A man at the metro this morning sang “We’ve made it this far by faith” and the truth of his statement is still ringing in my ears. Life does not come with a cool infographic that maps out all the steps you will take and highlights the various milestones along the way. Whats more, I’ve learned that life rarely unfolds in logical order. It’s messy. The road gets bumpy and as bright as the future might seem, there are still a lot of shadows between here and there.
I’m learning that control isn’t my friend. It’s actual my enemy. It lies to me and lets me think that I can somehow play a deciding role in how everything ends up. It fools me into believing that I somehow hold the power to fix everything and in turn places the pressure of the world on my shoulders. It’s a weight I was never meant to carry.
We’ve made it this far by faith
It’s really as simple as that. We walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7) The shadows of uncertainty need not dissuade us from walking towards the light of promise. We can choose to trust. That is our deciding role. Step by step we can move forward knowing that faith has brought us this far and there’s no stopping us now.
I’m not much of a cook. I experiment from time to time. I can boil water. I know the difference between a Kitchen Maid* and a regular mixer. Not that I ever use either, but I know it’s really all about matching. I’d pick the pink one in case you were wondering.
Despite my friend’s recent offer to sign me up for cooking classes (she’s just too kind) I can find my way around the kitchen. I have even been known to follow a recipe or two from time to time.
2 1/4 cups of flour… got it.
3/4 cup of sugar… yes please!
and so on and so forth.
It’s a magic formula that can, if done correctly, result in spectacular results.
Chocolate chip cookies anyone?
There’s just one piece that tends to trip me up. Timing.
Leave the cookies in for too long and the formerly golden orbs of deliciousness end up resembling hockey pucks. Ask me how I know? If you don’t leave them in long enough you’re left with a doughy mess… ok wait… this is a flawed example. Cookie dough is awesome but I think you get my point.
Timing is everything.
I’ve realized that kitchen recipes aren’t the only formulas that depend on timing as a key variable. Going after your dreams is also a little bit like baking. Not just because sometimes I dream about cookies. Honest.
Sometimes you can think you have all the pieces and that you have the formula figured out. Take a dream, mix in a heap of hard work, add a bit of smarts and a touch of glitter (obvi!) and…VOILA! You’ll be walking out the life of your dreams in no time.
I’m pretty sure I don’t need to tell you that it is just not that simple. You can have all the good ideas in the world. You can work your butt off. You can be Einstein. You could invest your entire paycheck in glitter, but if your timing is off. It’s off.
That’s why the old saying “patience is a virtue” still rings true. Sometimes you have just got to wait. You’ve got to hold on to the picture on the front of the box. Hold onto the dream. Hold onto the promise that God gave you and trust that His timing really is perfect.
He doesn’t burn the cookies. Not ever.
*It has since come to my attention that it is a KitchenAid mixer which I guess proves my original point… AGAIN. I don’t cook. I’m going to go look into those classes now. SMH
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Can I be real for a moment? Transition is awkward. There’s no way around it. It’s painful. It usually doesn’t bring out your best side. If you think about the various “transition” periods of life they are often marked by discomfort. I don’t know a single person who would tell you that they define middle school as their glory years. It just doesn’t happen.
Transition means you’re not who you used to be but you’re not yet where you are meant to be. In the immortal words of the great Britney Spears, “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman...” The follow up line that she undoubtedly cut is “and it suuuuuucks”. Because, it does.
I’ve been in the midst of a season of life that I can only describe as transition. It’s probably why I’ve been a bit quieter on here. It’s hard to find positive words to describe transition. Everything feels unknown and I keep walking into walls and stuff. I don’t know what to do with myself. I feel awkward. My life isn’t what it used to be and I know I’m in process and on my way to a new season. But the “in the meantime” is challenging.
I’ve found solace in looking outside my window though. Each tree on my street reminds me of an irrevocable truth.
Their vibrant displays of color serve as proof that things will change. Transition is always leading somewhere. It’s a prerequisite to new. It’s the process of change but it is not the product. There is something good coming.
I heard someone recently say that it’s the promise not the process that matters. God has promised that seasons will change (Gen. 8:22) but He’s also promised that HE REMAINS THE SAME. He will fulfill His promises (Is.55) and His love endures (Eph. 3:17-19).
While I may not know what is on the other side of transition, I do know one thing.
He will be there. Always.
So if you’re like me today and feeling a bit awkward in the midst of transition, just remember change is coming. You’re not going through this process for no reason. There is new life on the other side. Even more exciting than that, the same God who brought you this far is already in your new season preparing a place for you.
When I was in High School I was on a swim team. You don’t have to act so shocked. It’s insulting.
I was a pretty solid 6th place throughout my entire swim career. #crushingit While I loved swimming, swim meets were never my favorite. I didn’t enjoy the competition factor. The waiting for hours for a race or two that lasted just a few minutes was not my cup of tea. That being said, there’s one swim meet in particular that sticks out in my memory as particularly unpleasant .
All my family was there. My grandma was in town and my aunt and uncle and cousins had driven up to visit. It was a big meet. I was nervous. I was psyched up and as we stepped up to the starting block I was sure that when the buzzer sounded I was going to swim the race of my life.
Ready… set… and I jumped… irregardless of the fact that the buzzer had never sounded.
I had never received the final go ahead. In swimming we call that a false start. In life, we call it embarrassing.
At that moment, it didn’t matter how beautiful my dive was or how smooth my stroke. It didn’t matter how fast or far I could swim. I was disqualified because I didn’t wait for my time.
The one false start took place in front of my whoooooole family AND on top of that it took place in a pool with the highest walls I had ever seen. I couldn’t get out of the pool. Everyone stood and waited until a coach finally took pity on me and lent me a hand. Time seemed to go into slow motion and what, in reality, was probably only a few seconds felt like a lifetime.
Not only did a false start make my life infinitely more difficult, but it was also embarrassing and threw me off my game when the time was actually right. Needless to say, it was not the race of my life.
I’ve been thinking about that story again recently and how similarly in life, it’s so important to trust the timing of your life. It’s easy to worry about what’s next and stress about why certain things haven’t happened in your desired time frame. It is, however, so much more effective to wait for the buzzer, the green light, and for God to say, “Now”! When you do, you’ll see how He opens doors and clears a path for you in a way that only He can.
(These aren’t pictures of me back in the day [I was NEVER this cool] but of my super AMAZING cousin Leah. She’s an incredible swimmer and all around awesome lady. Lots of wonderful things in store for her. Glad I get to call her my cousin <3)