by Amanda McKelroy | December 30, 2017
With the new year just around the corner, it seems like this time of year we are all evaluating our lives and determining to do more next year. I hear more people upset with the progress they didn’t make than happy with what they did accomplish or with what God didn’t see fit to allow into their lives like they wanted. I’ll be the first to admit I’m guilty of looking back and instead of seeing the things that God allowed me to use for His glory, I see what I don’t have and I feel stuck and motionless.
December 23, 2011 I wrote on Facebook: “Sometimes I feel like the people around me are making awesome forward motion in their lives and I’m just stuck in place. Measuring your own progress is very…relative, I guess.”
Just because my life doesn’t have the same things my friend’s lives have; such as spouses, kids, a house, new cars, etc; does not mean I’m stuck in place. God allows and brings different things in our lives at the time that is right for us. What is needed from God in my neighbor’s life is likely not what I need from God in my own life.
“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” ~Proverbs 3:5-6
Looking back, my life was very much in forward motion – a lurching, slow forward motion – directly tied to how yielded to God I was. I spent too much time have a pity party over what God had not chosen to give me, and even trying to find those things on my own, when I should have used that time to work on being the best Christian I could be and left the rest in God’s hands.
When I finally started putting God first in my life with sincerity and consistency, God started opening amazing doors of opportunity to serve Him and that “forward motion” I was missing gained momentum. I still am spouse, children, house, and new car free; however, God has given me other elements in life. The forward motion that is the will of God for my life looks different than it does in my friend’s lives. He has given me leadership and ministry. He took my most passionate hobbies and gave me opportunities to use them in ministry to serve Him. Through those opportunities I have been able to grow and cultivate those skills and hobbies. Because I made serving God a priority over those pleasures in my life, he rewarded me with the ability to do more of them. My forward motion hasn’t been a spouse or children, it has been missions trips, ministry opportunities, mounted shooting, competitions, cowboy revival meetings, being the fiddle player for a bluegrass group, graduate studies, and influencing my staff for Christ.
“Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” ~Hebrews 13:5
I took me years to recognize that God’s purpose for my life may not be what I imagined it would be, and that I needed to get that stinkin’ thinkin’ of a preconceived notion out of my head. Trusting God’s timing isn’t just about sitting and waiting for what you think God should be bringing into your life. It’s using what you currently have to serve God to the best of your ability. Just because I’m not a mom of three children does not mean I’m not making waves for Christ. Just because my childhood dream of where I would be at this age didn’t come true doesn’t mean I can’t be serving God and living life to the fullest at the same time. Not everyone travels the same path, not everyone passes the same “milestones” at the same time.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” ~Philippians 4:11
My challenge to you is to throw out that mental picture of where you think you should be in life, and open your mind to where God has you. Use the abilities and passions you have to serve God wholly as you follow His will for you.
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” ~Hebrews 12:1-2