Why it's Dangerous to Focus Too Much on the Future
Has there ever been a time in your life when you viewed babysitting your nephew as “mommy practice” or baking a batch of cinnamon rolls as “wife practice?” I know I have. It’s fun to dream of future roles, and there’s no harm in it… or is there?
A few months ago I noticed a friend used the hashtag #wifepoints on her social media account when displaying images of food she cooked or baked for herself. While I imagine the hashtag was used jokingly, I still felt a little sad as I thought of my many single friends who eat their meals alone and who long for a husband to serve and love. I was also sad because I wondered how many times women have done something with the thought of, knowing how to cook or bake will make me a more appealing partner. Or, learning how to change a diaper will make me a better mom.
It is not wrong to want to be a wife or mom. It is fun to “practice” those roles, and blessing others through childcare or learning a new skill by mastering a recipe is not a bad thing! Unfortunately, we can often become consumed by our longing for that “next step” in our lives. We may find ourselves in a state of discontentment or even disappointment with God. I have seen how hard of a journey waiting on God’s timing and answers can be for others, and I know all too well how hard it has been for me.
I grew up feeling 100% sure that God created me to be a mother. I loved babysitting and nannying and I looked forward to the day when I would have children of my own. Sadly, my first pregnancy ended in a stillbirth at 34 weeks. I was shocked and sad and angry. I didn’t understand why God would let something so awful happen to someone who so desperately loved and wanted her baby. My second pregnancy also ended in a stillbirth. While I am young and there are several options for couples who struggle with infertility, the journey ahead will likely not be an easy one.
My grief has challenged, stretched and ultimately deepened my faith. I still want to be a mother, and I imagine I always will, but more than anything I want to align my will with God’s will. Satan thrives on discontentment. I don’t want to invite the enemy into my heart. I want to embrace the life God has gifted me with. I don’t want to become so consumed with what I don’t have that I miss out on the beauty of the many things I do have.
“The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
I join women across the world in the struggle to surrender my will and the timeline I’ve created for my life. I understand the pain of watching others receive blessings that I ache for. As I’ve searched for answers in my grief and questioned God’s purpose for my life, I’ve come to this conclusion: God put me here to serve Him and shine His light to others. I don’t have to be a wife to do that. I don’t have to be a mother to do that. I don’t have to have my dream job to do that. I don’t have to be rich to do that.
Playing roles that may not happen on our timeline for our life can lead to discouragement, anger and discontentment towards the Lord. Our focus should not be on future versions of ourselves, but on how we can be honoring God where we are right now. The best way we can prepare for *potential* future roles is to dedicate our present-day to obeying God and growing in our knowledge and practice of the character of Christ.
Related Video: How Can Young Christian Women Embrace the Season of Singleness?
Laura Rennie lives in Maryland with her hilarious husband and constantly shedding dog. She loves reading, writing and playing word games. Her greatest desire is to share Jesus through her words and actions as she learns how to be a better wife, daughter, sister and friend. She recently started her own interior decorating business, Laura Rennie Interiors.