“Sometimes,” she confessed, “I don’t want to go around the corner, even though God may have something good waiting for me.”
I was at my church’s women’s retreat when a casual acquaintance shared this during a session break.
“Why not?” I asked, a bit incredulous, thinking that most people would run toward good stuff from the Creator of the universe.
“Because I don’t know what’s there,” she replied. “And it scares me.”
Looking at her life and the possibilities it held—young, beautiful SAHM, two wonderful children, a hardworking, attorney husband—I couldn’t make sense of it. But I gave her a proper and polite, churchy-lady smile and nodded as though I did.
Then she turned the discussion toward me and asked the ‘big question’:
What are you wrestling with right now?
Um. Not much, really.
Life, in general?
Um. Pretty good, I guess.
I mean, mostly.
No reason to complain really, except …
“I feel lost. I’m going to turn 50 six months from today and I’m wondering if this is, like, ‘the end.’ Life is almost over for me and I’ve done nothing that means anything. Nothing at all.”
The don’t-I-look-and-feel-stupids moved in fast. Tears welled in my eyes. My face flushed posey-pink.
“I’m sorry. I don’t know where that came from,” I stammered. “It’s just that, well, I’m afraid there’s nothing around the corner for me …”
I sounded like Dorothy when the Wizard empties the last from the little black bag and she—I mean, me—is left without.
She turned and squared her shoulders toward mine, her round, blue eyes smiling directly at me and said something about me still breathing and God not being done with me yet … then she delivered the whammy:
What you’re feeling is just preparation for what’s around the corner.
Heart and soul.
Bone and marrow.
Pierced to the core.
A life-saving message from from God’s soul to mine through her.
Preparation? Why, I hadn’t thought of that!
Her words forced me into a cataclysmic decision to believe God’s promise in Ephesians 2:10:
For we are His handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which He prepared in advance for us to do.
There is something around the corner for me; it’s just that I’m not yet near enough to make the bend.
By: Jan O’Daniel, Amplifying JoyLeave a Comment
I needed this one. I’m turning 55 tomorrow!
Happy birthday! Praying blessings for what’s around your corner.
Beth Williams says
Happy birthday Elizabeth@!
May God bless you with many many more happy days@
Hallelujah, Amen Jan!! 🙂
You too? 🙂 Thanks!
Brenda N says
I have felt that way too. We recently moved far from the familiar, my kids are graduating and moving out and I am feeling a bit lost. But…..God is so good and so patient. He has been teaching me to appreciate the now of my life and that the things I am learning through this tough time will help me or, probably, others when I turn the corner and there they are!
He will use your “feeling lost” in a mighty way! Thanks for sharing.
Lisa G says
I turned 50 this year, and I have been living in a new state for the last six, very tumultuous, difficult years. Blessedly, my faith has grown, as have I. I just finished a study with the book, Anonymous: Jesus’ Hidden Years. It really spoke to me. How did those first 30 years, and what he was doing those years, prepare him for the next three years. Just like us, ladies! What are we being prepared for?
Great insight. Thanks. And happy belated. We are 50 sisters!
I turned 48 today and this is my life to a T. The last 4 months have been a process of God preparing me for “what’s around the corner”. It has been wonderful and at times very painful. I prayed this morning God would give me a birthday “verse”. Thank you for being His answer to me with Ephesians 2:10. God bless you!
Happy birthday! God is so good. Thanks for blessing my socks off.
This reminds me of a simple prayer a friend prayed for/with me years ago that I have prayed many, many times since then. “Lord, please prepare me for what you have prepared for me.”
We have no idea what is around each corner, but know that He does and trust that He is preparing us for whatever it is. Bless you! Thanks for sharing!
I am turning 50 in December and wrestled with those same questions. Well God certainly has the perfect timing. I feel in this season of my life God is preparing me for what is around the corner. I think of the saying God takes away something so he can give you something better. He never leaves us or foresakes us. I recently lost my job, and am in the process of hopefully finding something new. I feel at peace in this process as I know God’s timing is perfect. I have no idea what lays ahead, but I am excited because God is preparing the way for me. Your blog, reminded me of that so much. God uses us in so many ways, it can be something small or big, but none the less he is using us if we allow him to.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Another 50-sister … so glad to have you here. Oh, how true are your words. I am sorry for the loss of your job and overjoyed at your excitement and Godly peace at what’s ahead for you. May it thrill your heart and bring Him glory!
