I have spent my life in two modes.
1. Wishing and hoping and praying for time to speed up so that I could get to the “good” part of my life.
2. Wishing time would come to a halt to accommodate me in my longing for a season to last forever.
I am ashamed to report that almost my entire life has been spent in mode 1. When I was in high school I just wanted time to speed up so I could be in college. When I was in college I longed to enter a time warp to be transported to married life. As a married woman, I have wanted to fast forward to being a mother of as many children as our home can hold. I have often been wishing my life away.
Why am I like this? What is so wrong with right now? Honestly, I believe that humans have an issue with the grass always being greener. As soon as I get that job things will be easy. As soon as I get married I will be happy. As soon as I...you get the picture. The truth is, there is no amount of green grass on the other side that will satisfy our longing. It hurts to think about, but it’s true. How many things in life have you hyped up only to experience it and be utterly disappointed?
I remember when I found out I was going to get the chance to go to Disney World. I was ecstatic! I’m not even sure that word encompasses everything I was feeling. Thomas and I were given the opportunity by my mother and step-father. They decided to give us a trip as a wedding gift. They also decided to gift the same trip to the rest of my family. Our honeymoon was a family vacation. Talk about an awkward morning after encounter, am I right? At the same time, who turns down a free honeymoon?
As a kid, I remember thinking that if I could just get to Disney World, everything would be better. I had seen commercial after commercial featuring overjoyed children holding Mickey Mouse balloons in one hand and the actual hand of Mickey in the other. This was my time. I remember walking up to the gates and being pumped out of my mind. I was going to meet Belle and see a parade and eat delicious Mickey Mouse-shaped foods. My dreams were about to come true. Not quite. I did do all of the things I had dreamt of for most of my life, but it didn’t quite fit the bill. I just remember walking around and continuing to wonder when the magic was going to hit me and I would experience Disney euphoria. It didn’t and I didn’t. It’s a theme park. You wait in lines, pay too much for food, and walk mile after mile trying to navigate a ridiculously huge map.
Please understand, I have nothing against Disney World. I will probably take my children one day. It just didn’t satisfy me. I waited my entire life to experience it and it left me wanting. I had built up this fantasy in my mind that was impossible to match. It made me feel as if all of those years of longing were a waste. Well, they kind of were. I spent so many years dreaming of what could be instead of enjoying the here and now.
When Thomas and I found out we were going to have a baby, I cried. I was so incredibly happy that joyous tears rolled down my face while I held that positive pregnancy test in my hand. I could not believe my dream was coming true. I was going to be a mom. I have longed for this title my entire life. Once we got to the second trimester, I allowed myself to get excited about the baby. We had two miscarriages before David, so I was weary. Once he went to heaven, I was devastated. It was like my dreams were shattered.
My greener grass has always been to be a mom. I just knew that once I became a mother my life would be fulfilled. I just had to wait for that to happen so that I could reach my full potential. Wow. It looks crazy as I write it, but that is exactly how I felt and sometimes still feel.
Being a mother is going to be one of the best things I will ever get to be in life. I have never had a deeper desire to be anything. But, just because I’m not a mom yet, doesn’t mean I am allowed to wait for my life to begin. In the weeks that followed the passing of our son, I have come to realize something. There is so much purpose in today. God can use me today. The same goes for you, too. I know our time is coming, but it’s not here quite yet. In the meantime, pray, seek, and live for today. I don’t want us to miss out on what God has for us right now.
For me, living for today means being intentional about building relationships. I teach 7th grade Language Arts and I love my students. I truly believe that middle schoolers are their own species and it is nothing short of fantastic. Teaching has been one of the most important things for me to focus on during this season, but it has been challenging. I have had moments where I have wanted to give up and choose a random job. I have felt as if I was losing my purpose. Thankfully, I work with incredible kids. When I went back to work after the loss of David, I was met with love and concern from so many of my 7th graders. One student wrote me a letter explaining how I was a mother figure to her. She didn’t realize how deep that letter penetrated my heart. I was blown away and reminded of the importance of my role in the lives of my students. It is not that I am such an incredible teacher, it is that I show up and I listen. That is all they need. Even though you may not be exactly where you want to be in life, God has still placed people in your path that you can show up for. We all have a purpose to chase after each day.
What experience do you think you need to have to be fulfilled? Whatever it is, it won’t satisfy you. I can promise you that. No title, amount of money, success, or notoriety will fill that gaping hole in your soul. It just isn’t possible. The only way to fill that hole is to trust in the one who created you. To drop all of your ideas about the grass being greener and to just live in the moments that God created you for. Take in today and live in purpose. God has so many wonderful things to show us right now, don’t miss them.
How has the longing for greener grass affected your life? Do you still desire the next and the best thing? Let me know your thoughts.