Milk and Honey Magazine - finding contentment in a crazy, college season starts with journaling, enjoying each day, and following God's plan!

Finding Peace In Today

Jenni Croy

All my life, I feel like I struggled with hyping things up in my head and always looking forward instead of being present. I spent my days anticipating the next exciting thing that was about to happen. Whether it was learning how to drive, moving into my first apartment, or going to college, most of my average days were spent awaiting life’s milestones.

Let me rewind and tell you a little about myself. I’m in my junior year of college, which is the worst year in my opinion. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I am so ready to be done with group projects and 15-page research papers. But on the other hand, it’s terrifying to think that I will soon be out in the world, away from my friends and attempting to find a decent job. My boyfriend lives 300 miles away from me due to his job, and our long-distance relationship is the most rewarding and difficult thing I have ever decided to do. As I watch all my friends get married one by one, I long for when I can be with him again every day.

Throughout all of this, my old habit of wishing my average days away reared its head much more often than I would prefer. My days were passing me by and I just kept wishing for the next season of my life to begin. I started to realize that I desperately needed to learn contentment if I wanted to enjoy my life at all.

True contentment is rare these days, and I began noticing the lack of it in the lives of my friends, too. God calls us to find the joy and purpose of every season of life because His plan is more perfect than any we could create for ourselves. Life is filled with mountaintops and valleys, and sometimes the growing pains and the preparatory seasons are necessary to reach the peak of the mountain. I’m no expert, but these are a few ways I practice being content in every circumstance:

1. Journal

For me, journaling every day helps me process my emotions and everything going on in my daily life. I’m a writer, what can I say? I believe writing leads to self-reflection and personal growth. It’s also refreshing to look back and see how much I’ve grown already.

2. Do the things you like

This might sound obvious, but how many of us come home from a long day at work and plant ourselves on the couch while we binge watch Netflix all night? I do this more often than I care to admit, and I usually end up regretting the wasted time. If I enjoy writing, I should set time apart to develop my skills. If you want to be a musician, or a doctor, or a personal trainer, or whatever, spend your time developing skills you enjoy doing, and you will be able to see your growth and contentment in your everyday life.

3. Set a vision for the future

“Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” Every time I hear this question, I want to run away and hide. If you’re anything like me, you have numerous goals for yourself and you have no idea which one to work on first. But I believe setting an end goal for yourself helps you understand that your current season is one of growth and preparation. Pushing through the hard times is easier when you have a vision for the future and a reason to keep striving. Growing is painful but, trust me, your future self is thanking you right now.

4. Be thankful

When you spend your life looking ahead, you neglect to look around and see all the things you used to wish for that you received. Whether it was the job you never thought you’d get or the college you never imagined you would get into, you are surrounded by things and people that will make you happier with your life if you truly pay attention. Don’t let your continual desire for the next thing blind you to the things you’ve already received and earned.

Every single person is called to live a different life and walk down a different path. Our society emphasizes competition and comparison, and sometimes the struggle is so real that people forget to look at what they already achieved and how much progress they’re making. I know that one day I will reach where I’m meant to be, even if it seems far away. All I can do right now is try to enjoy the journey.

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. – Psalm 16:11

Milk and Honey Magazine - finding contentment in a crazy, college season starts with journaling, enjoying each day, and following God's plan!

Jenni Croy is a junior studying English at the University of Florida. She often spends her free time writing and playing guitar, and you can usually find her in a coffee shop trying to blend in with the hipsters.