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Learning to Love the Now

Sometimes, I feel so hopelessly unsatisfied.

I get myself wrapped up in this crazy notion that perhaps somewhere in the past I was once happier.

It's a dismal way of thinking, and I don't think I'm the only one who falls for this trap of discontentment. We remember those perfect fall evenings when life was filled with college friends and laughter, but forget about those parts when life was crammed with stress and homework. Glossing over the hard memories, and only romanticizing the good times can easily lead to dissatisfaction.

I came across a notecard tucked away in a forgotten notebook on my book shelf the other day, and it instantly transported me back to a moment I didn't quite forget, but one I tried not to think about too much.

What an exhausting moment that was. One where I was overwhelmed with frustration. I remember grabbing an index card and listing all my fears, hopes, desires, and disappointments with God. It was the most honest conversation I ever had with Him, and there it was all laid out on that green index card.

That card was filled with so many things. Hopes of a career that wasn't in retail, complaints that I still owned a flip phone, and many, many questions. There were other things, more emotional things that were written on that card, but those don't need written out again. They can stay on that piece of paper.

Re-reading that list so many years later was surprisingly comforting. So many of those things came to fruition, so many of those things don't matter anymore, and so many of those things are still real concerns.

Life was not perfect then. It was not a string of unrealistic, romanticized moments of pure happiness. It was like the "now", filled with joys and sadness, and confusion and hope, except I'm older and not quite the same person as I was.

That green, bent up notecard has shown me how God has slowly been transforming me.

Actually, God is still transforming me.

Three years from today, I will not be the same person I am now. The concerns I have, and the things I don't understand now might not even matter in the future. Or maybe they will. Who knows?

But that green notecard has taught me something valuable: The past was filled with frustrations, the present is filled with frustrations, and so will the future...

...but God can work through any situation.

I have a long way to go in life, but I have come a long way in life. Knowing that makes me truly content in the now.

That little green notecard is a reminder that I'll never be perfect, that I was never perfect, and it's ok right now that I'm not perfect. I can be content in this very moment through all the highs and lows, thanking God that he is my redeemer and faithful father.

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