In March of 2013, I started getting worried about the long term…about our life direction, our life plan.
The past year and a half had been about right now, about today and the ministry God had called us to right here and right now. The focus had been on sustaining ourselves through one more day, one more week, one more month to do the ministry God had placed in front of us. I hardly ever thought about the long term…
I rarely thought about starting a family or moving to a bigger apartment or going somewhere in life or our long term calling. Our lives were right here and right now and that was all I needed to know. We knew where we had been called today, and that was enough.
But suddenly, I began to worry about the future…
What if we had kids?
What if our expenses increased?
What were our life goals?
What about retirement?
What direction were our careers heading?
What were we really doing with our lives?
And none of those questions are inherently wrong. It’s where you allow those questions to take you that determines whether they are good or bad.
I look back now and know that those questions were surfacing because God was leading us in a new direction.
Seven months later we decided to start a new business.
Two months after that, we launched a business.
One month after that, we were pregnant.
And now, almost nine months later, we are getting ready to welcome our son into our family and my husband is starting into two new part time jobs, while continuing his business on the side.
And as these changes came one-by-one, my heart began to tighten in fear of the future. I began to let my eyes slip off of what God had called us to today and wander down the road of the next sixty years in fear.
Because I don’t know where God will have us in twenty years or ten years or five years or even in six months. And that is scary…but it isn’t bad.
It isn’t bad to not know your life plan. It isn’t bad to leave it in God’s hands in order to simply be obedient with the calling you have and the direction He is pointing you in today.
But fear began to tell me otherwise…and I began to listen.
And when I began to listen to fear, I found that our lives seemed pointless, our borders seemed too small, our calling seemed unimportant, and our income seemed to be never enough. Fear kept me focused on and trying to plan for a future I can’t predict.
Fear told me the lie that the calling God had given for today isn’t enough. That I need to know my calling for tomorrow as well, so that I can prepare for it.
But that is so rarely how God works.
He calls us to be faithful with what we have today.
He calls us to work hard where He has placed us today.
He calls us to do the ministry He’s set before us today.
He calls us to live within the means He has provided today.
He calls us to grow where we are planted today.
He calls us to step out in faith today, not knowing where the path will take us long term.
I don’t need to know what life will look like in a year. I just need to know that my life is about following God wherever He may call me.
I don’t need to know where I’ll be in twenty years. I just need to know what God has called me to today.
I don’t need to know where my income will come from in six months. I just need to know that God has provided for today and that I will continue diligently with the work He has placed in front of me.
I don’t need to know my life plan. I just need to know that following God wherever He leads will be the best plan for my life.
Because at the end of my life, the only thing that will truly matter is how my life followed and brought glory to God.
And in the last three months, God has shaken me awake with these truths. I don’t need to know the long term. I just need to know that He is good and that He has a plan for me. I just need to know where He has called me today. And my mind must be made up that I will follow Him, no matter where He leads.
So today, if you don’t know what is coming, if you are finding yourself stressed out and overwhelmed in the face of the rest of your life, find peace in what you do know…in where He has called you today.
Yes, pray and seek out those next steps as you need to, we’ve spent so much time doing just that. But in the process, stay focused on the work He has placed in your hand today.
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This is awesome. Thank you for the gentle reminder to be content with today and allow God to handle tomorrow. As a Pastor’s wife, I too have some of these same struggles, but like you, I have to remind myself that God has never failed me and He said He never would and I trust Him. Keep sharing the Word!
one step at a time – looking up to God along the way 😀
Alesha, you really don’t need to know; actually, you don’t want to know. Just keep doing “the next thing” and before you know it – you’ll be writing your memoirs! Seriously! I remember so well expecting my first baby, our first (tiny) apartment, the first job, etc etc. Now? I look back and see how God sustained me even in the darkest moments. YOU ARE GOING TO BE FINE.
Thank you for the encouragement! God has been convicting me of that so much. It really doesn’t matter if I know where He’s leading as long as I’m following Him today. Thanks for the encouragement!Alesha <3
Sometimes I think it’s hard-wired in us to want the next thing.. that could mean the next fun gadget or the next phase of life. I have felt this many, many times! If there is one thing I know it is that Christ is in the details of our lives, He knows the way and He will lead us to greater happiness than we could’ve ever imagined!Coming from #women with intention link party
Agreed. It’s such a part of our nature to impatiently want the next or the newest or the “better” thing. But God is always enough when we let Him be. Amen!<3