A week ago I turned 28! (Shock right? I don’t look a day older than 21 lol). When you’re younger, birthdays are something to be anticipated and you wait all year for them to come. The celebration, the gifts and the graduation from another year completed which gains you entry to the next one.
When you turn 5 you can go to “big kids” school, at 13 you officially upgrade to teens (shaved legs, bras, boys = life), at 18 you can now access your freedom and hopefully start to “adult” by getting a job, going to Uni or embarking on adventures and travelling abroad to see the world. Your life is up for the taking, ALL THE YEARS ahead of you, ya know the world is your oyster and everything!
(Until 30 starts waving at you from just around the bend. “Hey Kayla, want to come for a cuppa tea, watch Downtown Abby reruns and compare our insurances?” Ha kidding – I hope!)
When you get older, birthdays are no longer anticipated, they are feared! In the beginning our birthdays couldn’t come fast enough, but from the middle onwards they seem to fly past and the excitement of ageing well and truly platos (or maybe that’s just me because I got married and had kids young, so I’m just prematurely old lol).
Our expectations of “things to come” become less and the progression into our adult years can feel like the slamming of doors behind us that we never got to walk through and so we either become panicked about the time that’s left or we just accept that’s how things turned out for us.
Every birthday and every new year instigates reflection on how you’ve spent your time thus far and it’s really tempting to shine the spotlight first on all the things in your life or self that seem so unimpressive or didn’t measure up and the number of blanks where it appears you haven’t accomplished much.
And for just a minute this year when I woke up as a 28 year old woman, my mind was flooded with thoughts and emotions that tried to fill me with disappointment, inadequacy and worthlessness, as if to say “Kayla look at the time! You were too late, there’s nothing you can do now. Your value, your purpose, your gifts? They’ve expired.” If I had spent enough time there, looking back on years passed (which by the way would be impossible to alter from the present) and in the midst of lies, I could have become debilitated in the vital act of pressing forward.
Having been a Christian for over half of my life, I was taken back by how vulnerable I felt at quite literally the oldest age I’d ever been. The reality is, the enemy is relentless to disable my purpose and corrupt my perspective and when you take your eyes off Jesus (sometimes even for a moment) you can become lost.
But God intervened and reminded me that morning, even now I must still realign my-self with him-self daily; his ways, his thoughts and his truth because he knows my story from beginning to end, he wrote it after all. My default setting is faulty, my ways and thoughts are flawed and though the world seeks to disarm me in my weakness, I’m grateful that God is strong when I am weak and he never tires to reset me over and over so that I can operate as his original design.
“For as the heavens are higher than earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9
When I re-reflected over my years with new and loving eyes and with the narration of God’s voice, I saw not to despise my humble beginnings and not to be frustrated or discouraged by the fact that it’s seemed God has been pruning and preparing me in plainness for what has felt like literally FOREVER, because in the grand scheme of things, those years will not go to waste.
My limited view has been showing me just a portion of the truth and only a glimpse of the bigger picture, which I know God veils for my benefit because it produces in me the trust I need not in myself but in the God who holds all things together.
God’s birds eye view (which he gave me a glance into the morning of my birthday) revealed that while it appeared I was left with the tedious task of planting and watering seeds over years and years that barely reared their heads, hence the blank pages and perception of minimal achievement and success, the time was coming soon when I would live in the fruits and the harvest of those very moments I had been faithful in the drought.
“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:7-8
If like me, you identify more with the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son, who remained loyal and stayed by his fathers side, not departing from him and have watched on and celebrated the election of others around you and seen God’s favour pour out on your neighbour, wondering when it will be “your turn” to be called upon? Don’t be dismayed, God is building and producing in you the kind of commitment, obedience, endurance, humility and desire for the things of God that will be sustainable and irrevocable.
Long waiting or long suffering isn’t always a sign of our inability to progress, but it’s sometimes what is required to establish longevity, ensuring we have the capacity to run the whole race and see God’s plan right through to the end. This was not a foreign concept to the biblical greats gone before us, Abraham waited 25 years for a promised son, Joseph waited 13 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, Moses waited 40 years in the wilderness, Job waited almost his whole life for God’s justice and Jesus waited 33 years to complete the most important plan in human history. If you are waiting on God, then you are in the company of some of the most monumental world changers – trust the process!
“Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” Hebrews 10:23
I feel a real shift is happening in the spirit, God is searching for a loyal people, not spectators or those casual about the state of the world and the work to be done. I believe that these days are the very times we were made for and that God will be calling upon the good and faithful servants who have been trusted for long with very little, to be among those that will be trusted with much in bringing his kingdom to earth! God has not forgotten his daughters, he will not abandon the call he placed on our lives and despite feeling inactive and unused, he will awaken the purposes he had strategically let lay wait for a time such as this! The long servicewomen will be the ones at the forefront of lasting change and will lead the way for the generations to come!
The years are not behind, I believe they are very much ahead! So let’s look upon our years passed with his grace and his measure and let’s be expectant and excited that the best is still to come. No matter how old or how many years have passed or how dormant you may feel, until our very last day, we are not considered to be past our “due by date” or to have surpassed our “best before” and God is not done with us yet! Let’s continue to be patient in the plain, trust his timing, stand firm and be ready to move into the next season so that we can say to the Lord…
“I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.”