Could this be . . . Contentment?

A New Strange Feeling

I don’t think anyone who knows me well would use the word ‘content’ to describe me.  I was the college student who joined ev-er-y club because I liked to be busy.  I was the runner who decided to get back in shape by doing a couch-to-marathon.  Tim and I were the couple who built their own home. . . literally designed, wired, sided, painted, trimmed the whole thing.

 A year ago in May when our family went to see our church’s production of Into the Woods, I had this strange . . . new feeling.  I wasn’t sure what to call it but I think it was contentment.  You see, a decade before I had been the Baker’s Wife in another production of Into the Woods, and, oh my gosh, this is one of my favorite musicals.  I had thought about auditioning for our church’s production but the season, for many good reasons, just wasn’t right.  I wondered if, honestly, as I watched my friends dance and sing if I’d be jealous and long to be on stage with them.

That could have happened; it has happened many times before in a variety of scenarios.

But a different emotional response was pulled from me; a seldom recognized emotion which I’m pretty sure was . . . contentment.  I was happy for my role in the audience, holding our son, clapping and laughing and going to multiple performances, inviting other friends to join us.  I wanted the woman playing the Baker’s Wife to shine and be amazing.  I was grateful for how each of those performers show up.

In Scripture, there is the call to trust in the Lord and to trust God's timing for all the seasons of life.  As Psalm 46:10 says, "Be still and know that I am God."  Jesus took time away to pray.  There are seasons in our live's when God calls us to remember, "Not now.  The time isn't right.  You don't need to force things."

A year later, and now our daughter and I are both in our church's musical.  What a blessing from God to be singing and dancing together!  

Could it be when we start practicing self-compassion, we give ourselves and others, the gift of contentment?  I am enough.  This is enough.  Right now.

*  The "In this Real Life" series are personal reflections on God's good work and the impact of practicing skills Brené Brown and other thought leaders in real time.