When it's not the right time
|A beautiful beach at Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.|
We're funny beings. We think we can control time, we think time will wait, we think time is not all that valuable. We let it contain us, stress us, or even frustrate us. This intangible thing fools us into thinking we can still hold on to it. Time is always fleeting, but we can do a lot with it; however, not always in the way we've imagined it.
When Joshua and I were engaged we dreamed of traveling. We had lists of places we wanted to visit in our first year of marriage. We thought of arranging vacation days for these trips, keeping these dates on hold in our minds. Now, almost a year married, we haven't been to any of those places! I'm not saying this in a bitter way, I'm actually relieved we haven't travelled to those places yet.
We went to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic for our honeymoon and I am still swooning over that trip. Although that trip was almost a year ago, I feel like we were just there. It was an incredible trip; our first trip alone together. We explored caves, climbed rocks (in sandals!), and swam in the pool until our toes and fingers wrinkled.
It's ok to dream of traveling, but when you're in the middle of work, settling in to a new place, adjusting to living with someone, and breaking into your roles in your marriage, I don't see how traveling for the majority of the time could fit. I used to rush the idea of traveling but God gave me this peace that it can happen, it doesn't have to happen now.
When I shared that truth with my husband he was relieved! We had this pressure of needing to travel different states and countries in the first two years of our marriage but what was the rush? God-willing, we can still travel years from now. We don't have to travel before having children (although people recommend that, which is fine, but that's not the only time couples can travel), we don't have to travel before getting a house, we don't have to travel before we're a certain age.
|On our way to visit a Cocoa farm in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.|
Keeping that plan in a certain timeline was putting pressure on an unknown timeline. We spoke those plans out without having the knowledge or experience of our first year of marriage. The freeing thought that we don't have to travel right now opened my heart to not keeping strict deadlines or timelines in my life. Life happens! Change comes when you don't expect it or even want it. Have grace for your time. Give grace to your spouse, friends, and family when things don't go as "planned" or really as imagined.
The Bible says man makes plans but God directs his steps. The steps can make the plans move on our imagined timeline. Plans are an end-goal, but steps need to be taken in order to reach a plan. You might have to take extra steps, smaller steps, long strides, or baby steps to fulfill a plan. But know that you can't hold time. God really doesn't exist in our timeline, He has His own clock and His own time for things. I'd rather live according to His clock because I know things will be done in the perfect time.
He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.
— Acts 1:7
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
— 2 Peter 3:8
But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.
— Romans 8:25
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.
— Proverbs 16:9