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things we think we want

Things we think we want

There came a point in my life when I realized I would never be satisfied with the world.

My life, from birth, was the epitome of what “satisfaction” should be.

I was living the American Dream.

Have you noticed that your life is a never-ending, “If only I _______, then I’d finally be satisfied”?

Many people aren’t able to live as comfortably as I did growing up. In fact, a majority of the world doesn’t have a fridge full of food, or a warm home, or a comfy bed, or a savings account (just in case), but I had all of these things and MORE.

I have a secret: a luxurious home and the things you fill it with may bring temporary, superficial contentment, but it won’t fill that inner longing.

I grew into an outgoing, popular, and (as far as I know) fun young woman. I also attended (what I think is) the best public school in my hometown of Kirkwood.

To say the very least, I was fortunate.

In high school I became captain of the varsity field hockey team, I learned how to play piano and flute, both very well, and I had more friends than I knew what to do with. School came easy to me, so I did just enough to get by, and graduated with about a 3.6.

I applied to ONE University and that was it. I got in, and that’s where I went. My dream college. I went through rush and pledged (what I think is) one of the top sororities on campus. I still feel honored and proud to have been apart of such an awesome group of women.

My 3 years at KU were a dream; how every girl would want to spend her college days. From finding some of the best friends of all time, to an NCAA National Championship, to boys, to parties, to bars, and lots of alcohol, it was everything I could have asked for. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a continuous party.

I was even able to do some traveling with friends (no, not the study abroad kind of traveling).

I went everywhere.

From Spring Break in South Padre Island, TX:

To Summer Break in New York City:

(Where I even got to attend the Cinderella ballet at the Met Opera)

To Fall Break in Las Vegas, NV: 

(Where we were treated like celebrities and didn’t pay for anything, but rather got VIP for everything)

 To a ski trip over Winter Break in Copper Mountain, CO:

(Along with thousands of other college students)

And the list goes on, with trips to Chicago, Ole Miss, Dallas, yearly vacations in Frankfort, Michigan and Steamboat, Colorado (I’m probably even missing some trips in there).

I had everything the world says you need to be happy. Don’t get me wrong, I have lived a very happy life, and I am beyond blessed with the friends and family I’ve been given.

But that inner longing remained.

When would it stop?

When would I fill that void?

What would I fill it with?

Ask yourself: What things have you longed for in your life where you thought, “once I get to that point,” or “once I have that thing, THEN I will be happy.”

Maybe you haven’t thought those exact words, or maybe you never actively thought about your potential resulting happiness, but can you deny that it’s never been enough to satisfy you for more than a short time?

I’m telling you that once you get the friends you think you want, or the grades, or accepted into that college, or into that sorority, or find that boyfriend, or once you graduate from college and live on your own, once you have a job, once you get engaged, or get married, or have kids, or move into that bigger house, or have that nicer furniture, or the bigger TV, or that vacation home, once the kids move out, or you retire, WHEN? WHEN will you be satisfied? When will you not stop WANTING more?

My favorite rapper, Lecrae has lyrics that say:

You know you sick of lookin’, you sick of chasin’
I think you know the truth, you just don’t wanna face it
Your life is empty, though you havin’ fun
You never satisfied, you never get enough
You go from thrill-seekin’ to pill-poppin’
From heavy drinkin’ to club-hoppin’
You just can’t stop it, like you’re a slave
And you chasin’ nothin’ all the way into the grave

These desires are a lie of the world. That you will finally be happy, if you just get some MORE.

But more of what?

My hope is that through this blog, and through my life, my brokenness will be used to reach other broken people, and to show them that yes, the penalty of sin is death, but there’s also another way. That way isn’t attending church, or following a set of rules, or saying a prayer when you were 13, asking Jesus to come into your heart or accepting Him as your savior.

The God of the Universe is not passing out “Check Yes or No” cards for salvation.

No, it’s more than that, and I’m desperate for people to actually SEE Jesus, to stop ignoring this absolute truth that will satisfy your deepest longing for joy for the rest of your lives on earth and after. It’s the truth that Jesus came to the earth 2,000 years ago, not to judge or condemn, but to SAVE people like ME, because let’s face it, I needed saving.

I’m not trying to make anyone believe anything, because I can’t, no matter how badly I wish I could force everyone to SEE, I can’t. All I can do is offer up the truth that rescued me.

In Flame’s song, Joyful Noise, he says:

I thought I wanted life drunk, sexed out and blunted
But all I really wanted was the One who really won it
Fought death, beat it gave His life to the public
I love it!

And I couldn’t say it better myself. As someone who was living the American dream, and continuing to chase it, I can honestly say that there is something a million times better. Coming from someone who thought she had it all…

Yeah, I still suck, but being a Christian doesn’t mean I’m perfect (or that I’m supposed to be), because I’m still human. What it DOES mean though, is that I’m forgiven, because Jesus loved me enough to DIE in my place. So I refuse to go on living a life of thanking God for all the worldly things I’ve been given and continually asking for more more more.

No, my satisfaction comes from the knowledge that I am loved by my Creator, who knit me together in my mom’s womb, the One who breathed the stars into existence, the One who the wind and waves obey, and all I want is for others to know Jesus and to know that same satisfaction for themselves.

(also available to view in the “About” page)

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One Comment Post a comment
  1. That’s a wonderful testimony, Jess. And it’s a testimony that needs to be heard. So thank you for sharing it. Many blessings in your journey!

    March 9, 2012


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