I remember as a child counting down the days until my tenth birthday. Ten just sounded so grown up to me! I mean, two whole hands just to show my age!
But it wasn’t much past ten that I began looking forward to the next milestone. And the next. And the next.
I thought life would be perfect when I turned 13 and would finally be a teenager. My family would take me more seriously, my friends would see that I was really growing up.
I especially looked forward to turning sixteen, because at that time in my life my family lived and worked at a camp for troubled boys and all the staff were so much older than me. They had all their staff get togethers to play board games or have a bonfire, or go hiking, and I was often left out. Surely once I turned 16, 17, 18 they would invite me to join in.
And so I spent my childhood and teenage years always wishing for the next thing. The next age, or stage, or event. I lived for the future when I would be able to drive, to volunteer in ministry, or get married.
When I began dating I looked forward to being engaged, and once there I could hardly wait until the wedding.
That feeling that life would be perfect if only xyz would happen is still something I wrestle against. Because the older I get, the more I realize that there are hard things no matter which stage in life I’m in and wishing them over and in the past doesn’t help me grow.
Getting my drivers license or going into VS work didn’t satisfy my craving for something more, nor did getting married or having children. There is nothing wrong with looking forward to things in the future, but only Jesus can fill our longings and make us fully content in the present.
I wish I could say I live fully in the present at this stage in my life, but the truth is that sometimes I still get impatient to reach the next stage. To be done with pregnancy and hold my baby. To be finished potty training my toddler. To move into the house we’ve been working on building for the past year.
But each stage not only has hard things, there are also beautiful treasures to be found in relationships and experiences. And if I am so eager for the next thing I miss out on the here and now.
No matter what stage you are in, ask Jesus for the patience to live fully present and content where you are at.
Tabitha is a friend and blogger of ours from Alaska. She was very impactful in Daisy’s and my life when we were younger and we are so happy that she was willing to share with us! Please feel free to check out her blog and Instagram to hear more from her!