I didn’t want to listen to the word God spoke to my heart. Future. That word scared me.
The future has always carried two scenarios in my mind: 1) the time when my parents are no longer here; 2) the time when my marriage dream comes to fruition. One is full of fear. The other wrapped in hope.
I asked God, Are you sure that’s the word for 2020?
I tried to think in lighter terms. At the end of 2019, I published my first book and signed up for the first seminary class. I watched two dreams happen before my eyes – writing a book and going to graduate school – and in 2020 I could live out the next steps of these dreams.
Maybe this is what God meant by “future.”
I wasn’t convinced that was all. God often takes us deeper than we want to go, further on the journey of faith. He wants us to let go and trust Him for everything.
When the pandemic arrived, I knew God was stretching me to that deeper place. Was I trusting in the health of our household or the faithfulness of God to carry me through the difficult days? Was my focus on the dreams that hadn’t happened yet or learning to live my current season well?
In the early weeks of the pandemic, I didn’t just fight my virus fears. I wrestled with God about my dream to be married one day.
Hope ran low. The future I longed for now seemed impossible. I confessed my struggle to the closest friends. I needed them to believe and hold out the lifeline to hope while I sat in the questions of why? and when?
I had already seen my chances for love disappear in the past. I didn’t understand what God was doing or why He had led me to Future as my next “F” word. If I’m quarantined for months, how am I supposed to meet someone new?
My focus was stuck on the future and what I wanted to happen. This was stealing my joy in the present.
Over the summer, I left my future at the feet of Jesus. Every dream I could imagine… Finding a guy who chooses and loves me in return. Becoming a parent. Living more independently or without fears related to my security and physical needs… I laid it all down. I was tired of wrestling and asking questions.
As I surrendered my dreams, I stood on the edge of a new future. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I don’t know how long this pandemic will last. I can’t predict the timing of any dream.
Will I be okay if I never get married?
Will I be okay if I don’t, or can’t, have kids?
Will I be okay if God’s dreams look different than mine?
Once again, the pandemic and tornado experiences taught me that I could say yes. I am not the one in control. God is. And God is bigger than any dream or fear in my heart. He can be trusted. He promises to give me hope and a Future. I can leave all my tomorrows with God because I have Hope.
I’m still learning to not focus on the unknown future, but on living today as best as I possibly can.