April 11, 2017: Satisfied*
*No, this is not about the song from Hamilton. I have never listened to the Hamilton soundtrack. I’ve heard of the song from twitter.**
**Please, don’t yell at me for not listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. I have lots of Hamiltony friends. My grandfather is even named Hamilton. It’s just not my thing, but I have great respect for fans of Hamilton.***
***Hamilton doesn’t even look like a real word anymore.
The past few months have been teaching me what it looks like to be satisfied in Jesus.
I thought I knew what that phrase meant. I thought being satisfied in Jesus meant knowing that cute boys could love me, I could attend a great school, fun friends could surround me, and none of it would be as good as Him. I thought it meant saying, “Lord, if you don’t give me what I want, that’s okay, because I’ll still have you.” I thought knowing ahead of time that nothing in this world would truly fill me was the definition of satisfaction in Jesus.
This advance knowledge is nothing like experiencing the real thing, though. My dad could sit me down and explain how to drive our stick shift, but I wouldn’t know how until I got behind the wheel and stalled the engine four million times.
I got what I wanted, for the most part. I’m at Auburn. I recently got a leadership position in one of my favorite student organizations. The girls I live with couldn’t be more wonderful. My mom and I FaceTime every Friday. NEEDTOBREATHE added a show in Atlanta that I get to see. Sure, I don’t have a car, but I’m doing okay.
I came to the realization a few weeks ago that nothing in my life was wrong… so why was I still feeling uneasy, unsettled, discontent?
“If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
This is one of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes, and I’m finally starting to understand it.
The good things in my life are so good… but they aren’t perfect. And I’ve always struggled with perfectionism. I set impossibly high standards for myself, others, and my circumstances. Inevitably, I fail to live up to the expectations I invented. I’ve recognized this cycle of hope and defeat and beat it back. Stop looking for perfection, Haley. It doesn’t exist. To be content, you must become okay with flaws.
But lately, as God has graciously blessed my life, I’ve come to realize that perfection does exist. His name is Jesus. Instead of shooing away my deep-rooted desire for perfect, true satisfaction, I’ve shifted its focus. I can’t expect that of myself, my grades, my relationships, anything in this world. But I can expect perfection of God.
I’ve found myself with a desire nothing in this world could satisfy, and I’ve thought that the answer was to stop desiring. But God placed that desire within me to draw me closer to Him. He is teaching me now to truly look to Him for fulfillment. There’s a difference in giving up on fulfillment and finding fulfillment in Jesus. I didn’t know what that difference was, and I’m starting to now. It’s okay to long for something holy, perfect, only good, flawless. That longing finds its resolution in Jesus.
God is teaching me how to be satisfied. And like everything else with Him, it’s turning into one more reason to praise.
(“The Freshman Fifteen” is a year-long blogging project posting every fifteen days of my freshman year of college. Follow along for life updates, deep thoughts, and everything in between.)