Pam Hargrave says
There is a strange sense of peace to know that others struggle with some of the same emotions and thoughts as I do. I had surgery three and half months ago and have been ‘off’ ever since. Yes, my head knows that hormones and all can be a part of it – but this is different. Thank you for sharing your heart – your words hit a spot for me. May blessings and peace be yours.
Thank you, sweet sister, for your kind words. I pray a speedy and full recovery. Perhaps God is/will continue using your struggles to bless others. You certainly blessed me today by sharing here.
I don’t know why people think that once you reach a certain age, life is over….you’re dead now, which is basically what is being said when you place limits on yourself and think this is it at age 50. Whenever I think I’m too old for something (and I’m 63!) God reminds me that He used Moses when Moses was 80!! Age means NOTHING to God. It’s only a number to Him. He can use anyone at any age for any reason He chooses. I’m now looking at a new beginning to my life. He’s had me on the runway for quite some time but I know I am not going to stay here. There will be a time for take-off when He says so. Instead of looking at what might be scary, look at it as an adventure. God will prepare you in His own way for whatever He has planned and in a way that is suited for you.
I agree. I never wanted to be that way about age but the prospect of 50 was hitting me hard back in February. Love your runway/takeoff analogy and your reminder that we’re never to old to be used by God. I just read yesterday in Mark Batterson’s book “The Circle Maker” about Harriet Doerr who earned her bachelor’s at 67 and published her first novel at 74. There’s still hope for my author-wannabe self. May your own adventure be something to behold!
I could cry after reading this column. I am going to be 59 this month and feel just like this woman….. “Because I don’t know what’s there,” she replied. “And it scares me.”
I don’t know what’s in the future and the future is very scary right now. After over 20 years, we lost our business, most of our family, our home. It seems that all I can see now for my husband and me are some cozy cardboard boxes underneath a bridge to call home…. but I am so glad that I have faith because without it, there would be no hope. :-I
Happy August birthday to you, my friend, and thanks for sharing your vulnerability here. Indeed, you do have hope in Him! He has plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Fear is from the enemy so remember the One who loves you with an everlasting love.
Beth Williams says
Praying God’s blessing on you and your family. May He surround you with His pefect peace, & mercy! Remember it is ALL in HIS PERFECT TIMING!!!
Well, I’m not 50… but I can so relate. I’ve felt in limbo for a couple of years now, and can’t seem to figure out what God has in store. I’m feeling so antsy, so convicted, but I don’t know what to do about it! I just keep taking the next step, knowing He sees where the path is going… but so often forgetting it.
Lucky you about not being 50. 😉 But, oh, how I feel for and with you. A little advice? This is stolen from my pastor (!) about dreaming on what’s next:
1. Pray and ask God for direction
2. Evaluate your personal gifts and passions—dream based on your wiring and skill
3. Ask what kind of legacy you want to leave in any area of your life
4. Talk to those who know you best and ask them where you seem to be really effective
Wow – Praise God for your timing in sharing this – I turned 65 this year – my first year of widowhood – wondering what the future holds now – clinging to Jerimiah 29:11. Thank you for these words today.
Oh, such milestones for you … I can’t imaging life without my husband and am sorry for your loss. Oh Jer 29:11 is such a sweet favorite of mine, too. Hold fast, dear one, your future is secure in Him. I pray you find joy in the midst.
This is me, exactly! I’m 50.5, and have feared your same fears. But I feel that I’m also getting closer to the corner, but I have no idea why. Indeed, I feel like what I’m “feeling” is the preparation. I’ve been thinking about that all afternoon, and then to see this was the post for today was incredible. Yikes! What could it be? What does God have “out there” for me?
I can’t wait to find out!
And you better let us know when YOU find out yours!
Oh, what a joyful thing! My heart leapt in reading your comment. What an adventure to NOT know, don’t you think? It’s kind of like being a kid in the backseat of the car and just trusting that the driving parent knows where you’re going—and you don’t care, you’re just happy to be going along for the ride with the one you love. Anticipating with you … best wishes.
Beth Williams says
I’m 3 years away from 50. Age has always been just a number for me. I think you are as usuable to God as you make yourself. “You’re only as old as you feel”.
I have been in “transition” at work for about the past year. My husband and I have prayed about it and asked for direction. Happily my prayers were answered and I have a job I enjoy don’t dread going to.
