Thursday, July 14, 2011

Learning To Be Content

Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  (Philippians 4:11-13, NASB)

Divorce changes a person's material circumstances.  When I was a child, my family lived a comfortable middle-class life, until my parents divorced.  Then life became a struggle financially for my mom, who was left to raise four kids on her own. 

During my first marriage, my then-husband was employed only seasonally, so I learned to live frugally and to spend the abundant season preparing for the lean season.  I can't say that I was always content with this situation, but I coped and learned much from it.

During my second marriage, I was blessed with a husband who earned a six-figure income.  He never allowed me to know our exact financial situation, though, but always told me we could afford whatever I asked about.  Then a few years before his affair, I discovered in a most embarrassing way that we had been living beyond our means, and I insisted on being a part of the finances from then on. 

When he left, the amount that I had to live on was cut by more than half, yet I still had the same house with the same mortgage and only one less mouth to feed.  As prices have gone up, the support has not kept pace, and I have to admit, I struggle at times to keep the bills all current. 

Yet despite this, I believe that I can truly say with the apostle Paul that I have learned to be content, no matter whether in want or in need.

However, learning to be content in my marital state has been more of a struggle.  I am still learning to be content to be alone with my kids 24/7, to be content when I long to be held and loved but there is nobody there, to be content when the burden of single parenting is almost crushing and I have nobody to help carry my load. 

I am making progress.  As I look down the road to school beginning in September, I am realizing that maybe God has kept me single so that I can focus on my education and pursue His calling with a single-minded devotion.  Even though it would be wonderful to have someone to come home to after classes, maybe God knows that I need one less distraction. 

At any rate, I am learning to be content in this single circumstance in which I now reside. 

2 comments:

e4384b92-a505-11e0-a706-000bcdca4d7a said...

Contentment is SO elusive at times....

Debi

e4384b92-a505-11e0-a706-000bcdca4d7a said...

Contentment is SO elusive at times....

Debi