Have you sometimes thought about your life and felt that you’re “behind”? That there are some things you haven’t “done yet” that you thought you would have by now? And many the “same age” as you already have?
I turn 40 this year (yikes!) and I can honestly say that there are some things that I thought I would have done by now. For example, my husband and I haven’t bought a home yet. This really bothered me a couple of years ago. But I’m actually quite at peace about it today.
When we got married in our twenties, I really thought that by 40, we’d definitely be living in our own home and no longer renting. But our lives took on a different direction when we chose to leave Sydney, Australia and move to Copenhagen, Denmark. The beginnings of our “home deposit” became the “survival savings” that helped us set up life in the early stages of our move.
The marketing message, “you can have it all right now”, is such a harmful myth. Scrolling through someone else’s highlight reel and comparing it to you own behind-the-scenes reality can really bring on FOMO and the anxiety that you’re behind in life.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (NIV) reminds us that there’s a time for everything. But everything doesn’t happen all at once. It’s seasonal and over a lifetime according to the plans and purposes that God has for your life.
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
The most empowering thing you can do when you’re feeling “behind” is this:
- Confront the disconnect between your expectations and reality. I had to honestly pour out my disappointment to the Lord regarding not owning our own home yet.
- Address the root of the frustration. When I finally voiced my feelings of “being behind”, I was able to reflect and recognise that my feelings actually weren’t about not owning a home at all! This was just a trigger that revealed some incorrect mindsets I had about ownership and stewardship.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern what your “time” is right “now.” A farmer doesn’t sow seeds in the middle of winter. Activity and timing must go hand in hand. I was spending so much time thinking about what I hadn’t done yet in life, that I was missing out on what was in my hand to do right then!
You’re not “behind” – you’re just not where you want to be yet. But that’s ok. There’s a time for everything, but trust God to continue to show you what your “everything” is and be wise with “right now”.