Blonde curls bounce as she runs. Squealing she dashes through the park. Little toddler legs scooting as fast as they can. A flash of pink. A blur of joy.
She zigs and zags through the clusters of people. Early-morning dog walkers and men on bicycles with neon vests. She is unaware of the scene she is causing, she is focused on getting away before her father catches up to her.
And he’s getting closer. Thundering with big, lanky strides behind her. She makes several narrow escapes and then finally he reaches out and sweeps her effortlessly into his arms.
They swing around together. This mass of pink frills and blue checks. The sweetest sight.
My heart feels like it might burst.
I’m surprised by the physical ache. This little, hollow gap which signifies an unfulfilled dream. A longing that lies dormant, bubbling deep beneath the surface. Knocking the wind out of me when I least expect it.
I think that’s the way dreams tend to be. They aren’t always obvious right from the start. We don’t all grow up with the knowledge of who we are or what we want to be.
For some of us our dreams take a long time to wiggle their way to the surface. It’s a slow process but eventually these deep desires begin to bloom and once they do…we are never really the same.
Once we know the ache, we wrestle with discontentment.
Once we’ve found something to pursue, we cannot sit still.
I’ve always been a writer but I didn’t believe it. I’ve always been someone’s partner but I just haven’t found them. I’ve always been a mother but I don’t have a kid yet.
And now I know what they are, I’m so eager to reach out and snatch up each of these dreams.
But I’m grasping at thin air. With every prayer the answer comes back clear. Not now, not yet.
My faith gets a little shaky and my heart gets a little heavy. God, If you created me with these desires why are you keeping them from me?
Because timing is everything.
The last thing I want to do is be patronizing because I know how this feels.
I understand the lonely road you are travelling. I see the tears that slip down your cheeks when you think nobody is watching. I know that heavy weight of expectation which rests on your shoulders making you see every day in monochrome instead of technicolour.
In these times I have come to recognize that the sweetest gift a person can give is empathy. Not your condescending, sympathetic advice or your most well-meaning inspirational quote.
The kindest medicine for a heart in longing is to simply acknowledge its’ suffering.
To come alongside me, rest your head on my shoulder, to take my hand in yours and let me know that you understand.
I recognize that this wrestle with contentment is not one I will win by force. I cannot take what I feel is rightfully mine. I must be patient.
Resting in the now and respecting the not yet.
All of us are searching for our missing pieces, scrambling around to slot the edges together, trying to make sense of this jigsaw puzzle. Our hearts hammer as we fit together more and more, the picture becoming clearer and clearer.
But this feeling is bittersweet. The more pieces we add, the less we have remaining, like sand slipping through an hourglass.
We have to take the time to observe each section, marveling at the intricate details, delighting in the infuriating complexities.
I understand now that this time is precious. All I have is now. So while I’m dreaming, hoping and longing for more, I’m watching my life slipping through that hourglass…drip…drip…drip.
If I’m not careful my twenties will have passed me by and I’ll have nothing but bitter regret to show for it.
So this lesson is absolutely necessary for us to learn. All of us. Because I know you feel it too. You want to skip to the next chapter, get to the good bits.
You want to be at the top of the corporate ladder, you want the wedding band on your finger, you want the stamps in your passport.
Who of us are really content? Who of us are perfectly happy living in the now? Who of us haven’t thought of the not yet?
I think the longing will always be there. God in His infinite wisdom created me this way. A big gaping heart, eager for love, belonging, family. The feeling isn’t packing up it’s bags and shipping out any time soon. But when I look around I can see all the ways he has provided for me in this place.
My daily bread is texts from my mum, hugs from my flatmate, coffee with my cousin, cuddling my pastor’s baby, playing soccer with the neighbour’s kids, sitting side by side with friends at church.
It’s not the feast I want, but it’s the food I desperately need. The nutrients that will sustain me.
That’s the way grace is, always sufficient to meet us where we are. If He is saying not now, not yet, then I have to trust that He knows what’s best for me.
I keep my hands outstretched with abandon, giving thanks for his faithfulness thus far and eagerly anticipating his goodness in the future.
I’m learning the art of patience.
Because what they say is true…good things take time.
The best things happen when we aren’t looking for them.
And it’s not always about arriving at your destination, it’s the journey that actually counts.
