One of the first fights my boyfriend (eventually my husband) and I had was in a mall parking lot.
We had been dating for a few months and were enjoying a low-key afternoon of shopping when out of nowhere he wanted to “talk.” I knew it wasn’t a break-up talk because things had been going so well. We were in love and slightly obsessed with each other. It turned out that the “talk” wasn’t to slow down our relationship but to speed things up. He casually broached the subject of our future and I backed away. I was bothered.
Of course I wanted to marry him . . . but not now, not when things were so good. We exited the mall and moved into the parking lot where I proceeded to shut down and weirdly navigate a conversation I didn’t want to be in.
If things are good, inevitably I believe bad things are coming. Call it self-sabotage or pessimism, but I have always had a hard time believing that anything could possibly be better than right now. If something is going well, why mess with it?
Maybe it’s better to say it this way — I am not good at change.
I desperately cling to the moment I am in and live in fear of what tomorrow holds. I didn’t want to move out of dating and into engagement. I didn’t want to move into the season of motherhood because I was afraid everything would only get worse. I resisted having baby number 2 (and 3, 4, and 5, for that matter) because I was convinced nothing could ever be better than the current life I had created.
Months before my son took his driver’s license test, I couldn’t sleep. My fear was less about him getting in an accident and more about how this would change our family. I was convinced that this would change everything. I can’t control what happens next which makes me want to try and control everything even more.
Time has a tight grip on me. The tick and turn of time feels like a death sentence rather than the click and twist of a beautiful kaleidoscope. Time scares me and I can’t slow it down. I can’t make it stop.
When I look back on my life, I see all the times I’ve tried to cling to life for control. But I think God is inviting me to cling to Him instead. I cling to time for security, but I think God is inviting me to cling to the hope of heaven instead. When I pay attention to all the seasons I have been through, I realize that I believed a lie.
The lie was, “This is as good as it gets.” I believed that right now was the best my life would ever be.
But the truth is right now is good, but something better is coming. After every change, good came. Grief and hardship were present, but so was new joy and new freedom. Right now is good, but God promises more goodness is still to come.
“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
1 Corinthians 13:12
My life, my kids, my family, my world is good, but everything I have is just a sliver of what is to come. I want to hold time down because I am afraid that the future will only bring heartache.
There will certainly be pain in the future, but there will also be heaven.
The future isn’t something I have to resist or push off, it is something God is giving me. Life right now is just an appetizer. It is a foretaste of what is to come.
I refuse to believe the lie anymore that right now is as good as it gets. Right now I am going to savor and give thanks for all I have been given, but I won’t grab onto these gifts with a death grip. That path of trying to cling to my life only leads to more fear. It’s true that I will encounter challenges ahead. But it is also true that behind every corner, love awaits me.
For those of you letting go of one season and heading into something unknown and new, lean into truth. Lean onto Jesus. Open your hands. Goodness awaits you. It really does.