Just as you decide to forego a vacation to save money, a friend announces her family’s trip to Maui.
It seems when you finally realize it’s a season to spend less time working and be more present with your children, another mom decides to launch her business and accept childcare.
You’re purging your house, donating all of your excess, and you see the woman next to you at Target with a cart full of cute décor.
You commit to take a week to rest and get extra sleep, but on Monday you stumble over an article about all the benefits of waking early to be more productive.
The day after you celebrate your seven-year-old reading a book without any help from you, a friend openly and innocently talks to you about her highly capable son who has been reading short stories since he was four.
You’re in the middle of buying a house on acreage, when you hear the story of a woman who sold her property for a life serving the poor in the city.
It happens all the time. The unfolding of our life clashes with someone else, a friend, a spouse, a stranger. What’s worse, we always find out about it. Some days I wish I could live in a bubble instead of being exposed to the decisions, events, and plots happening in people’s stories.
Suddenly, the season, the circumstance, the celebration, or the surrender you were so confident about feels confusing. Your excitement wanes. You question your choice. You wonder if it was all in your head.
Now, here’s where I’m usually guilty of backing out. I do not even need hours or days to dart towards to the door. Within minutes, you can find me doubting my initial conviction and running straight back to where I came from.
It’s frustrating to realize what He’s whispering to me to start right now, He is in the same moment telling another to quit. When He’s encouraging me to slow down, He is asking someone else to speed up.
Where’s my fortitude when I meet someone going in another direction?
In those moments, we feel like erasing our experience, discounting our discovery, or silencing our celebration, but before you entertain the envy, answer two questions.
One. What was my original reason for setting out along this path, taking on this project, or making this move… did you feel peace, sense a promise, gain new purpose?
And two. How can I encourage fellow travelers whose map does not match mine?
It’s almost a guarantee you will meet someone this week who will (unbeknownst to them!) entice you to enter their unique season, ignore your newfound resolution, follow their patterns and rules of life, or adopt their values, and ultimately to go against something you sensed strong in your heart, a stirring you couldn’t fight any longer.
God is wooing you into this wild life and it looks like growing in your ability to walk gracefully down the trail He’s charting out for you, however vague it may seem at times.
The constant worry that you might be going the wrong way, especially when you look around at everyone else, only serves one purpose- to keep you stuck.