When I was in high school, I spent most of my free time planning the rest of my life. I’d look at apartments, watch YouTube videos, and pick out furniture. I was young, but so eager to jump into the next phase of my life. I had big plans for my next steps, and luckily I was able to make them happen. But even though I went where I wanted to, I wasn’t quite satisfied.
It’s not that I was unhappy, it’s just that once again, I found myself waiting. For graduation day, for moving into my own place, for my next dream to realize itself — and the pattern continued. I’d hit a goal, feel really great for about 24 hours, and then move on to the next one. These weren’t all small targets – some of them were lifelong dreams whose value came crashing down when I quickly realized that the anticipation had been worth more than the moment.
It’s not that the anticipation was wrong, or that there’s anything inherently bad about looking forward to the future. But when your eyes are only looking ahead, and not around, you miss out on…a lot.
We often talk about “seasons” in the church and the temporary nature of the world we live in. It’s an important subject, but it also makes it really easy to get caught up in a pattern of thinking that this time of your life doesn’t matter. That all it is is waiting. Preparing. Longing.
For a relationship, a better job, a diploma, a house, a positive pregnancy test.
All things to look forward to – if they’re in your future. Good things, and getting excited about them is normal (and totally fine)! But as women striving to follow Jesus, we know that He has a plan and purpose for our lives. Nothing he does in you or through you is wasted. His timing is perfect, and His will is good.
If you’re in a tough season, it’s tempting to just wish it away. Put your head down, grit your teeth, and stick it out until you get somewhere better. But firstly, no matter what stage of life you’re in, that mindset will probably never go away unless you choose to drop it. You’ll always be waiting, wanting, and wishing for something more.
And, on a vastly more important note, God uses you wherever you are. Whether you’re falling apart or living your best life, there is a holy purpose in this place. It’s okay to look forward, but keep looking around too. What is the Lord calling you to in this season? What is the mission of the moment?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the plan God has for my life, it’s that I don’t want to miss a second of it. Whatever you’re experiencing, growing in, or serving in right now, soak it up. Press in, show up, and find a way to be grateful for this moment and all that it is.
To read more from Anika, visit her website.