The Lie Of Arriving
Just a little FYI: As you read this post, you may begin to feel like these words are for singles and you may be tempted to skip it. Don’t do it! My status is just a small part of the larger topic of arriving. I believe God can use this post no matter your life stage or status.
I don’t really write about singleness much these days, though at one time I did. In fact, I wrote a post called “Why Can’t We Admit We Want to Be Married?” for Boundless a few years ago. You can check it out...if you dare.
It’s not that I’ve sworn off talking about singleness. I haven’t. The conversation is valuable and I like to contribute to it when it fits. For me, being single is simply one aspect of my life and not the major message God has called me to right now.
Again, did I mention this post is NOT about singleness?
Now that that’s off my chest, let’s see if I can stop rambling...
I’ve dreamed for a long time about getting married and being a mom. Those of you who know me in real life know it’s true. Shoot, I went to college convinced I’d get my MRS degree while I was there. Thankfully, that didn’t happen. I would have probably killed a marriage, but that’s a story for another day.
For a long time, I felt like I had missed the mark. Like I was missing out on “normal” life because I was still single. My friends were getting married and starting families. Since my plan wasn’t working out, I was on this grand adventure to figure out what to do with my life. At least that’s what I was telling myself.
Honestly, it was more of following each open door, asking God all the while to direct my steps. And He did, but I still had to wrestle my life looking very different than I had planned.
Fast forward a little bit and I still feel like that some days. But God has done a lot of work in this heart and has grown me up in the knowledge that my ways are higher than your ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
God has awakened in me a calling that I would have missed if things had happened differently in my timeline.
For you, things may look different.
Maybe you were married young and had babies out the gate.
Maybe you’re middle-aged and single (and still desire to be married).
Maybe you’ve had career change after career change and you're just not sure where God’s leading.
Maybe you’ve had a failed marriage.
Maybe you’re unable to have children.
Maybe you’ve failed to meet your own expectations.
Maybe you lost your job after 20 years of investing in the company.
Maybe your spouse has died.
Maybe you’ve grown your family through adoption
Maybe marriage has never even been on your radar.
Life looks different for all of us, right?
Does the fact that we’ve taken different routes in life mean some of us have gotten it wrong?
Is There A Right Way To Do Life?
Most of us grew up with some sort of life roadmap laid out for us. Depending on what generation you grew up in that roadmap may vary a little, but the basic route is the same. You grow up, find a career, get married, start a family, buy a house, plan for retirement, and work (work and work) until you can retire. Then enjoy retirement until you’re called home.
There’s nothing wrong with this plan (in and of itself), but what if life doesn’t go the way we plan?
What if you’re not interested in the roadmap above?
If your life doesn’t look like the roadmap above, did you get it wrong?
There are many scenarios that get left out of the typical roadmap.
This model forgets to take into account loss (of marriage, spouse, home, children, parents, etc.), specific God-given callings, financial crisis, or other scenarios and struggles.
It’s great, but is it complete?
What Happens When Our Lives Don’t Go As Planned?
Maybe you planned to walk the typical roadmap, or maybe you always knew you’d take a different course. Either way, life rarely goes as we plan it.
So, what do we do when life doesn’t go as we plan?
We Keep A Single-Focus
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-3, ESV
Remember, we’re living a life for One. All of this stuff is going to fade-- we’re going to fade. But the life we live for God’s Kingdom, well, it’s eternal.
Jesus kept running toward the cross. He was single-focused. There was one goal. That goal was to reconcile you and me to Himself.
By our standards, Jesus didn’t live his “best life now.” We don’t know much about Jesus’ life before His ministry, but we know His ministry began when He was 30 years old and that it abruptly ended at 33 years old. We know He was rarely accepted and that His ministry was constantly questioned. We know He was loved, but that He was more often hated. We know His earthly life ended in execution.
So, what did he accomplish in 33 years? Ummm. EVERYTHING.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16, ESV
Quit Buying The Lie Of Arriving
There’s a lie going around that your life has to look like the above roadmap to be normal. Will you go ahead and remove that from your mind. It’s just not true.
You will never “arrive.”
And maybe we aren’t supposed to.
God has called you and equipped you for YOUR life. Life is hard. Therefore, you will have hard days and hard seasons. Things will go well and things will fall apart. Sometimes you will feel like you are in a constant state of limbo. I talk about my own seasons of limbo in “What Living In Limbo Taught Me About God."
That’s hard, right?
But by God’s grace, life is BEAUTIFUL!
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28, ESV
Hand those things over to Jesus and let him weave a story for His glory and for your good.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6, ESV
You don’t know where you’re headed? Me neither!
I do know my life is meant to be poured out for the Gospel. If that means my life is also going to look a little different than I dreamed, so be it.
Different doesn’t equal bad. My life is nothing like I dreamed, but I LOVE it! Sure, I’d change some things, but only with God’s direction. I choose Him and the life He has for me.
When we live for One, we’ve already arrived.
So, I’m curious. Does your life look the way you planned? How has God surprised you?
Verses for Further Study:
Matthew 6:19-21, ESV: Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Matthew 6:33, ESV: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
Ephesian 2:10, ESV: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Micah 6:8, ESV: He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?