I am not where I want to be in life right now. I graduated from college about one year ago and am currently: living at home with my parents and working part-time for my dad as an administrative assistant. I find other ways to fill my time as well like teaching myself a new skill or doing a little freelance communication work on the side, but it is hard not feeling like I’m failing at least a little bit.
Some of you may have heard Jojo’s new song “Joanna” (not JoJo Siwa, OG JoJo, think early-2000s, music videos in the rain, singing her song “Leave”). It’s basically a song that describes the criticism of everyone who thought you would do better, peaking too soon, and disappointing everyone who believed in you. Sometimes I feel a lot like that.
I remind myself that this past year has not been a waste of time. I spent part of it training and touring with a worship team for the summer, I completed a missions internship in Europe, and I’ve started this blog. However, I’m still not where I wanted to be by now and so instead of being proud of all of the things I have accomplished, I still find myself only being disappointed and ashamed of the things I haven’t.
So this week I preach to myself and to you: nothing is wasted and it is okay to not be where you thought you would be right now. If you’re like me, you might be reflecting and thinking of promises you felt as though God had made to you or plans you thought He had for you and wondering what you’ve done wrong to still be so far or maybe even why you’re being punished. Well, first of all keep in mind we’re in the middle of a pandemic right now and cut yourself some slack, but also remember that God’s promises don’t change and His plans don’t fail. Although, sometimes the timeline is different from what we expected.
One of my favorite pieces of scripture is Isaiah 55:9-11:
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”Isaiah 55:9-11 (NIV)
God’s ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He doesn’t speak to our hearts and give us passions and dreams for them to be wasted or left empty. He makes sure that they flourish and bud and accomplish His purpose and desires. There is so much hope in that for each of us who has doubted whether we will ever see the other side of God’s plan for our life. God has not been surprised or caught off-guard by all of the insane garbage that has been getting vomited at the world in the year of 2020. It’s a rough season, but that doesn’t mean that the rain isn’t coming, it doesn’t mean the harvest isn’t coming, and it doesn’t mean this time between now and then is useless or for nothing.
So often we forget how quickly things can change. We forget that tomorrow holds so much promise that just around the corner could be the open door or window that we have been holding out for. So, instead of focusing on all that hasn’t happened yet and fixating on everything we feel like we’re failing at because we haven’t seen the goal met yet, instead let’s love today for preparing us for tomorrow. Let’s love tomorrow for the hope and wonder it brings us right now. I don’t want to wish away the time in between where I am now and where I believe God is going to take me, I don’t want to deceive myself into thinking that where I am right now isn’t exactly where God wants me to be.
Remember that the seed of a dream that was planted in you by God was not in vain, the years spent cultivating your calling was not to get to a certain point and stall out, the rain doesn’t come to drown us, but to help us flourish and bloom. If the harvest hasn’t come yet, that’s okay, you haven’t stopped growing. God hasn’t left you to wilt. One day we’ll think back to this time in between and we won’t remember it as wasted or useless, we will reflect and count it as precious and important.
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