didn’t want to be home cleaning and cooking and being a mom who never got any appreciation. Home was a hard place for me to be, and it wasn’t just because life was monotonous.
When I was growing up, my home was not a haven. It was unpredictable and chaotic at times. My parents were divorced and my mom had to work a lot to make ends meet. When she got remarried, my step father wanted her to spend the weekends with him. It never really felt like family and rarely was everyone home together. So I spent most of my time as a teen working at the mall, hanging out at my friends houses or spending time at my boyfriend’s house, with his family. My heart learned to detach from home and find a place of belonging somewhere else.
I recognized the same pattern in my heart once I got married and we had kids. Even though I finally had a family, I didn’t know how to be a family. My natural instinct was to want to be off doing something with someone else.
Once I realized what was happening, I started asking God to change my desires and give me a love for being home. A satisfaction in the sweet smell of fresh laundry and sweaty boys, and dirty dogs and a flannel lovin’ Hokie husband.
This weekend while I was away, I realized my heart was sad because God had answered that prayer years ago and even more so that I had asked or imagined. He’s given me an abiding contentment in what I have at home. Instead of wanting to leave, it’s where my heart longs to be. But sometimes He asks me to give it up and go; to move away from what is now most comfortable; to find my heart’s comfort in Him…and to bring His comfort to others through my speaking ministry.
When I remembered what God has done, all my sadness went away. I was able to thank Him for making me the woman He wants me to be and open my heart to receive the blessings He had for me as part of my birthday and my speaking event. As I opened my heart with expectancy, it filled with joy and peace in being right where He wanted me to be that day. It was great and I am so glad I got to go! (I’ll post photos this weekend.)
I am learning that only Jesus can bring the contentment I long for. Only He can change the desires of my heart to match His. And more than anything, He wants my heart to be at home with HIM, wherever that may be.
If you are visiting my blog from P31 devotions, thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll come back often and ponder with me the everyday adventures of God’s grace where He helps us see beyond who we are – to who we can become – in Him.
Post a comment below and tell me, do you ever have this back and forth pull on your heart? Are there areas in your life that God has given you contentment you never had before? Or areas I can pray for you today, that He’d bring His peace? I’d love to hear about them.
To post a comment, just click on the word “comments” below.