It was February. My involvements were comfortably manageable (which wasn’t often the case), and I liked the rhythm of my week. Then one morning when I was praying, this thought came, “Step out of everything.” Wait, what?! “Step out of everything.”
A baffled reaction whirled in me over the next few days—This doesn’t make sense… I don’t feel overcommitted… I really enjoy being with them… Helping with this feels good… How will she react…
I didn’t want to do this, but even more, I didn’t want to disobey God if this was his guidance. After several days of prayer, he gently made it clear. It was awkward and hard, stepping away from involvements when I didn’t understand why. The sadness that followed was like grief—I felt loss from the changes. Some days, I wrestled with feeling like I was missing out. Yet, the peace in my heart was unmistakeable.
Our third baby was due in 2 months, and her two brothers were toddlers. By my evaluation, I had been managing everyone and everything just fine. I was keeping all the plates in the air (that I had put there by the way) and calling this “fulfilling.”
Up to now, my approach was to consider whether or not to add something to my schedule. Sometimes I prayed. This was new, to be willing to lay down something (well, in this moment, everything). God’s plan for my “right now” was becoming clear. He taught me an important lesson about surrender and trust.
Some of our hardest steps lead to amazing treasure. Gradually, feelings of missing out became experiences of stepping in. I was stepping in one-day-at-a-time to what God had for me, for this season in my life. I didn’t see the bigger picture purpose, but that’s not my role (or privilege) anyway. I learned that his “right now” plan is always the best plan for me, no matter how I feel in the transition. His yields joy, fruit that I may not see growing, peace beyond my understanding.
All of our life is not RIGHT NOW.
And if you’re a mom, all of your child’s life is not right now.
God doesn’t want us to miss out on what he has planned for us at various times in our life. Yet, sometimes his “best” for our current season is hidden in plain view because our days are cluttered with ought-to’s, want-to’s, old habits, not-thought-throughs, and couldn’t-say-no-to’s. Maybe we can’t imagine having that change we yearn for, a dream unspoken, or even adding that thing that we really want to do because we hold “our life” tightly in our hand. Open your hand. Surrender. Trust that God will give you his best.
About this time of year and periodically throughout the year, I ask God, “Is there anything that you want me to lay down? Is there any way that I spend time that you want me to modify?” Seek and receive what God has for you.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. (Proverbs 16.9)