Thank you for an insightful post@
You are right! Thank you for that encouragement. I admire your age is just a number mindset. God is so faithful as evidenced by His answer to your prayer. May you continue to enjoy your job and joyfully anticipate what’s around your corner.
Interesting…..I will turn 70 next week and have been dreading that number.
i think of all the things that I have wanted to do and haven’t been able to do
yet, and feel like time is running out, and know that I shouldn’t feel this way,
but trust God with each day that He gives me….I know I have been blessed with
His love throughout my life, and it seems like He has been taking me through a
life review, showing me how He has guided me throughout my life, how He has
given me courage to face various trials and difficulties that have come my way,
and there have been some tough ones….but He has brought me through them
and made me brave when I needed to be…..I have survived breast cancer and
I know that He walked with me through those days….I know that He is still working on me and loves me more than I can imagine. My times are in His hands….
surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will
dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Happy birthday to you this week! I can so identify with feeling like time is running out. Fear is not of God (as you and I both know) and His grace is good all our days. May you blessed in, as a friend of mine says, “knowing in your knower” how deeply loved and cherished you are. He’s not done with you yet either. I pray He reveals His good and mighty hand in your life even this very day. Thanks for your comment.
Michelle Fambrough says
Thank you soo much for your encouraging words I am feeling a little overwhelmed right now not knowing what life has for me next but your story let’s me know that God has something just around the corner for me. Thank you now I will be coureously peeking around the corner for whatever God has waiting for me!
Aw. Just the thought of you peeking around the corner and seeing the AMAZING thing God has just for YOU made me smile. Be blessed and thanks for your comment!
Thanks for the verse; it is going on my bathroom mirror! God has been leading us towards corners. The preparation for these bends includes leaving our home and leaving the kids’ schools. We don’t know why He has chosen all this upheaval, but we just keep trying to listen and move forward one step at a time trusting Him. We are missing so many answers about why and there is sure lots of work. It is tiring. I’m tired. But there is peace that even if I don’t know why, He does. At least in this moment there is peace. Tomorrow I’ll have to pray for more!
Fortunately, His mercies are new every morning! Thanks for being an encouragement to the readers here as you move through upheaval steeped in truth, grace and obedience to Him. Be blessed. Your corner is coming …
Becky M says
Thank you for these words. Recently my doctor and I were discussion my health – I am a cancer survivor. He said “you have twenty years or more” . . . I couldn’t believe that is ALL I have left, but I am sixty years old. Being retired and living in the country I feel like God has put me “out to pasture” . . . your words give me hope.
Oh, goodness you are NOT out to pasture by any means! I pray that God continues to encourage you and provide direction. He has brought you through cancer for a reason … I pray that He will do a mighty work in you that you never even dreamed possible. We always have hope in Him … be blessed!
I just turned 55, and I -totally- understand this! I’ve frequently felt this way. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this story, it’s beautiful!
Happy birthday … a bit belated! Thank you for your kind words. I pray that God uses your own story in the life of someone else. Through you, you can share His hope and peace.
Kathy @ In Quiet Places says
I don’t think God is finished with us that are 50 and over, I think He wants us to stay open to all He has for us and, and to live expectantly for what is around the corner. I heard a message once about the blessings that wait around the corner, from Exodus 15 when the Isarelites were in the desert and complaining, but around the corner were 12 wells of water and 70 palm trees.
It saddens me to see some people just kind of lay down their gifts and talents when they grow older, letting discouragement darken their hopes and dreams, and maybe some of those change as we go through different seasons of life, but I think God intends us to stay active in our service to Him and fulfilling what He’s called us to.
I hope you will embrace turning 50 and believe God still has a great plan for your life! As long as we are still breathing on this side of heaven, I believe He does!
What an awesome note of encouragement … thank you! I’m truly EXCITED now about turning 50 and following the Lord’s leading. The Exodus passage you reference is such a grand reminder of how we sometimes can’t see the forest through the trees. Indeed, we are never too old, sick or used up to serve our mighty God.
Ruthie Lewis says
Love this Jan. This is a huge and deep subject that is at the core of every woman but so many are afraid to talk about. You speak my language.
Author, Speaker, Life Coach
Thanks, Ruthie! Looks like you have big things coming up in your life, too. Be bold going around that corner. 🙂
Sunday Inspiration, August 12th 2012 « jaydogblog says
[…] I posted a few weeks ago here: Whither Thou Goest … what’s around the corner? https://aws.incourage.me/2012/08/around-the-corner.html Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like […]