Recently I got asked to write an article for the international ministry
as a guest on their Women Wednesdays.
My immediate prayer: “Lord, what do I write?”
I sat down and just started to write exactly what I felt in my soul.
Lately I’ve been going against the grain and pushing back on things in my life, like:
always being available
keeping my phone with me on the regular (actually I still do that)
and caring so much what people think.
I have had this realization that our minds are sometimes so programmed by how we’ve grown up, and it takes a truce miracle to break out of that and give God a chance to reset. He does this a lot by blowing our minds, showing up for you in front of everyone and ultimately breaking all the rules you and your community have set for Him and how He does things in life. Here’s my story:
Let me just start off by saying, I am 34 years old. For some readers, that is SO old. For others, you're thinking, oh honey, you're young!
Some days, in my mind, I'm basically ancient. According to how I interpret the pressures from this world, as well as my career, my trials, and my goals, the truth is I am way behind.
At 34, I thought my music and speaking career would be booming by now. I'd have a few beautiful kids and the home with the white fence and (big) dog. You know--the one I'd pinned on Pinterest a million times, with the basic ship-lap backsplash and the farm table, with a splash of modern-industrial.
When I look back, I was well on my way. I was married to a professional athlete, and I wrote a marriage blog out of my passion for seeing marriages thrive. I had money in the bank and knew all the right people to make whatever I dreamed come true.
Then at 30 years old, my world came crashing down and much of what I'd hoped in failed me: the record deals, the money, my opportunities, and even my marriage. It all. Just. Stopped. Gone in an instant.
To make matters worse, I'd allowed myself to get to a place in my life where I cared what everyone thought. And because I was in such a public light, the failure was even more humiliating.
Since that time, I've often watched those around me "making it" while surveying the damage of my own hopes, and thought, What the heck, God? I don't understand.
From the time I was 5 years old, I believed that God had something special planned for my life, and according to my timeline, it should have definitely happened by now. Something, anything... c'mon now.
The truth is over the last few years, I have often felt the exact opposite of accomplished. I have felt behind schedule, that I missed the mark, lost the opportunity, and need to just kind of settle for where I am and make the best of it. My perfect plan with its perfect timeline was set, and now it's nowhere to be found.
This struggle to reconcile my expectations with reality isn't just an internal one either; I've even had push-back from family, because my life doesn't look how it was "supposed" to look. And just when I begin to feel lost in it all, I remind myself of a passage of Scripture with Elijah in 1 Kings 18:44-45.
...And he said, "Go up, say to Ahab, 'Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.'" And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he gathered up his garment and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
Ahab was on his way before Elijah even got started. Logically and realistically, he was WAY behind.
But the Bible tells us that even though Elijah left after Ahab--and even though he was on foot while Ahab went by chariot--extraordinarily, Elijah beat Ahab to the destination. How can this be?? Because the hand of the Lord was on him.
Let me tell you something about our amazing God: He likes to break the rules. The Lord has a way of popping the Christian bubbles we've created for ourselves and think are biblical. He doesn't play by our rules; He breaks them.
You know my timeline and my plan? Those were the rules I'd written for my life, and in a sense, I'd expected God to play by them. When they blew up, I felt I'd missed it all.
But let's get real, ladies: what a toxic lie to believe that you are EVER behind when you are in the hand of God. What a scheme our enemy would love for us to believe so that we would not attempt to run after the things He has placed inside of us to do!
The ironic thing is wherever you are in life, whether you are 20 or 80, this lie will paralyze you and try to stop you from walking in the very thing God has for you. Replace this lie with the truth: You are never late when you're in the presence of God.
Did you know many people started their greatest adventures when it might've looked like they were "behind"? Ray Kroc had passed his 50th birthday before he bought the first McDonald's, which he ultimately expanded into a worldwide conglomerate. Although Sam Walton had owned a small chain of discount stores, he opened the first true Wal-Mart in 1962, when he was 44. Julia Childs' first cookbook was published when she was 39; she made her television debut in The French Chef at age 51.
Do you ever feel like you missed it? That you've had your last adventure? That your dreams are a thing of the past? That somehow God decided He's done with you? If this is something you struggle with, tell the lie to overdose on its toxic self, and look up to the King.
It's never too late when His hand is upon you. Just trust the rule breaker.