For my family, the last week or so has been chock-full of vitamins C and D, cough medicine, Ginger Ale, and looking at each other in our same ol’ same ol’ pajama pants and t-shirts. All 5 of us managed to come down with the flu, and it was vicious. But we made it through and now we’re back to school, work, and all the regular things.
For most of last week, my blanket-bundled self didn’t do a lick of writing work because I invested all my energy in staying hydrated and making sure the kids did the same. However, there are times when healthy me wants to work on something but can’t. The pieces of what I’m trying to place together sit in a hazy distance or under layers of cobwebs. I can’t get close enough to make out the picture it’s supposed to be, or I can’t excavate the tender parts that pull it all together. I want to do it, but I can’t.
On the other hand, if if the fog clears and I’m able to see how the pieces fit together, then generally I’m able to finish it. I see the vision, and I do the work to make what wants to be become what is.
These last several months I’ve had this vision and interest to work on something brand new. I spent a good deal of time collecting information on it and writing about it in the margins of my schedule and life. But in several barely-there whispers, God began to imprint on my heart that now was not the right time to do anything else with it.
At first, I didn’t want to hear it. After all, I had time to work on it! I had the inspiration and excitement to complete it! Forward march, Kristen!
Throughout this period, I prayed for a clear no from God. He didn’t give me one, so I kept working on it. I brought this up with a much-smarter-than-me friend of mine, how I sensed I was to hold off on this project yet hadn’t received that direct no. And I really wanted the unambiguous, clear no.
This wise friend said, “Ya know, sometimes the Lord simply suggests things rather than tells you you should or shouldn’t do it.”
Yes. That was it exactly. I could see and feel how the Lord suggested I set the project aside and stop working on it right now.
I was sad, disappointed and if I’m being honest, downright scared about that. I mean, what if the idea ended up leaving me altogether? What if someone else snatched it up? What if? What if? What if?
When I knew beyond a doubt that waiting was what I needed to do, I cried my eyes out.
Because it wasn’t what I wanted to do.
Have you ever been asked to wait on something, something you really wanted to do and were excited to do? Maybe it was a creative project similar to mine, or maybe it was completely different like applying for a new job or even sending your kiddo to preschool. Whatever it was, you heard the suggestion to wait.
And you didn’t really want to wait.
I can count on one hand the number of times this happened to me, and this one was by far the hardest. After all, inspiration to complete my project did not lay low or dormant. It had taken root on the inside and I was ready to produce it on the outside. I had time and motivation to work on it as well as the passion and inspiration.
Yet I wasn’t supposed to.
But here is where the hope came: I knew I wasn’t supposed to yet.
Sometimes I assume the season of today is the season of forever. When this happens, urgency and panic want to be my companions. Listen: there’s no reason to let those two pushy, exhausting emotions sit next to you. They are never for you. Besides, your right now no is likely not a forever no but a temporary not yet.
You and I can simmer down and relax as we keep company with Christ and let His unforced rhythms of grace be our companions instead of urgency, panic, and fear.
I know it’s frustrating when you can’t make what you want to be become what is. But as you think about what you want to create or do, God is most concerned about the heart of one He created: You. Glorious, capable you. If like me you sense this undeniable nudge to wait on something, have courage, sister. Have courage to move through this season with a relaxed sense of anticipation for what God’s doing in you and through you. Remember your no today could be a not yet, and that likely means God is suggesting a big yes to something else. Embrace it.
And heck, even enjoy it.
Are you or someone you love going through a difficult life change that’s routine or uncommon? Click here to purchase a copy of Girl Meets Change for the one who could use a more hopeful vision of that change in her life. (Photo by the talented Jen Lints Photography).