In exactly one month I will be 30 years old. Where has the time gone? I made a plan 5 years ago on what I wanted my life to look like today and looking at it, nothing turned out as I had planned. I don’t have the husband or the freedom or the money or the time or the cabin or the kids I had dreamed about. Why?
It reminded me of the 2000 movie, The Kid, where Spencer Breslin who plays ‘the kid’ says to Bruce Willis (his older self), “So, I’m forty, I’m not married, I don’t fly jets, and I don’t have a dog? I grow up to be a loser!!”
Sometimes we feel like a loser when we look at our life and it’s nothing like we imagined. To think, in the last 5 years:
I dreamed of meeting my soulmate…
…But I remained single instead.
I dreamed of having children…
…But I was diagnosed with a brain tumor instead.
I dreamed of having a cabin on a lake…
…But I live in a small apartment instead.
I dreamed of being financially independent…
…But I went bankrupt and lost my house instead.
It’s so easy to get caught up in loser thinking when all we see is loser results. I will be the first to admit that I threw a lot of loser-pity-parties because nothing was going the way I wanted it to go. But all it did was lower my self-esteem and rob me of my joy each day.
But there comes a time when you have to accept things for what they are and move on. The past is already gone, so it’s a waste of time to keep living in it. I’m almost 30. It feels like I have spent the last 30 years concerned about what happened over the last 30 years, when I should have been thinking about the next 30 years. After all, time is not slowing down!
All the times I had prayed, why is nothing going the way I want it to go? But I never stopped to hear His reply.
And I’ve realized that God will only allow what He has willed for our life. So if things aren’t going the way we planned or wanted, it doesn’t mean that we are a loser or a failure; it just means that God has us exactly where He wants us and He will use us exactly where He has us. It doesn’t mean that those dreams will never come, it just means that God hasn’t willed it for us right now. (And He has His reasons for it!)
Dr. Sam Gordon (a guest pastor at Colonial) said, “We can be too big for God to use but we can never be too small.”
Which means we have to change our prayers. Instead of asking why? We should be asking how?
Lord, how can you use me in this situation? How can I do a better job of glorifying you in my actions today? How can I live with purpose in what you have willed for my life right now?
Changing my prayers has made a significant difference in changing my perspective. Asking how (instead of why) has helped me to clearly see a purpose for my life right now. In fact:
I may still be single…
…but it’s given me the time and flexibility to focus on serving more people instead.
I may have had some health challenges…
…but it’s given me a deeper faith and a more compassionate heart to love others who are hurting instead.
I may have lost everything…
…but it led to a life transforming move to North Carolina instead.
I may still be child-less…
…but it means I get to pour all of my love into my friend’s children instead.
When we look at our life through God’s perspective, we realize that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him” (Romans 8:28) and that “the testing of our faith develops perseverance” (James 1:3). Seeing our life through God’s lens is crucial for moving past “loser” thinking. If you feel like your life is not where you thought it would be, I pray that you would ask God to show you how He can use you for His purpose right now. …And wait for His reply…