Have you ever imagined a time when you would be without something that you just don’t enjoy? It’s like when you’ve had a rough day at work and you find yourself dreaming of quitting and moving to a far away land or just doing nothing for a little while. Or if you hate where you live you dream of moving to the beach or mountains or wherever you feel is calling your name. Or if your living situation isn’t ideal, you fantasize about the mansion or the loft or the fixer-upper that you would love to reside in. Does any of this sound familiar?
I am guilty of doing this rather frequently. When I see things that I don’t particularly agree with or like or enjoy, my imagination will begin running absolutely wild. I’ll start out with solving a minor problem at work and then end up at creating my own national brand that will solve something that’s plaguing society. I’m rather skilled at imagining what my “perfect” future would look like, one without whatever person or position or thing was plaguing me at the time.
But what do you do when the thing you thought would solve all your problems doesn’t?
It’s easy to think that making a vocation or location change will help solve the problem of your unhappiness, and often it’ll help some for a time, but after a while things begin to seem eerily familiar. The same problems you had with that boss or coworker begin to come around again. The hurts and anger that your previous organization brought out in you begin to resurface. The loneliness and isolation you felt at your previous address still keeps you awake at night. The clutter and disjointed mess you had before still remains, even though you added some square footage. Has this happened to you before?
I’m coming to learn that in these seasons and situations of disappointment or anger or frustration or hurt there’s usually an underlying factor that’s fueling my feelings. While there might be something wrong that’s triggering my emotion, there’s always something within me that needs to be addressed.
An external change will never fix an internal problem.
Recently I’ve been contemplating a rather important change that will significantly affect my life. While this may solve some problems, I have been learning that there are some things that I need to work on within myself. Rather, there are parts of my life that I have to give to God and allow his love to transform me.
If you’re disappointed with some area of your life, I feel your pain. But I would encourage you to take a look deep within yourself and identify what’s going on in your heart and your mind. Are you consumed by negative thoughts? Do you get self-worth by pleasing or meeting the needs of others? Are your current feelings reminiscent of a previous hurt you’ve experienced? I encourage you to take a good look at what’s going on inside of you and then give those things over to God. Invite him into your disappointment, into your hurt and pain and ask him to heal you. I’m currently in the throes of this, and I’ll be the first to tell you that it’s not easy. But it is worth it.