Congratulations! We survived 2020! That in and of itself is a huge feat! We had a lot to overcome and hopefully, we learned a lot about ourselves.
As I headed into this New Year, I felt myself getting anxious for all the plans. All the things. My job. My future. My relationships. My anything and everything. I felt like I needed to sketch out EVERY aspect of what I wanted this year to look like in hopes that it would be better then the last. As if I learned nothing from 2020, I figured if I found a way to plan out every aspect of my life, that should do the trick, right?
So I sat down on a Sunday afternoon and went to work. I started planning everything. And setting my goals and the reactions I would have when I reached them.
It wasn’t until I was looking at them later that I realized in every aspect my happiness was based on getting what my desired result was. If I lost 20 pounds, I would celebrate with blah; if this worked this way, I would celebrate with blah; and so on and so forth. For a second, I felt pretty accomplished.
BUT GOD. My reading that day was in Ecclesiastes. Ecclesiastes 3:1 to be exact. To everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. And so of course, here comes my denial hardcore. But God, what about this sadness I’m feeling? What about this relationship that won’t work? What about this change? Surely that isn’t a part of the season, right? Wrong!
He says EVERYTHING. That means grief and happiness and joy and EVERYTHING in between. There is a time FOR ALL OF IT. So if everything has a time, I shouldn’t just be rejoicing and celebrating in the “when” but just as joyful and grateful for the “now”. The plans that aren’t working. The broken pieces I’m putting back together. ALL OF IT is a part of a season that is integral for my growth.
So, my New Year's intention is to celebrate the space between where I am and where I’m headed. There is beauty in the journey if we slow down enough to look for it. Here’s to dancing in the waiting!
Keep Me in the Moment
by Jeremy Camp
Singing oh, Lord, keep me in the moment
Help me live with my eyes wide open
'Cause I don't wanna miss what you have for me
Singing oh Lord, show me what matters
Throw away what I'm chasing after
'Cause I don't wanna miss what you have for me
Keep me in the moment
Oh, keep me in the moment
Keep me in the moment
As we are in this time of uncertainty and change, it has been SO hard not to give into the feelings of anxiety and fear. Everything is different right now and no one has all the answers, which makes it even more frightening.
The normal things that we did on a daily basis have become a source of anxiety and stress. Going to the grocery store requires a face mask, gloves and hand sanitizer. The things that 3 months ago we wouldn’t have given a second thought about have become huge things now.
This is a season of mourning for everyone. Every single person has lost something in this time whether it’s a graduation party, time with friends, or jobs. Some of us have lost family members or friends due to CoVid- 19. Whatever you have lost in this time, I am sorry. I know how difficult this is for all of us. We are in this together. 💓
Through this time, it has been difficult to trust and take one day at a time. If I’m honest, I’ve been really struggling. I’m struggling with anxiety, loneliness, frustration, and really just asking WHY God? And I don’t have all those answers. But I do know these things:
When you have to go without, you truly realize how much you have. So I challenge you in this scary, unknown time to ask God what He wants you to take away from this. Take a minute and think of all the things you’ve been able to do because of this season and thank God for those moments. In the rush to return to normal, what is it that we are really rushing back to?
- Navi Pauley
Many things about tomorrow
I don't seem to understand
But I know who holds tomorrow
And I know who holds my hand
- lyrics by Alison Krauss
,I just returned from a trip to see my grandparents over Thanksgiving week. The trip was great but coming back has been a little rough. My car was stolen from the airport parking lot. My job is stressful. Holidays are coming. You know the normal craziness that adults go through on a day-to-day basis 😂. Honestly, it's a really good thing God gave me a special moment before I landed or I would’ve already had my mental breakdown.
The flight from Charlotte to Peoria was not fun. It was stormy and turbulent.. I always sit by the window. I don’t why, but it’s where I always end up! As we were landing, I realized something...we were flying above Peoria and I could see all the lights and flashing shiny things, so I had convinced myself I was only 5 minutes away from the airport, even though the pilot had just announced 15 minutes. I just assumed I was right and he was giving us an estimated time. To my surprise, he kept going and going and within 5 minutes we were in the absolute pitch black, like so black you couldn’t see the wing of the airplane. I then convinced myself, oh man the pilot “missed the turn” and is going to have to turn back around toward the lights. He didn’t. A few minutes later they announced that we had landed! I didn’t even know we had landed! I was so convinced that I was right that I was waiting to feel the plane turn in the direction I felt was the right way.
It seems silly, I know, but I then realized I DO THE EXACT SAME THING TO God. When He takes me away from the brightness and shininess and busyness of the world to just be quiet and wait, I get impatient. I just want the "time out" to be done so I get back to the path that I assume is the one I should be traveling. I often miss what’s right in front me because I’m busy looking for what I think should be there, or He takes longer than I think He should. God is a perfect God who knows all things and controls all things. Are you getting frustrated and exhausted from constantly “backseat flying”? Me too! God does, in fact, have His pilot's license and He does not need me to try to fly the plane. - Navi
And I'll praise you in this storm
And I will lift my hands
That you are who you are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise you in this storm
Praise you in the storm.
“For I know the plans I have for you declared the Lord plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11
Am I there yet? Am I living the plan that God has for my life? How do I know whether or not I have “ made it” to the plan that God has for my life?
I’m sure I’m not the only one who has asked this question. I wish I could tell you I had an answer to the secret equation that equals success - that formula that lets you know you are living out the life God has for you - but unfortunately, I don’t. I do know that I get tired - tired of the waiting for the next big thing, the next big thing that signifies I’m one step closer to the “plan”.
The closer I get to Christ, the more I realize His plan is entirely different than my own. My plan is made up of moments - graduation, marriage, kids, etc. His plan includes me growing closer to Him, leading others to Him, loving others through Him and serving for Him. His plan is perfect and His love never failing. “It is in Christ we find who we are and what we are living for.” So, I’m going to lean into His plan for my life and work on being patient in the waiting.
⁃ Navi Pauley
What will it look like?
What will it be like?
When my world turns out like You planned.
When will I get there? Feels like I'm nowhere.
My dreams are like dust in my hair.
But I, I know.
That this is the waiting.
I anxiously wait.
'Cause I hold on to love that will never let go.
And in these times that my patience is tested,
Won't You remind me that I'm not home?
Here in the waiting.
The waiting. The waiting.
- Jamie Grace
My name is Lynn Pauley. I'm just a normal woman, with normal struggles. Any success I've found comes from following the Scriptures. I'll update this blog as time and inspiration permit.