I think this picture is kind of funny because I can relate to it so much. It's a picture of a girl who's on the side of the road, marking the place she wants to go on the map, that place she's sure is better than where she is right now. For most of my life, I've been like that– constantly planning and looking ahead, constantly feeling unhappy with where I am, and thinking that where I am going is so much better than where I'm stuck right now. So many times I fell into this way of thinking: "I'll only be happy when X happens." I'll finally be happy when I get into UCLA. I'll finally be happy when I have my own car. I'll finally be happy when I have my own place to live. I'll finally be happy when I figure out what I want to do with my life professionally. I'll finally be happy when I get married... and so on and so forth.
Some of you may not know this, but at the beginning of this year, I got engaged. I was engaged to a man I truly loved and who I thought was the person that I would spend the rest of my life with. And then, maybe a month later, he called the engagement off. You can imagine the heartbreak and confusion I felt. Even today, there are many days that I wake up wishing that I don't have to feel all the emotions that I am feeling, that I can just shake them off and move on with my life. Most of all, I wish that I was not back in this space of waiting. Waiting to heal. Waiting to know what God wants me to do with my life. Waiting for God to finally send me the person He has intended for me; waiting to find out if maybe God has other plans for me other than getting married. The waiting is really hard.
After the break up, my good friend gave me a book on waiting: "When God Says, 'Wait.'" Yesterday, I went online and bought another book about waiting. I keep trying to figure out how to wait well because I am terrible at waiting.
I think that so many of us are waiting. Maybe you're waiting to finally be in a relationship. You're waiting to finally get married and start a family. Or perhaps you're waiting to finally figure out what you want to do with your life. Many of us are waiting for this quarantine to finally be over!
But the truth is that the more we put ourselves in the mindset and habit of waiting, the more we are strengthening the waiting muscle and the less we are growing in the ability to truly live. More likely than not, once we get that thing we have been waiting for for so long, almost immediately we will find the next thing to wait for and to feel unhappy about not having. If all we know how to do is wait, we will probably be stuck in a cycle of waiting for the rest of our lives until we die, never fully living our lives enjoying what we do have.
On the flip side, how many times can you look back on a season of waiting in your life and you see much more than just someone twiddling their thumbs in the sunshine waiting? You lived so many new and different experiences. You grew as a person in so many ways by doing new things. Maybe you made some important friendships along the way that even now bring so much joy to your life.
What I want to say now is forget the waiting. I want you to just start living and realize that you are truly free to make the most of the good and amazing things you do have.
I want to encourage you with the truth that no matter where you are in your life right now in this moment, you are right where you need to be and that you already have everything you need to be happy.
Yes, you do.
You have people around you who care deeply about you and who love you. There are beautiful things to enjoy, wonderful experiences to be had, even if they really are just every day kind of experiences like sharing what's on your heart with someone, taking a walk as the sun is setting, or enjoying a cup of coffee. It's little moments like these that in the end make life colorful.
I know that sometimes things may feel out of your hands, but maybe it's in these moments of being in suspense that God is inviting us to stop thinking about the destination and encouraging us to live each moment and enjoy the goodness He gives us each day...