Life is one big happy mess. This is a phrase that I need to hear. Along with “no one’s got it all together. We only get better at looking the part. No parent is perfect.”
It would have saved me so much heartache, striving, and isolation. But now I would like to share with you that where you are is perfectly fine and you won’t be there always.
I had the mindset that it was my business and goal in life to create the perfect world. I would build a life from scratch that I could be proud of and it would be problem-free. It would have the home of my dreams, a spouse who I would never disagree with (ha!), children who I would always understand and many other things.
Basically, I believed that I would be able to reach a point where (finally) everything would go my way. Because that’s obviously what’s wrong with the world–it’s not going my way. At this point, I would reach the ultimate level of happiness and never come down.
I would make elaborate dinners that never burned, my hair would always be photoshoot ready, everything about me would be exemplary, and I wouldn’t need to remain a student of life. I’d get to the point where what I’ve learned is enough to carry me through every season I had yet to face.
I learned the hard way that you can apply what you’ve learned to new seasons, but it’s the season itself that teaches you how to get through it. I could study every marriage book and attend every conference but it will still be the process of marriage itself that is my greatest and most consistent teacher.
I think people are surprised when life stumps them. They feel as though with the right choices, education, community, plan, faith etc. that they’ll have accumulated enough. It seems most of us would like to get to the point where we are done having to deal with difficult people or endure tough seasons in life.
You don’t age out of conflict. You can’t purchase your way out of hardship. It’s impossible to study to the point where God hands you a waiver so you’ll never experience storms again.
However, it is possible to trust God and continually grow to trust Him more. That’s what makes changes bearable–resting in the Creator. Although it takes wisdom to build wealth, own a home, create a thriving family, and lead people–you need to build these things on a firm foundation.
If you do it for your family’s approval, to prove the haters wrong, to get to a place where you experience no more disappointment– you’ll find that those things are empty pursuits.
You’ll never win your family’s approval even once you do all the things they want you to do because approval isn’t something to win and often it’s an elusive thing. It’s an invisible bar that raises higher and covers more ground each time you reach it. That isn’t to say that you and your family can’t have a wonderful relationship, it’s just important that you don’t try to build your life around the blueprint of the life they wish that they’d had.
You will always have someone watching you who has something negative to say. People say things when they don’t understand when they’re jealous, when they’re offended, and most of all when they haven’t received revelation about it. What works for you may not work for other people and that’s fine. Live for the audience of One–the God who created you and this entire Earth. Not people who will love you Monday and unfollow you by Friday.
So many people, myself included, desire to get to a place where the suffering ends. Whether that’s sickness, financial hardship, family drama etc., we want to build a life that only has good things. It’s like the child who dreams for a room full of presents with no rules or bed time. Or the adult who wishes for a mansion with cars overlooking a beach, with enough money to support the lifestyle for the rest of their life.
In both cases, there’s a yearning for the impossible–a perfect life. A life where things only go your way, you are never challenged, and you never experience hurt. A life without pain exists, but it’s not on this side of heaven. It exists in heaven.
So trust God when storms come, He is faithful. Trust God when you don’t understand, he’s a phenomenal planner. Trust God when your back is against the wall, He does the impossible. Trust God when you are hurting, He is the best Comforter there is. Trust God when you are tired of waiting, He does/allows everything according to divine timing. Trust God if you are hoping for a miracle, He never runs out of them. Trust God if you don’t want to trust Him, He will get the glory out of every circumstance you face.
““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
John 15:5 NIV
“God, the one and only— I’ll wait as long as he says. Everything I need comes from him, so why not? He’s solid rock under my feet, breathing room for my soul, An impregnable castle: I’m set for life.”
Psalm 62:1-2 MSG
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”
Romans 12:1-2 MSG
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV