My days are lived by lists. Notebook after notebook are filled with them. A green one is full of plans for making our new house the home I long to share, a pink polka dot notebook contains life’s daily tasks so that lessons aren’t missed and menus are planned.

On the less tasky, more crucial side, are the life giving lists. A floral notebook holds thankgivings, a thousand-plus gifts, while a yellow moleskin is full of quotes and verses that changed my heart in profound ways, along with a long list of verses telling me that I am God’s and the gifts that come from being His child.

The most important list, however, has never been put in black and white. It’s a list my heart has been writing on its own. One that is written through whispers of the Spirit, deep longings to be placed in priority, spelling out the desires of my heart when it comes to what I desire to attain, not in the world but in the Kingdom. The first on the list, wisdom.

I started my early twenties as a college graduate with my first job in a new state with my new husband in a new home with no new friends. By God’s infinite grace and mercy we found a church on our first Sunday’s search after our honeymoon. Shortly after, I was attending a women’s group on Wednesday nights and was blessed to sit in a room with women, the youngest being ten years my senior, surrounded by wisdom.

As a girl at the beginning point of a different level of life, I voraciously soaked up the words and experiences of others.

The stories of trials and joy brought me to tears countless times and gave me hours of belly laughter, but it also stirred within me the desire to be them. To be a Titus woman who shares the good, the bad, and the ugly in order to encourage and teach. To be a prayer warrior who is, figuratively and literally, on her knees for the cause of others. To be someone with wisdom, the wisdom that comes from knowledge being lived out. The list within had begun, the ability to accomplish it, however, is a lesson I’m still learning.

Eleven years later I’m a mom of three and a wife of over a decade and — praise Jesus! — a person with the love of friends. I find myself in a role I used to look up to, wondering how did I get here and what right do I have to try to fill it? In my head I’m a walking contradiction who relates more than a little to Paul’s vent in Romans about not doing what I want to do and doing what I don’t want to do. A problem, I would guess, is familiar to more than just me.

Each day contains moment after moment where we choose to follow our flesh or our Spirit as they war within us, sometimes more fiercely than others, battling to prevail. I could say the odds are ever in my favor to follow the one of Truth, but no one would believe it, because disbelieve it they should.

But always in the midst of despair, no matter if daily bumps or life altering disasters, there is Hope.

Our battle is won and each of these seeming failures are really just moments that bring sanctification, molding me to be more like the Savior who already fought and found victory. Every step on every path God has designed is another piece of wisdom placed in my heart, another experience I can share with others, another beam of light that the gospel can shine when I use the all He gave me for Him.

In Him is that hidden treasure of wisdom and knowledge {Colossians 2:3, ESV} and from the first time my heart began its silent list of longings to the day I depart to worship at His feet, those hidden treasures will constantly be unearthed and the wisdom my Savior has will be made clearer and clearer. And I pray I will not just hold it dear, but hand it to others along the way.

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In the midst of despair, whether daily bumps or life altering disasters, there is always Hope. {Tweet This!}

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    Sarah Ann,
    Hold onto your hat…the adventure continues. There are different stages in my life when I have looked back and thought – wow, look at the wisdom God has been teaching me. And then you know what…He takes me deeper still. At a few weeks short of being 55, I realize that there is still much I do not know and may never truly grasp this side of Heaven. But, surprisingly, I’m okay with that. I have seen and tasted that, through all the trials and the rejoicing, God is, indeed, good and He can be trusted to be faithful and true to His promises. This, along with His love, is really all that I need.
    Blessings to you on your journey,

    • Stephanie Ravencraft

      Bev, I will be 55 in August and your words resonated with me as my experience is the same. I also have come to realize how little I really seem to know about my path to heaven and how much I still need to know. The trials in my life recently and this book have made me more aware of this fact and I’m now able to say thank you to God for those trials since they have opened my eyes to where I really am on this journey.

      • Bev @ Walking Well With God

        Trials do have a way of opening our eyes to how much there is yet to learn, but they also have a way of letting us know how dearly God loves us!

    • Beth Williams

      Happy Birthday! May God give you many more birthdays to enjoy! You hit the nail on the head today! God wants to take us all deeper into the knowledge of Him and Heaven!

      • Bev @ Walking Well With God

        Thanks Beth!! Here’s to a new year of going deeper still!
        Love and ((hugs)),

  • Danielle Moore Copeland

    Sarah, so incredibly proud! You have a gift!! Your words resonate with many. Your friends are so blessed to have you in their midst. ❤️

  • An

    Thank you Sarah for the reminder that it is a journey and a process walking with our gracious Lord Jesus. I have failed many times and those places have taught me so much, are teaching me so much. He is so merciful in His healing of these wounds. May each of us walk so closely with Him :)

  • Rebecca Jones

    I too, will turn 55 this year. 5 is the number of grace. I just wanted to commend Sarah Ann for seeking wisdom at a young age, I wish more people did. I’ve seen so many people take the wrong path, even after hearing wisdom.

  • http://ChasingHoliness.com/ Brenda

    Sarah, I love this recognition of the “invisible list.” I’m a list person too, and finally, with the help of a bullet planner, have consolidated my many lists. But, isn’t it so true that this invisible list, written within by the Spirit, gently speaks into our days, reminding us that the Who is more important than the what. ((blessings))

  • http://bowlofinspiration.blogspot.com/?m=1 Lisa @Bowl of Inspiration

    Beautiful picture of growing in GOD’S Love, allowing HIM to fill and then being used to pour out. Thank you for the reminder today. I chose to sit longer with JESUS and forgo the list and gym. I love when The LORD’s promptings lead us exactly where we are supposed to be.

  • Beth Williams

    Sarah Ann,
    Age has its advantages. Now that I’m 51 I find that I hunger more and more for God and His Word. Can’t get enough of it! You hit the nail on the head with this ” in the midst of despair, no matter if daily bumps or life altering disasters, there is Hope.” My dad is living proof of that!! We’ve been through trials this year and it seemed hopeless, yet I clung to the Hope that only God can give! Because of this I want to tell the world what He has done & hunger even more for His word!! Can’t wait to see my sweet Jesus in Heaven!!
    Blessings :)