Meet our guest writer Hannah!
Hannah is an author, coach, and founder of an online community for women called By Words that focuses on faith-based personal development and embracing your story as you pursue your dreams and goals. She's on a mission to help women heal, find vision, and step into their purpose with confidence!
"Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am." Philippians 12-13 MSG
I used to be so unhappy with my job. I tried to work hard and give my best, but at the end of the day, I felt unfulfilled.
“Surely, there’s gotta be more than this.”
Years passed – about six, in fact – and I found myself unmoved. Nothing seemed to be changing for me. Every time I left, I thought it would be the last time, but each time I returned I got the sense that it was God’s will for me to be back.
Unmoved in the center of God’s will. Unfulfilled and dissatisfied, questioning and complaining. And maybe that’s why He kept leading me back to my high school job years later: I was unmoved.
Not because of the job necessarily, but because of the condition of my heart – hard staked, unwilling most times to budge for the greater good that was just beyond my immediate vision at the time.
And it hit me: I’m not adding anything to where I’m at right now. I’m being selfish, fixed on the negatives, and totally consumed with, “Once I get out of here…” as if moving on to what I thought was “it” would make me feel better. I thought that once I was where I wanted to be, I’d work harder and give my best, all with a smile, because then I’d be making a real difference.
As if the steps in between are meaningless. Where does this thinking come from?
We are chronically overtaken by, “when I get there” attitudes, as if right now is insignificant.
We treat the meantime as a stepping stool with which we can glaze over the momentary and get to the “better” stuff, but we’re looking through the wrong lens.
The world screams that bigger is better. Do more, have more, be more, and then you will matter.
This could not be more contrary to God’s loving intention for the intricate “in between.”
If my heart is hardened by impatience and lust for future, my present work will be hollow, unfulfilling, and frustrating.
I won’t see the meaning in what I’m doing right now if all I’m thinking about is how to get to the next thing. And if I’m not actively, gratefully, adding to where I am right now, how in the world can I expect to care more, work harder, and feel better once I “get there”? There’s no way.
If I cultivate a heart that wants more, once I have more, I’ll only want more. (This can be wonderful or detrimental, depending on which “more” I desire.)
I dream of being able to help people – to encourage, inspire, and uplift them, but if I’m not adding those things to what I’m doing right now, I’m missing out on some prime preparation time. If I choose to add – by working joyfully, gratefully, and willingly to see God’s purpose in the meantime – then when I get where I’m going, I will be more joyful, grateful, and able to see God’s purpose in every step leading up to it.
To summarize, right now matters.
It matters as much as whatever God is preparing us for. If we aren’t willing or able to see God’s faithfulness where we are today, we will miss His sweet provision in preparing us for the “more” we are anticipating.
Let’s soak in the moments and choose to add to right now instead of rushing past it.
-Express gratitude for what God is doing in your life right now. How do you see Him at work in your day to day?
-Evaluate the condition of your heart today. Are you content? What does contentment look like in your present circumstances?
-God shows us throughout scripture that He cares so much about the journey and not just the end result. What moment do you idolize as a "when I get there" moment? How can you show appreciation toward the journey God has you on today?
Focus on one thing God is doing in your life in your present season. Express gratitude to Him for it throughout your week, and consider sharing about what He's currently doing with a friend.
God, thank you for being with me on the journey and for caring about all of the "in between" moments. I believe and receive that you are leading me into greater things. In the meantime, help me to be faithful where you have me. Cultivate a grateful and content heart in me, so that my gratitude for your presence and power in my life will only grow as my seasons change. Amen.
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