I’d love to pretend that I’m a gracious follower…. That whether or not I see the road God has planned for me, I just keep on walking…
“One foot in front of the other…”
But I’m not here to lie to you. If I had to describe my relationship with God as realistically as possible, I’d probably be a toddler. You know the ones who conveniently decide to throw tantrums in the middle of the toy aisle, and all of a sudden they’re lying in a messy heap of tears on the floor? Have you ever seen a toddler go boneless? It’s a tool they employ where they go completely limp because *if you cannot move them without essentially dragging them across the floor* then maybe they’ll get their way. Anyways- point proven, I hope. I am a toddler.
I have gone boneless. I have thrown myself on the floor in tears, screaming at God because I didn’t get my way. He has patiently turned to me again and again and said “I love you, hang in there. I have a plan. Please, please trust me. Get up. Stand up. Let’s walk together.”
And I have, so skillfully, continued to lie in a giant messy heap on the floor. So He has taken my hand anyways, and He has been patient. So patient. He waits until I collect myself just enough to stand up and take a few steps. And some days I keep walking after those first few steps, but some days, I fall right back down to that crying, boneless heap on the floor of the toy aisle.
You see, everyone’s toy aisle is different. Mine contains all the plans I had for my life. All the things I wanted to happen. All the relationships I wanted. All the moments I feel like I’ve missed out on.
It’s a painful aisle- not gonna lie. I’d really love to sit here and pretend that I have no baggage. That I trust God entirely. That I trust people entirely. That I remember all my blessings and all the gifts and love that surround me every day. I’d love to say that on rainy days, I sit at a window, watch the raindrops race down the glass, and pray. That I thank God for sunny days and fireflies on summer nights.
It is far easier for me to see all the things that have been taken away from me than to see all that I have received. It always has been. It is a struggle that I far too often refuse to fight against. I am not as grateful as I should be, and one day, I hope to change that. I hope that my heart rests joyfully knowing that I am so deeply blessed by more things than I could imagine and in ways I could never know.
But I am not entirely there yet. Instead, I am too often a girl who sits inside on rainy days. My mind runs back to sad memories and people gone too soon. It runs to the goodbyes I didn’t get to say. To the goodbyes I had to say. To the people who left far too soon. It runs back to all the hurts that my tired heart holds.
There’s a phrase that always stands out to me in one of my old blog posts:
“…and I am slowly learning to be okay with that.”
The post was about who I am: wobbly knees, a big heart, and a hunger for the world. It was about learning to be okay where I am, with who I am.
I want to learn how to sit with my memories, good and bad, and still praise. I want to learn how to say thank you for everything- sorrow and joy. Because even though I don’t know God’s plans yet, and to be honest, I’m not sure I’ll know until the day I die, I know that our God is merciful and just and He loves like none other. So until my heart learns to live joy in every moment, I’ll teach my brain to say thank you for everything first.
Thank you for teaching me to cherish every moment with my loved ones.
Thank you for teaching me to say “I love you” always and often.
Thank you for teaching me to rely on You alone.
Thank you for teaching me how to be strong.
Thank you for teaching me that I didn’t always have to be.
Patience is a grace we so often give others, but when we look inward, we fail to give ourselves. Healing and growth are two things that can never be rushed- you cannot tell a wound to heal faster, just as you cannot tell a child to grow faster, taller, quicker. It’s a waste of breath. Instead, you must nurture a loving environment- shield the wound, care for it- allow healing to take its own sweet time. It’ll arrive, you’ll realize eventually. In much the same way, fostering growth has a lot more to do with providing for the body and soul than measuring height.
We need to learn that it’s okay to not be where we wanted to be by now- the striving is what makes life what it is – a beautiful battle of becoming.
I beg of you – if you say only one thing to yourself every day- let it be words filled with patience and grace. Keep striving- keep fighting- keep becoming.
But always remember that becoming takes time- be patient with yourself. Never give up on your journey- never stop fighting for what you need- but know that sometimes in our long journey, we may have to pause on the road, and that’s okay. Contrary to popular belief, life isn’t a race. Take your time- breathe in the beautiful (and sometimes not so beautiful) things surrounding you – and remember…
You are becoming, and that takes time.