It feels like I’ve had the same conversation across many different tables recently. It’s the one about how this season of life – the late teens and early twenties – seems to be the most difficult to navigate. It’s just hard. We’re all stuck in this place of having big dreams brewing in our hearts, and waiting to see them come to life. We know right where we want to be without actually being there. If we’re honest, we’re all doing a bit of wandering through this phase of life, waiting on the promises of God to come to pass. And it’s usually in this waiting that we walk through some big stuff.
That’s usually how I generalize it – “big stuff,” “hard stuff.” But the reality is that we coat things like this because it’s comfortable. It takes the pressure off of getting real and being honest and saying the reason I haven’t blogged here in months is because I’m battling this idea that I’m ill-equipped to write about life because sometimes it feels like mine is falling apart.
It’s hard to be vulnerable – I get it, I really do. So we say things like, “life is hard, but God is good,” but what we don’t say is that sometimes we don’t mean that. Right? I mean, it doesn’t always feel like God is good. There are those times in life that we throw up our hands and put down our walls and beg God to change things. And He doesn’t. There are moments that we tell God that if this right now is all He has for us, then life doesn’t feel worth living. We doubt His love for us. We doubt His will for us. And we straight up deny the promises of scripture and put our hope in things of this world. We have absolutely hated every second of certain seasons.
In a sense, we’re all a bunch of David’s-in-waiting, holding out on the promises of the future. Some days, it feels like we’ve killed our own Goliaths, but most days, we’re left asking “God, what the hell am I doing in the middle of this field surrounded by sheep when you promised me a kingdom? How much longer?”
But maybe the waiting never really ends; maybe it doesn’t actually get easier. What if this is all just preparation for things yet to be revealed? Maybe this yearning, wandering and growing is just preparing us for the battles ahead. The real ones. This part of life is what Christine Caine calls the anointing before the appointing.
When I think of the way the Lord always leads His people, I can rest in the fact that though His nature is consistent, His ways are always unpredictable, yet goodness always takes the lead. He promises that He will go before us and work within us as he leads us into whatever is next. And that’s just the kind of adventure I have in mind when I pray and sing, Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders/ let me walk upon the waters wherever you would call me/take me deeper than my feet could ever wander/.
So today, as I wander through the desert somewhere between Egypt and the Promised Land, I choose to accept His invitation to celebrate the deliverance that waits, rather than grumble about the journey there. I will shepherd the flock in front of me, and hold out on His promise that one day, I’ll inherit the Kingdom. I will embrace this season of now and wait for the not-yet as I trust in the unseen. And I want to invite you to do the same.
But in the meantime, let’s be real with one another. Let’s stop writing off the hard things in life and learn to share in each other’s sufferings, because the best thing about walking through the fire is having someone to walk through it with.
I’m learning it is okay to be honest with our struggles, but more than that, it is okay to be bold about them. It’s nearly impossible to lead and love without humble authenticity, because without it, we are nothing more than a cheap replication of Christ – and that’s far from the imitators that Paul calls us to be in Ephesians 5. Besides, most often we will find that the removal of our masks gives way to some major Spirit work.
So today, if you’re the wanderer, remember your Rescuer. Grab ahold of the promise of redemption and embrace this process of constant sanctification in your life. And if you’re just perfect and have it all together ( 🙂 ), then grab ahold of someone else, and point them to the One who “trains our hands for war and equips us with strength for the battle” (Psalm 18).
Because He’s good. Always good.