Life for me right now is in a state of flux.
I don’t know if it’s that I’m approaching 40 and kind of going through a mid-life rethinking. I’m not in crisis. But I’m just rethinking what I’ve done and where I’m going. Where I want to go. What I want to do. What I want to be in this next stage of my life.
In my spirit, I feel change. There’s a stirring of something different coming, but with it there’s been a constant and equally powerful command to just wait. Wait.
I find myself in a new state, new home, new church, and surrounded by new people.
I’m not in the classroom teaching anymore; I miss it at times, but on the days I sub, I’m not sure that’s a good fit for me anymore. I’m staying home now and doing a bit of online contract work that doesn’t ignite much passion in me, but it’s a bit of money and some sense of accomplishment.
I’ve got a trillion ideas about what I could do. I could write. I could go back to school and get my masters in something a little different. I could teach. I could open my own business and sell refurbished furniture or cute clothes or a mix of it all. I could go back to school and do something completely different. I have a million ideas, but none of them sink into my soul and say, that’s it, go for it.
I haven’t even found my “sweet spot” to serve in our church. I help greet new families on Sunday mornings and enjoy it, but it doesn’t feel like it’s IT. I want more. I’ve prayed about it, but God hasn’t opened any opportunities yet.
I know God has something different coming in my life that I feel is just going to be really a big step away from my past and current normal, but I’m clueless as to what it is.
I’m trying to find my place and my fit. I desperately want God to use me. If He’d just say the word, I would do IMMEDIATELY what He wants me to do. I have no qualms about obeying Him; whatever it is He tells me, I’m in. But the wait part about drives me crazy.
On some days, I feel like a racehorse, ready to go. I’m ready to plunge ahead and sprint towards whatever it is the Lord is calling me to do, but I’m stuck behind the gate waiting for the gun to give me permission to get a jump on my calling.
On other days, I feel like a tree being stripped of every branch, leaf, and comforting part of me. All I knew is gone, and I feel like a measly, barren trunk in the midst of a forest of towering evergreens.
Yesterday I sat in a Bible study that touched on this very topic. Our leader, Mollie Duddleston said, “God doesn’t want us to move ahead of where we have the maturity to be.”
So challenging. In a way, it’s humbling to think I’m lacking in something that God is waiting to be developed in me so that the gates can be opened and my branches and leaves can flourish again. Satan uses that at times to tell me I’ve messed up so badly that God can’t use me or that I’m not worthy of serving.
By being almost 40, I’m familiar with Satan’s stupid methods of attack. Thankfully he’s not very creative and just keeps recycling the same old garbage. And yet, on some days, it’s hard to combat him. Gratefully, God is always waiting with his Word to use as ammunition.
In my 20’s and 30’s, I thought I had this thing pretty well figured out. I had learned to adjust to the waves and storms that came my way for the most part, and I knew where I was going. What I was doing. Who I wanted to be.
Of course, also at the almost age of 40, I know now that I know a lot less than I knew in my 20’s and early 30’s. I’ve heard many other women say the same. It’s a good thing.
Now, at this stage of life, the fact that God may be waiting on me to learn or discover something is not as big of a shock. I really know nothing. It’s easy to be an expert on parenting with a few little ones. It’s easy to be an expert on marriage without many tough storms to weather. It’s easy to feel like I’m in the more “seasoned” stage of my life without hitting many rough seasons. I can now deal with the fact that I need to learn more because I’ve accepted that I really know nothing.
But it’s just hard to wait. I’m ready. I don’t like waiting.
Today, part of my chronological study covered Exodus 13. I’ve said before I always learn so much from the Israelites. And I love reading about them because they were in flux too.
They were in the process of escaping Egypt. The unknown was before them. A tough life of misery, slavery, and thankless work was behind them, along with the Egyptians and Pharaoh chasing them down.
Exodus 13:17-18 says, “God did not lead them along the road to the land of the Philistines, even though it was nearby; for God said, ‘The people will change their minds and return to Egypt if they face war.’ So he led the people around toward the Red Sea along the road of the wilderness. And the Israelites left the land of Egypt in battle formation.”
Did you see that? They left in battle formation. They expected a fight. Their hands probably rested on their weapons while their ears stayed alert to every little sound and their eyes scanned their surroundings for sounds of trouble. I’m sure their hearts were pounding waiting for whatever attack might come. They were ready.
But, God knew they couldn’t handle a battle. He knew they weren’t ready. They didn’t have the maturity to face what they thought they were ready for.
Is anyone with me? As our table discussed, several women felt the same. Where am I going? What are You doing with me God? What is Your calling on my life at this time, aside from the responsibilities You’ve already given me? Can You do more with me? Will You?
All we can do is wait, be patient, and know that God is moving. As for me, I’m going to be in battle formation, ready to use the skills God has given me for His glory while keeping my eyes, ears, and heart alert to what He wants to teach me. Praying you’re able to do the same.