There is Joy in the Here and Now

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This weekend I headed home for some much needed R&R and to catch up with family and friends. While at lunch with some friends, all who are in many different stages of life, we began to talk about the questions people ask about our futures + the constant state of anticipation many of us live in. Questions like..

  • If you’re married: “When are you going to start having kids?”

  • If you’re engaged: “How’s the wedding planning going?”

  • If you’re dating: “When are you going to get engaged?”

  • If you’re single: “When are you going to start dating?”

  • If you’re about to graduate college: “What are your plans after graduation?”

  • If you’re about to graduate high school: “Where are you going to college and what are you majoring in?”

… and it goes on and on. While there’s nothing wrong with these questions and they’re normal things to ask and wonder about, they have left so many of us with a feeling of discontentment regarding the season we are in currently. There’s always a feeling of anticipation about the next thing to look forward to, making it easy to want to rush through the present. It can be easy to constantly look forward to the next season, thinking to ourselves that if we can just get to that stage of life, we will finally feel content and like we have it all together. We make up the idea in our head that we will finally feel joyful if we can just get to the next best thing. While it’s important to look forward to things and be excited about the beautiful future the Lord has for you, there is still such an opportunity to have joy and live life to the fullest in the current season.

I wanted to write this blog post just as an encouragement for others (and myself) that while there will always be exciting things ahead of us and things to come, we can still have joy in the here and now in the season we are in. I don’t want to look back on my life one day and wish I hadn’t rushed through life always looking forward to what was coming next. Because the truth is, there will always be exciting things to come but we get to make the choice to choose joy today. The Lord has so many beautiful, precious things that we get to learn and experience in all of these seasons— especially when our lives don’t progress as we expected or planned for them to. I am so guilty of planning and preparing and looking forward to the future a bit too much.. and am learning to focus on intentionally being present and fully there in the season I’m currently experiencing.

One of my favorite, most encouraging Bible verses on this topic is Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens”. God’s plan is ever so perfect and so preciously designed just for you. There is a time for everything! The Lord knows the desires of our heart and has perfectly planned a time for everything in our lives. Rushing through life and always looking to the next season will continuously leave us unfulfilled and wanting more. It’s only when we can fully surrender our life plan to the Lord and allow Him to work in His perfect timing that we can learn to have joy in the current season, regardless of what that might look like.

I’m so thankful for a God that knows my heart and has intricately designed a plan for my life. I’m thankful for each and every season that He has allowed me to live, and can’t wait to see what big things He has coming next. Until then, I’m going to choose joy and thank Him for what life looks like right now. He is a good, good Father. He always has been and He always will be.

Random things that brought me joy this week:

  • Cutting 5 inches off my hair and it feeling so fresh + healthy again

  • Getting to spend quality time with my family and one of my best friends, Genna, this weekend

  • Extra snuggle time with my dogs, Manning and Margo

  • Getting a good grade on a lab exam I studied hard for

  • Unexpectedly seeing my big, Amberly, at the Alpha Chi house as she’s been in NYC all semester for her internship

  • Heart to hearts with my girl Isabel

  • Today’s rainy day that turned so sunshine-y + beautiful

I hope this post encourages you to be more intentional about living in the present and embracing the beauty and goodness in whatever season of life you might be in. Happy Monday, friends!