So in those moments of frustration, I’m learning to laugh.
In the midst of disappointment, I’m learning to dance.
This is the beauty of life…the tension between the now and the not yet.
This post is speaking to my heart as with many of your posts. I wrestle so much with this as there are things I’ve been longing for that haven’t come to pass officially yet. I think it’s even harder knowing that it’s a godly desire or a desire that you feel God has placed in your heart. I think our deep longings also point to a deeper longing in our waiting for Christ. I could be wrong, but I feel like in this time of my own longings, I remember that the pangs we feel about our desires for answered prayers are similar to our desire for Jesus to come or at least it’s a mirror of it. Really it’s when Christ comes that we will fully feel fulfilled and deep longings for peace, hope of salvation, and eternal presence with God will be met.
It’s so so hard, though and I’m still wrestling with this myself, but trying to remember as well that as you said that if He has us waiting it’s for a purpose and He has something better. Praying with you!!April 20, 2018 at 11:40 pm
So so true. The waiting we feel and the longing just totally mirrors the whole earth groaning for Jesus to return. We had this amazing sermon on Sunday which I’ll send you the link of. God just gave the direct answer to all the hurting I poured out in this post. After church I felt such peace and security once more. That’s always the way it is. Once we return to God, we are restored once more.April 24, 2018 at 1:41 pm
This is the constant reminder that I need after graduating. While we are waiting for different things, I so, so feel this. I want to have discovered what I’m meant to do as a career, I want to be all settled in with a new group of post-college friends who live near us, I want to be involved and feel like I’m making a measurable difference in the world. I have to remember that just as things worked out in an incredible way with us wanting to move home, these things will happen–but on God’s time, not mine. Sending lots of love and feelings of contentment your way <3April 21, 2018 at 5:40 am
It’s this real battle of faith right? Trusting that God knows what is best for us and will bring it about at the right time. Right after I posted this I was listening to a podcast which explained exactly why I’m feeling this so strongly and it has a lot to do with my personality type. I’m a dreamer so I tend to live with my head in the clouds, constantly desiring more. I think that’s what God is teaching me to be aware of. To be present right here and now.April 24, 2018 at 12:20 pm
This is precious. I think on this earth like you said we’ll kind of always live with some waiting; I think some of it is just this longing for heaven, longing for that perfection, that glory that Jesus promised before He ascended. But at the same time to live is Christ here, and I love your sensitivity and love for those who are really struggling with the waiting. Right now I’m kind of in a place where I LOVE where I’m at, and there are a few things that seem somewhat on the horizon, in the next 5-10 years, but they’re not yet, and I’m totally learning to be content, learning to just love each moment now and not try to plan 5 years ahead.
And those sweet moments of sitting with friends, cuddling babies, cuddling my puppy, laughing with my sisters, holding my grandma’s hand, laying in our room and just resting, and enjoying blog posts like these.April 29, 2018 at 10:34 am
Those are the most beautiful things. Those small, sweet moments of joy. It’s so lovely to hear that you are happy with where you are at right now.May 18, 2018 at 1:04 pm
Wow, just wow. These words speak to my heart so deeply. I live with multiple chronic illnesses, and I’m always trying to look forward to a day I hope will bring relief from symptoms. To a day where my heart will feel a little lighter, and my loads easier to bear. But at the same time, as I wish for more relief and better health, I’m missing out on the small and extraordinary miracles that each day brings. It can be a really hard path to walk, but I’m trying to lean into my faith and feel the support that I know is always there. Thank you for another incredible post Megan xxMay 4, 2018 at 11:17 am
Thank you for sharing that with me. I’m sorry you have such a struggle with your health. I’m glad you found some comfort in these words. It’s always nice to know that we are not alone.May 18, 2018 at 1:06 pm
Sometimes I know exactly what I want in my life, but feel utterly helpless when it comes to knowing how to get to that point. Maybe the sweet yearning for something is why we have dreams, they help to propel us forward.May 20, 2018 at 4:01 am
I totally get that. It’s not always clear how to get to that end point is it? I suppose we just have to take small steps day by day and eventually we will get there.June 3, 2018 at 12:14 pm
[…] terrible at living in the now, I spend most of my time longing for the not yet. Waiting for all those hopes and dreams to be […]March 15, 2019 at 11:34 am