Who Am I When Everything is Finished?
I have spent my entire life waiting for something to happen. I have spent my entire life waiting to be happy until I accomplished my goals. I thought happiness would come once I lost weight. It did not. I thought I would be truly satisfied when I got into graduate school. I was not. I just knew I would be truly content when I walked across that graduation stage. That did not happen.
Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice! – Philippians 4:4
With each passing event and accomplishment, I found myself in this cycle of waiting until I finished one thing, to begin the next, which allowed me to start another thing, and so on and so forth. And I was not really happy. In fact, I felt anxious and overwhelmed. While, I might have been temporarily proud of my accomplishments, I found myself feeling more disappointed by how little I was satisfied once I accomplished them.
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. –v. 6
Aside from being married a̶n̶d̶ ̶p̶r̶e̶g̶n̶a̶n̶t̶, there is little that I actually want to accomplish in life. Is it possible that I am 26 years old and I have fulfilled my purpose in life? No, it is more probable that I have yet to fully discover what my purpose is. It is more probable that I have yet to learn how to be content and to have joy, love, and peace in my relationship with God, and God alone.
Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. –v. 7
Growing up, I have always thought that I had to be accomplished to feel loved and respected by others. So, I set out on this journey to be the best that I could be. And as I fulfilled my goals, faster and more effectively than anyone expected to me to, I received the recognition and admiration that I so desired. Yet, those feelings only brought a fleeting happiness, one that left me empty and anxious to take on the next challenge to get my ‘love fix.’
And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.—v.8
Now, with a doctorate and four very expensive letters behind my name, I finally learned that I need to rest and learn to be present in my current situation. My goal is no longer to see what I can do to earn the admiration of those around me, but I am learning to be content in my current situation. While my life is far from perfect, I do not have to wait to be happy. I do not have to wait to achieve the next feat to feel loved. In fact, I do not have to do absolutely anything. I am loved. I am accepted. I am enough.
Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you—v.9
I am learning to find love, joy, and peace in God, which has come from learning to be still. For 26 years, I have been in a constant state of motion, and now, it is time for me to learn to be still and to spend time with the One who has been dying for my affection all this time. I need to understand, truly, what God wants me to do with my life…outside of my career. He is what I have been missing.
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. –v. 11
I do not need to do absolutely anything to earn God’s love, respect, and attention. I am astonished when I sit in His presence, not needing to impress Him with my accomplishments, actions or works, basking in his overwhelming love and acceptance. All of the things I have accomplished and earned are wonderful, but I should not just feel loved, happy, and accepted because of what I have done, but because of who I am; I am a child of God. Who am I when everything is finished? I am happy. I am free.
At the moment I have all I need—and more!... And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus. –v. 18a, 19