It is so tempting to go on social media and see that you are falling behind.
Look at everybody else having kids, buying houses, getting engaged, getting married, putting their kids through pre-school.
When will it be your turn?
For a long time, I had fallen into the trap that if I just get to the next level, then I could finally start living. All I need to do is graduate college. All I need to do is move out from my parents’ house. All I need to do is get a boyfriend. All I need to do is get engaged. All I need to do is get married. If I have all my ducks in a row, then I’ll be happy.
But after attaining all of these things, I’m still not content. Well, I’m at least not content in these things.
My husband and I have a lot to be thankful for this time of year. We survived our first year of marriage happier than ever. We are now debt free after paying off my husband’s 6-year finance loan in one year, and after paying back my sister a couple of dollars we owed her from my mom’s bridal shower. My husband and I are thriving in our hearts and in our marriage and in our careers. But according to the world, we haven’t reached the next level.
Can you believe that people are asking us when we are having kids?
Can you believe that people are asking us when we will buy a house?
Can you believe that people are asking us when we’re going to get a real job?
We have learned to be discontent in this ever-changing world. We have learned that if we follow the way of the world, we will never be happy. So we’ve chosen to follow the way of Christ, the way that God has called us to live.
You see, God is the giver of life and the redeemer of time. God is the one who calls us to live a life, and He is the one who plans our live for us. He did not allot this time for us to prepare for life. No, in this very moment, we are living.
My husband and I have learned several things to help us be content in God:
- Be thankful. We just finished Thanksgiving. What are you thankful for? As we mentioned before, we paid off a 6-year car loan in 1 year. We are happy in our marriage. We have peace from God about the decisions we have made. And we don’t need anything else.If you are feeling discontent, write down a list of things that God has blessed you with. Whether you’re married and you have a house full of kids and a noisy dog, or you’re single living in your parents’ house with a retail job, you have a lot to be thankful for.
- Take a break from social media. When I see smiling faces staring back at me on Facebook and Instagram, sometimes I get a little jealous. Why don’t I get to go on that exotic vacation? Why don’t I have my book published yet? Why don’t I get to meet those cool people? Why don’t we have a house yet? The best remedy to these “If only’s” is to turn off my computer and live. I might not have my dream life, but I have the story that God has written for me. At the end of the day, His story is always better than the one I would have written for myself and for my family. Sometimes, you need to celebrate with your friends from a distance. When your friend is pregnant and you’re just not at that stage of life yet, take a break from Facebook and don’t fall prey to all the pregnancy announcements, gender reveal parties, and baby shower pictures. Learn to love your own life, while also appreciating the work that God is doing in their lives.
- Plan. Sometimes it helps to make your dreams real when you sit down and plan. We are nowhere near ready to buy a house, but when we sit down and think about how we want to decorate our house and what kinds of parties we want to have in our home, it makes our dreams more attainable. It makes our fantasies realities. Obviously, you don’t want to plan everything before the time is right. You don’t know where God is going to lead you to live or how He’s going to lead you to raise your kids. But you can talk about what is best for you and your family, and that can give you hope that it will happen someday. If you’re also in a place in life where you want kids or a house or a career, and are potentially able to have those things, create goals with how to get there. Make a budget toward saving for a down payment on a house. Send out your resume to companies that do what you want to do. The best way to plan is to pray. Pray for God to show you what to do and how to get ready.
Do not give into the lie that you are not living now. If you are breathing, you are living. This time is not preparation; this is it. No matter if you’re working an entry-level job or you’re the CEO of your dream company, you are living. No matter if you’re single or if you’re married with five kids, you are living. No matter if your place of residence is your parents’ basement or a mansion, you are living. Stop waiting for the next level and be thankful for this level.