The pathway towards contentment is not walked alone. We NEED Community and here at ‘One Grateful Me’ we’ve created just that- a community of women learning how to be content one day at a time. I’m often encouraged by the testimonies of others walking this path with me. Each month I’ve invited one woman to share her perspective on this journey.
I’m excited to introduce my dear friend and Author, Nicole D. Miller as the first guest writer on my blog! Let her know what you think 🙂 – Mia
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”(Phil 4:6-7)
I sat on the floor of my bedroom and read this verse over and over again…Finally it made sense. Finally I understood this peace Paul was referring to. I had been battling anxiety and fear of my future for months. I was so stressed about the changes happening in my career that I even lost my hair! I had a very close relationship with the Lord but I really struggled with trusting Him with the details of my life. Have you ever been there? Have you ever struggled with not having control over your future?
Back then as a 20-something young woman I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit and I followed Him on a path of surrender and obedience in my career. It was not the path my college peers were walking, or that society promoted and that was even more difficult for me because my understanding of success was based on what I had been taught by society. But when you are a disciple of Christ you learn success is not defined by worldly means. The path you walk is not about self promotion; it is lowly, full of faith and dying to self. It is the path of Christ.
I knew God as Savior back then and even as the Lover of my soul but I did not know Him as Lord. I was learning to know Him as Lord. I was learning to worship through the storm. I was facing opposition with my next work assignment from my previous employer. I knew God had promised me this job but my old employer would not release me from the non compete agreement I had signed. As a result I was not able to move forward in my career and I was at a standstill.
“Do not be anxious about anything…” I read that passage of scripture and it came alive. Over a 2 month period I changed my focus. Instead of thinking about the unknown of my future I focused on the known of my present. I did not have a job at the time but I had opportunities to serve others in my church and in a dance ministry. I filled my days with working out, spending time with friends and family, growing in the Word, and ministering to others. I started “being present” and that was the key to being free from anxiety. That was the key to contentment.
Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
When I started being present and focusing on the good parts of my life, I felt like I was flying. No longer was I bogged down by the heaviness of my situation, instead I was high above seated in heavenly places with Christ. I was soaring above my challenges like an eagle. This was a supernatural work the Holy Spirit had to do in my heart. I could not rid myself of anxiety or discontentment, He had to teach me contentment. He had to teach me how to fly.
My lessons in contentment are far from over. There are always new levels of glory we are called to when we walk with Christ, but at least when we have experienced victory at one level, we can look back and remember that what God did then, He can surely do again. Even when the circumstances are vastly different.
One thing I have learned in this journey towards contentment is that I have a part to play. Contentment, joy and peace result from choices that are made in our lives. It is easy to default to a negative perspective and to give in to fear and doubt, but when we choose to agree with the Word of God no matter what it looks like in the natural, well, I believe that is when we move the heart of God. When we choose to believe in what we do not see over what we do see, we are cultivating a character that can withstand even the darkest of storms.
- Nicole D. Miller, MBA is a Speaker and Author of ‘How to Overcome Heartbreak : Recovering from Misguided Love’. Connect with her today!