I used to call them my wasted years.
That season where I did nothing for anyone.
Not even myself.
I felt like I lived in circles. Doing the same thing I did the day before. And just thankful to get through it.
I was tired and life was hard. I was stuck in a job I hated. Struggling in a broken marriage and the monotony of motherhood. I was always looking for the next “big thing” in my life, which usually meant a trip to Target alone, meandering around the store, buying things I didn’t need for a high that was temporary. Maybe you know these long, unappreciated days, too?
Now when I look back, I don’t see wasted time. I see fertile ground.
Because sometimes you have to get so sick of your life, your mess, your perspective, yourself, you risk it-step into the unknown-and say yes to God because you cannot keep living the same empty way.
But where do you start? I’ve talked a lot about saying yes lately and I hear this so often. “I know there’s a yes in me, but I don’t know what it is. I don’t know where to start.”
This might sound too simple, too easy, but here’s the answer:
Do the last thing God told you to do.
When we left full time ministry, God provided my husband with a sales rep job. We knew it was from God. We knew it was His will. But we thought and hoped it would be a short season. He’s on his 11th year. And for many of those years, he’s dreamed of a different yes.
But sometimes our yes is continued faithfulness.
And faithfulness today–right where we are–always leads to the next yes.
And the next. And before we know it, we are standing at the door that opens to more.
How do we know what God is telling us to do? I’ve discovered that when an idea is for me, it’s probably by me. It benefits me in some way. But those little thoughts and desires and ideas to do something for someone else? Those are most likely from God. When I do them, I find Him in the middle of it.
The truth is, it’s not a secret at all to discover what God wants us to do next. Because really what we are talking about here is obedience. It’s not necessarily a big yes, although it could lead to that. It’s daily, faithful obedience to do whatever God tells you.
We find the next step in the Bible: “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track,” Proverbs 3:5-7
Send that note. Take that meal. Hug that child. Serve that neighbor.
When you don’t know what to do next, do the thing that’s right in front of you today.
It will open the door to tomorrow and you just never know where it will lead.