If I go on a trip, I like to be the one who has a game plan; how we’re going to get to the airport, where’s the best places to eat, sightsee, etc. I was the person when asked what my five-year plan was in interviews, had a well thought out and strategic vision of what my life would unfold to be; and then I met God and learned about the wait.
I remember when I was 22. Fresh out of college, ambitious and bright-eyed, not at all intimidated to take on the world. I had recently found my way into church, and started to discover a real relationship with God. I joined a women’s small group, all who were older than me, some in their late 20’s others in their mid-30’s. One night, I remember we were talking about jobs, or relationships, maybe God whispers, but for some reason I brought up that I knew exactly what I wanted to do and how I was going to get there.
I knew, because I had a plan and I wasn’t going to wait.
The girls in group all stopped, looked at me and started laughing. Then one of them said “I remember when I used to plan everything too”. They’re reactions were odd to me.
Looking back though, I suppose what they were trying to say in an older sister type of “I know better” way, was that our plans and God’s plans don’t always match up the way we envision, but if we’re willing to wait and act in God’s timing then the outcome is far greater.
For me that took a lot of getting used to, or rather a lot of trusting in God. Remember, I’m a planner and as such most planners don’t like letting someone else take the reigns, even if that someone is God. It definitely took a lot for me to understand that God always has my best interest in mind and that He sees the whole picture, where as we only see a small corner. Maybe if I had grasped that concept early I could’ve saved myself a lot of disappointment when things didn’t work out the way I wanted. Never the less, I learned to let go and trust. And then life was easy, right? Wrong.
Even though I had learned to trust it still took me even longer to learn to enjoy the wait.
I like many, have been given a vision of God’s will for my life. There was a moment a couple years ago that I decide I would help fast track this vision by going to grad school. It happened, I got accepted and I was ready to move. But then, I couldn’t get any funding and slowly one thing led to another and finally I had to write the school and say I wouldn’t be attending in the fall. I was mad. Mad at God, mainly.
Here I was doing my part to move things along in the vision of what He had given me. There I thought He was making it impossible for me. I didn’t understand. Then in the mist of my pouting and anger, I was offered a job, and not just any job, a job doing the exact thing I was going to be studying, the thing I had already written off and deemed myself unqualified for. (God’s a comedian I swear it.) I couldn’t believe it! Instantly I felt guilty that I questioned God in the first place. I took the job, and in the height of my excitement I couldn’t help but think, ‘God, but what about the word you gave me? How am I going to get there, being here?’ and God gave me a vision.
This was that of a surfer, riding a wave. I was the surfer, gliding in a tunnel of water perfectly timed. Perfectly timed for me to experience before arriving to the other end. Then I heard a whisper, “Enjoy the wave. Not every season is meant for suffering and hard work, you’re allowed to enjoy them too.”
There it was. The permission I’d never given myself, the permission to enjoy the moments between point A and point B.
I had always been so preoccupied thinking what’s my next move. So much so, that when it came time to move forward I found myself reminiscing on my experience. Reminiscing, instead of experiencing them in the moment. So I decided then and there, in that season, the season I’m still currently in, to allow myself to experience it. Experience the good, the bad, and the ugly. In doing this I’ve given myself room for growth and self forgiveness. In this freedom, I’ve found the greatest reward of all, to simply enjoy the life I live.