Over the summer, we took the boys to the lake. God gave me SO. MANY. BOYS. but in full disclosure, He also gave me a low tolerance for worm guts. Because He is the God of provision, He saw fit to give me a momma who doesn’t mind worm guts when sweet husband is away at work.
These boys of mine were dedicated fisherman, but severely lacking in the patience part of the sport. Cast out, reel in. Cast out, reel in. When one would catch a fish in a certain spot, you could be sure the other two were suddenly wanting to fish in that same spot. But when they didn’t catch a fish the second the line hit the water, they were reeling in and looking for the next good spot.
“You have to leave your line in the water,” my mom said. “The only way to catch anything good is to wait.”
Waiting. God bless my soul.
Nothing good comes without waiting.
Married by 20. 22, 24, 26, 28 when my four children would be born. Dream house by 25 and dream vehicle by then as well. Career on fire by 27, with a personal assistant, books written, and a tour calendar full of speaking dates.
This is probably the synopsis of the life I would have projected had you asked me how my life might turn out when I was 16. To look back, it’s laughable and entirely unrealistic. My life did not fall short of my expectations. My expectations faltered in their ability to be reasonably achieved. God bless my little naïve heart.
The funny thing about plans is that they almost never work the way you think they might. Why? Because we rarely make them with reality in mind. Now that I am older and wiser, I am slowly adjusting my perspective to live life with purpose rather than plans. When we live with purpose, there may be bumps in the road. But the purpose is still the same. We keep heading toward the goal. We keep the line in the water knowing that the good things are coming.
When we live life full of stringent plans, we often are swayed the second our plans are disrupted. But purpose keeps our perspective intact. Purpose allows us to continue in pursuit of the good we know will come even when our best laid plans fall through.
Truth be told, I wasn’t ready for any of the things I projected for my life at the age by which I projected them. Am I disappointed that my life plan got off track? Heck no! I hadn’t created enough story to tell. There were so many chapters left unwritten.
As we welcome September, I am embarking on my birthday month. Another poignant reminder that I am another year older and not yet where I once thought I might be. But here’s what I know…
I have never felt more certain that I am fishing in just the right spot. I often ask sweet husband, “How will this end?” He laughs at my asking because who can know it? Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. And so, I keep patiently waiting. Knowing that here in the waiting, the best parts of my story are still being written. Here in my waiting, I am becoming not who I thought I might be at 16, but who God intended for me to be all along.
And in the journey, I know nothing is wasted. It is with this certainty that I can withstand the ebb and flow of circumstances when plans fall through but purpose remains. The pain is rooted in purpose. The perseverance is evidence of purpose. The patience, or sometimes lack of it, is an excerpt from my story of purpose. The triumph tells a story, and the tragedy is another chapter to build upon.
Today, I don’t have any plans. But purpose? I’ve got lots of purpose to pursue…