It’s okay to just be

I had a post written about what life in transition has taught me, but for some reason it just didn’t feel right to post. I couldn’t figure out why because it was all true, but I finally realized that while it was true, it felt forced. I was trying to end a life season so I could move on to the next.

I’m realizing a tendency I have to want to wrap everything up with a tidy little bow.

This happened, this is what I learned from it, now moving on . . .

Except that life rarely happens this way.

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My post felt a little off because I was trying to wrap everything up, draw conclusions from certain life experiences and, well, move on.

Move on to the next thing. To the next step. To the next lesson to learn.

As if there is a certain number of “lessons learned” that I need to tick off an imaginary list so I can do bigger, more important things.

Okay, God, I learned that lesson. That was hard, but, phew, glad I learned it. Now on to the next thing.

Just writing that feels so superficial, but I really do think that is sometimes how I subconsciously operate.

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I’m learning that I need to just be. And not just physically be which is also important, but spiritually be.

I’m trying to learn to not rush to find some great meaning in something, or some big lesson learned.

There are times when truth is jumping out at at me from every situation I experience and every page I read. Those times when growth is almost visible and definitely something I feel in my mind and spirit.

But other times it’s time to just do the next right thing. Doing the next right thing, without necessarily seeing the big picture. Doing the next right thing without seeing any great truth that God is teaching me through it.

And that isn’t any less important or valuable. In fact, looking back I find that these periods of time where I’m just methodically doing the next right thing because I don’t know what else to do are times when I experience significant growth.

It’s just that I don’t see or feel that growth until much later.

Does this feel lame? Am I saying that we shouldn’t look to the future and create plans and have dreams and goals. Am I saying that we shouldn’t seek to find nuggets of truths to learn from any given situation? No, not at all.

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But I am saying that I have found in these times when I don’t have any choice but to ride the waves of life that God has brought me and just do the next thing, are just as important.

Because it’s in these moments that I realize like no other time that God is directing my steps. I certainly haven’t planned them like this. I find that it’s okay to be perfectly ordinary and just do what is set before me for that day, without striving for bigger and greater accomplishments.

I experience what it is to be faithful in the small.

I’m learning, many times over and over, that doing the next right thing is an opportunity. It feels small and insignificant, but it’s an opportunity to simply be faithful. 

Faithful when I don’t see the reasons behind things.

Faithful when I don’t understand the bigger picture of what is happening.

Faithful when I can’t put my finger on “lessons learned” or “growth.”

So while it may not seem terribly ambitious or exciting, I’m going to just keep carrying on doing the next right thing.

I’m wondering if there are more of us out there doing just that?

If this is you, you’re not alone.

May we learn to simply be faithful, and learn to joyfully rest in that place. It doesn’t have to be bigger or better.

Just faithful.

Comments

  1. Oh Johanna, I TOTALLY get this! I have realized the same thing during our seasons over transitions over the last year or two. Just being “ok” with being faithful in the small things. Taking a minute to pray for you now.

  2. I love this, Johanna. The mundanity of everyday life can be overwhelming and seemingly useless.

  3. Absolutely right where EVERYONE lives! I am sure most spiritual lessons I’ve ticked off have had to be learned again and again. Why is that? Maybe it’s because God designed us to be totally dependent on Him daily. (And, maybe it’s because I’m a slow, temporary learner.) Loved your post and your pictures!

    • “I am sure most spiritual lessons I’ve ticked off have had to be learned again and again.” –yes! Thanks for the comment! :)

  4. I think this is a valuable life lesson. Beautifully written.

  5. I wish we could get together for coffee! I’ve been thinking along these same lines. One of my goal/habit/ideas for the new year is to faithfully lean in to my small purpose. I always want to be doing something big and high impact, but right now I think God is asking me to bring my energy and best work to what He has put in my path–even though the daily tasks aren’t necessarily resume-building or impressive from an external perspective.

    I’m also always scrambling to figure out what lesson God has for me in a difficult circumstance (of which there have been an unusually high number over the past year for our family), but my life stubbornly resists tidy click-bait article format, and I’m working to reorient toward just being faithful and putting my theology into practice, rather than trying to immediately discern the three take-away points.

    Great post!

    • I would love to get together irl if it were possible! I’ve thought about you often with a new baby and health challenges and homeschooling, work, etc, etc! I can’t imagine.

  6. It is okay to just be…yes. We tend to want to show something quantifiable for our time. Especially as moms, where we already feel set aside. Production almost validates us. But there are times when growth is unseen, and we have no tidy answers, but God is still working, and that’s okay. Glad you are doing well.

  7. We really do need to get together and share notes. Girl, I so get this. Appreciate your putting words to it all. Praying for y’all today. With love.

  8. Love this Johanna!! I’ve been working through some similar things in my mind. Quite faithfulness. Deut 7:9 <3

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