About Me

My photo
I love Jesus. I love my family. I love photography. I love books. I love thinking. Probably in that order. I have a wonderful husband, five beautiful daughters, a house, and a camera. I enjoy spending time talking to my husband, playing with my girls, redecorating my house and shooting things with my camera. In my spare time, I sleep.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Disappointment & Discontent: "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."

I have been in kind of a funk this week.  I had been so busy the last couple weeks and when Monday came I was free and yet instead of embracing this brief interim I allowed it to stagnate.  And I hate that!

The funk was born out of disappointment.  My brother invited us to join his family on their vacation to Orlando in August. Russ was up for it and I got all excited at the prospect of a real vacation with my family to a place near a beach!  Then Monday I began doing the research and quickly came to the realization that even with my brother covering some of the expenses--a trip to Orlando significantly exceeded our budget and we would have to turn down his generous and fun offer.  It was a huge let down.  I have inside of me an insatiable desire to travel and to photograph things that cannot be found in western Nebraska.  But travel is a luxury that practicality hasn't allowed me to indulge in with the exception of my honeymoon.  

It was within that initial disappointment that I allowed negativity to get an upper hand and begin to grow other feelings in me.  I used my sister's recent engagement as a catalyst for self-pity.   While she & my mom were discussing wedding dates & dresses,  I was sitting at home just waiting for an email or phone call updating me on the plans. And when I didn't hear from anyone, I felt left-out and ignored.   In the midst of my brother's vacation plans & my sister's wedding plans...I allowed myself to wallow in unhealthy selfish feelings of discontent, loneliness, and self-pity.  I'm not proud of it...but it is what it is.  I said things like, "I wish I wasn't so practical."  "I hate doing the same stupid things over & over with no end." (like laundry & dishes)  "I feel gray.  Just blending in & boring."  "Nobody is interested in me right now...including myself."    I was mourning unfilled dreams & aspirations and  I was feeling left-out & unneeded while at the same time (paradoxically) feeling uninspired & used. 

The whole time I'm feeling this way I am frustrated with myself for such pathetic self-centered-ness on my part.  I know I am blessed.  I know am loved.  I know I have worth. I know that the present is not a good indication of what the future may be.  I know that if God closes a door...it is for good reason and that I can trust in His perfect timing & His perfect plan for my life.  My joy is not dependent on what I have or don't have; what someone else says or doesn't say.  But in those moments I choose to let those lying feelings dominate me and I push aside (and yet still acknowledge) those truths that I know.  I choose to focus on me and my disappointments and hurts instead of creating ways to edify those I love in their journeys.

I have discovered that disappointment has always served as an opening in my life for the enemy to get a foothold.  I acknowledge this here publicly now as a way to stop this pattern in the future.  Last night I started reading Max Lucado's book, "Traveling Light: Releasing the burdens you were never intended to bear--The Promise of Psalm 23"  I got through the first four chapters and chapter 4 definately spoke to where I am this week.  It addresses 'the burden of discontent" and he closed the chapters having us repeat to ourselves, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."

As much as I hate visible vulnerability in myself.  I am challenged to show you that side of myself.  I do cry.  I do hurt.  I am selfish.  I get disappointed.  I have pity parties.  I yell when I shouldn't.  I say things I don't really mean.  I am stupid sometimes.  I have the wrong answers and there are a lot of things I don't know.  But I am a child of the King and I am trying to be more others-focused without forgetting that I do matter and was created for a purpose.  I just let myself slip from remembering God's perfect provision sometimes and just need reminded occasionally that "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."

3 comments:

fullofgracex7 said...

Well said...my prayers will include you :)

Tiffany said...

I just loved your transparency here. You have such a beautiful heart. We all feel like that, but most of us are afraid to admit it. I love that you were not.

Anita Johnson said...

Gina, I have felt the same way as you have. My husband lost his job about 4 years ago and we are finally getting back on our feet. I too long to travel for the same reason..for photographs. I too, want more. And your last paragraph really hit home with me.Sometimes I look at my own blog and think about what a rosey picture of my life it portrays, but then I stop and think, YES, my life is blessed, maybe in different areas than I might want, but blessed indeed! Your post is excellent. I will read it more than once...praying for contentment in both of or lives!