I’m one of those people who gets impatient. I know, how terrible right? I also joke that when God was making me and he was adding my characteristics, he found that there was no more patience when it came to me so I was born with none. I’ve had to learn every bit of patience I have from the beginning. Many times over.
Because of this lack of patience (that I am working on, I promise) I tend to want to hurry through the seasons of life. You know, when you are a kid, you want to grow up. When you are single, you want to get married. When you are married, you want kids. When you have the kids, you want a break from the kids. Do you ever feel like that?
I have come to realise this trait about myself quite recently and have been doing my best to slow myself down and focus on enjoying the path of where I am right now. I don’t want to get to the end of my life and look back wondering if I ever enjoyed anything because I was so busy waiting for the next thing. So I have to slow myself down deliberately and focus on where God has me right now.
When I was single, all I wanted was to be married. It was all I had dreamed about since I was a little girl. When I reached the magical age of 21 (where in my mind I was supposed to be married by) and realised I was still single, I found it hard. It wasn’t until a few years later that I had a revelation of the fact that maybe it wasn’t even in God’s plan for me to be married. I then made the decision to live my life to the fullest with or without a husband and refocus on God. This decision changed me dramatically and I started to have so much more joy. (And in case you were wondering my husband came along a couple of months after this decision – I guess the lesson was all God needed me get from that season).
Although I did learn that lesson I still need to remind myself of the joy in journey in every season I go through. So for those of you who are like me and are right now looking ahead to what you are dreaming of, stop for a moment and try to enjoy where you are right now. To help you out a little I have written this thought provoking 7 day journal challenge to help you find your joy. So grab your pen and notebook and get writing!
Day 1 – What season are you in right now? What is your end goal? Why do you think you are focusing so much on the end and not where you are right now? Write about your thoughts right now. Are you unhappy? Do you see this season as almost finished or still a long way to go? Why? What are your fears about this season? Once you have written your journal entry for the day read the Isaiah 40:31 and pray over the thoughts you have written down.
Day 2 – Sometimes when we are so focused on the destination we forget to see the beauty in where we are. What things can you take joy in for where you are currently at? If you are currently waiting on a husband, what joy can you see in being single? It may take some time to think about but there is something special in each season. Are there others around you who are in the same season. List some people who are currently where you are and think about ways that you could all support each other right now. If you are struggling to see the beauty right now, why do you think this is?
Day 3 – What practical things can you do this week to bring you more joy right now where you are? Maybe you can plan a trip to give yourself something to look forward to. If you are waiting on a husband, maybe you can by a book on being a great wife and make yourself someone who guys would love to marry. Or if you are waiting on God to bless you with a child, try doing something fun with your spouse this week that would be more difficult with kids. Try typing into google “Fun things to do for _______ (fill in the blank)… single people, unemployed people, people with little money etc. How do these practical things make you feel? Have you noticed a difference in your thoughts about where you are at?
Day 4 – Sometimes you feel alone in your journey when there don’t seem to be others who are going through what you are. Today see if you can find someone who has been through what you are going through now. Ask them if you can talk about your feelings. Ask them what helped them through it and what they learned along the way. How did speaking to this person make you feel? Did it help? If you weren’t able to find someone to talk to how did this make you feel? What did you learn today? If this task was hard for you maybe consider joining an online forum of others who are where you are. Sometimes just having people alongside you can change the whole dimension of the journey.
Day 5 – Think about some of the past journeys that you have been on. Which one stands out to you the most? Why? How did you feel while on that journey? Did you feel similar to how you do now in this season? What got you through that season and what did you learn? How can you apply what you learnt and felt there to the journey you are on now?
Day 6 – Sometimes taking our eyes off our own circumstances can make a huge difference to the way we feel. It’s almost like a holiday from our circumstances. Today look for someone who is going through something that you been through in the past. Make time to chat with them and give them encouragement. Share with them what helped you in the situation. Don’t drown them with advice but be caring and sensitive, remembering how you felt when you were on that journey. How do you feel since meeting with someone who is going through something that you have been through? Did it make you feel better to know that your experience can help others? What thoughts are going through your head today?
Day 7 – What do you think you could learn from your current journey? Imagine yourself in the future looking back at yourself where you are now. What do you think you are thinking while looking back? Are you glad that you took the time to find joy in this season or are you sad that the season is now over? Are you a stronger person having survived this journey? God allows us to go through trials and hard times so He can allow us to become the people He created us to be, if this season is a test what can you do to pass it quickly and get to the next round?
Has this journaling challenge made a difference to how you feel about the journey you are currently on? I would encourage you to keep your written answers to this challenge for the future. It may be fun when you are through this journey to see how you felt while on the road to where you are going.
Please share with me if you enjoyed this challenge and what you got out of it.