When I think back on my life, I see how no chapter has been wasted. I am redeemed. God has made all things whole and beautiful in His time. And, while I may still have a few questions about the reality of my past, I’ve learned to let go of the “why” and understand that every step of the way, God was in control. From the beautiful to the messy, it is all serving a purpose in the here and now. It has deepened my relationship with God, taken me on a journey to learn trust, and helped me to breathe life and hope into the lives of those around me.
I’m taking a deep breath and writing these words down, before I forget. You’ve been teaching me so much lately to show up to the here and now, to the gift that is today. When I start to think about what’s ahead, you remind me to look down where my two feet are currently planted, and to focus on one step at a time, rather than the destination ahead. You are teaching me to show up to this season with open hands, and not miss what it is that you have for me in this season of life.
You and I, we’ve had an interesting relationship over the years. I’m a futuristic person, so I often find myself living in your realm. And, although I look to you with hope and anticipation, I’ve been learning that the best thing I can do is to surrender you into the hands of the Author who will unfold His perfect plan in my life. It’s so easy to get caught up in my goals and dreams, looking to what’s ahead without realizing that what God has called me to is today. Nothing more, nothing less.
A few years ago, I wrote a letter to my single and non-single friends. You can find it here. When I first wrote that, I wondered if you had told me that I would still be single four years later, how I would have felt. As a single girl living on my own in one of the largest cities in America, I often find myself wondering about the next chapter. How much longer is this season of singleness supposed to last? I’m not a big fan of living on my own, but hey, I’m trying to make the most of it. My past self would probably not have been too excited about the fact that I was going to still be living on my own today (I had always wanted to live with roommates until I got married because I’m an extrovert who doesn’t care for too much time on her own.) But, my present self would tell you that I am so very grateful. My present self has a completely different view on life than my past self. And, isn’t that the importance of life? We are meant to change, to grow, to mature, and learn more with each chapter that is written. God’s perfect timing, God’s perfect plan, doesn’t start tomorrow, it begins today. Only God knows who it is that will compliment my life and ministry. I don’t have to spend another minute wasted thinking about who, what, where, when. The Author of my story is already writing the imperfect script. My story has already started, and whether the gift of marriage is apart of my narrative or not, God is still good. God is withholding nothing. While it is healthy to have a desire for a relationship and marriage one day, I think it is so important to understand that God has called us to surrender those desires back to Him. Our lives belong to Him. 100%
Whether single or married, we will all experience different trials in this life. While our circumstances may not always be ideal or what we had thought our life was supposed to look like (according to our own timeline), we must let go and daily surrender it all into God’s hands. The last few years, including the living on my own part, have taught me so much about life, God, and myself. I have found a confidence in Christ alone that no one will ever be able to take away from me. I’ve been on adventures that would have never been possible had I been in another season of life. I launched my own business and published a few books. I’ve had opportunities in ministry and have met so many incredible people from around the world who have had such an influence and voice in my life as I have learned and grown in leadership. I’ve met some of my best friends and have learned the value of true friendship. I’ve been stretched in my faith, and have valued all the lessons that I have learned along the way.
If I could tell my past self one thing, I would tell her this: Hey, don’t worry about the things you are worrying about. When God calls us to wait, He doesn’t call us to worry or try to figure out what’s next. He calls us to let go of both the future and the past and just show up to the present season that we are in. The truth is that we may never enter the next season, so rather than getting so caught up in what’s ahead, come back to where you are right now. God’s got this.
So, my present self is learning to surrender every hope and dream into the hands of God. I’ve learned that the most important habit you can develop is learning how to practice presence, to enjoy the beauty of the season that you are in. Dear single and non-single friend, I don’t know what it is that you are hoping for today, all I know is that today is a gift. Happiness is temporary, but joy is eternal. Whatever it is that you are praying for today, let go. God doesn’t guarantee us happiness, but He does guarantee us joy. He guarantees us that if we fixate our eyes on Him, we will experience the fullness of life. And, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to lose sight of this. The gift of today is such a gift. So, in this season of life you are currently in, wherever you are, I pray that you experience the fullness of God’s presence. I pray that we may show up to wherever we are without a worry or thought as to what comes next.
I want to end this post with a few lyrics from a song by one of my favorites, John Mark McMillan. I love this reminder that God is enough, in the unanswered prayers, in the questions and the fears, in the sorrows and the joys, in the celebrations and the laments, He comes and meets us where we are and reminds us that from beginning to end, He remains steadfast, faithful, and present. God with us. Forever and always.
Like horses driven by kings
You cover the mountains, the valleys below
With the breadth of Your mighty wings
Are hidden inside Your hand
And in this fortunate turn of events
You ask me to be Your friend
You ask me to be Your friend
You are my first
You are my last
You are my future and my past