About the Author

Robin is the author of For All Who Wander, her relatable memoir about wrestling with doubt that reads much like a conversation with a friend. She's as Southern as sugar-shocked tea, married to her college sweetheart, and has three children. An empty nester with a full life, she's determined to...

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  1. Wise words, Robin:) I’ve heard “Not now” for what feels like an eternity regarding some of my dreams, and just recently the Lord is starting to whisper something new. It’s exciting to finally move out of the waiting phase, but a whole new level of trust is required.

    • Kimberly,

      For some reason your comment made me think of a kid at Christmas…the waiting during the month of December feels like all the other months combined. “Not now” CAN feel like forever. But…when the time is right, or in your instance, when something different shows up, THAT makes all that waiting so valuable.

  2. Oh Robin,
    You always have a way of speaking to my heart…several really thought provoking questions this morning. I, too, have been challenged by Beth Moore studies – she knows how to cut to the chase. As a writer, James 3:1 really makes me think. I have always said that I write to an audience of One, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that pride wiggles it’s way into the process. Sometimes numbers and stats trump “am I speaking the message that God really wants me to speak?” This is a tough litmus test, but one that every writer needs to take. On the flip side, I appreciated the encouragement that every writer doesn’t have to write a book. I believe the world sets that bar, but God doesn’t. We all can’t be “Billy Grahams” in the world of publishing. God can do great things through a humble and earnest heart. Thank you so much for being so honest in your writing…you speak to my heart!!
    Blessings and ((hugs)),
    Bev

    • Bev,

      You’re an always-encouragement to our (in)community and I’m grateful for how you minister back to me!

      I’m laughing even now because I came up with yet ANOTHER book to write during my sleepless early morning hours :). Which would be awesome but isn’t likely to materialize once the sun rises.

      Anyway, when I’m honest with myself, it’s hardest; but I know me and I WILL NOT do anything if I’m prompted by the wrong motives (as long as I can see it). I’ve done it when I was younger and the end result was painful. Maybe even enough to learn the lessons :).

    • Jas,

      Thank YOU. I know I used too many words (and maybe too many tangents) to make my point, so I’m thankful you heard my heart in all of this :).

  3. Robin,
    It sticks to my heart ~ “redemptive purpose”! It resonates with the past twenty years of my journey, as well as, “there is a season for everything”. Twenty years ago I was called to a place, middle school, experiencing once again through these students the angst of growing up. For me, middle school was a place of rejection, worthlessness, wanting to be someone but feeling like a no-one. They were some of the worst years of my life growing up, sending me into one of my first bouts of pretty deep depression. Who would ever want to go back to middle school, even as a grown up?! Well, it’s where I ended up – causing me to face many experiences once again that shaped my life earlier. It has changed me! God let me see into the hearts of these young people of all walks of life. Things I had never seen before. A mission field in my own backyard. I am forever grateful for God’s redemptive power and that while He taught me, how He healed me, and grew me up. He used His love and grace in me to REALLY love these teens. Now? Now, I can’t decide whether that season is over or if I am still called to these young hearts I see each day. I am weary. It’s so hard to know what He wants for me now. I could use some extra prayers for guidance, peace, and rest….especially if His voice says, “Stay!” Thank you, sweet sister, for sharing this message.

    • Melanie,

      Yes…yes!! What a precious story of redemptive purpose. No, we would never want to re-live those trenches and valleys but to SEE how they’ve changed us (and that, for God’s glory) eases the grip and tension they once held. You can understand your students because you HAVE walked in those shoes! How it tenders you to their plight and provides you the wisdom to know how to respond!

      But, now…I hear your voice, your heart. And I am sincerely praying over you this morning, that you would sense the Lord’s leading and have a peace about “what next?”. It might be for you to stay, but Melanie, it’s okay to move on. We’re reading through Annie Downs’ Let’s All Be Brave for Bloom, and one point made in her book is a monkey bar analogy–where you have to let go of the rung you’re holding before you can move onto the next. A blind faith, almost…. {{hugs}}

    • Dear Melanie,
      Kudos to you from another teacher that you have ministered to middle school kids for 20 years! I applaud you. Public school is a battle on several levels and it is indeed wearying. His grace is indeed sufficient. Praying for you today to hear clearly. Until you leave (if you can) or if you stay, maybe this post to TN teachers will help?

      http://dondasjoy.wordpress.com/

      Donda

  4. ‘Not now doesn’t mean not ever’ has been working on me lately, teaching me patience. And crazy-wild trust. I’m the little girl who saw so many things she wanted, but knew resources were scarce…so I taught myself never to ask for things I thought I wouldn’t get and somehow grew to be overly cautious in what I dared to dream. After what seems like a lifetime of struggle and failed expectation I’m learning {slowly} to dream bigger. To wish for things I have no idea I’ll ever have or achieve. It’s a little bit scary, but it is also exhilarating to open up my heart to God’s good grace for me and my heart’s desires. Robin, as always, you touched my heart this morning. Bless you, dear!

  5. First… we must have been listening to the same speaker… those words were a wonderful dagger into my heart… helping me by God’s grace transform my heart to live other centered….
    I am in a transition season of life… much like you… 4 of the 5 kids are out of the house… 3 married… grandkids… while I have one lone child left at home… she is a senior this year… 27 years of homeschooling… and now I feel like the “white board” of my life is being erased… and for the first time in 32 yrs… it will be wiped cleaned… mothering in the way I have known it is coming to an end… but I feel like I am pregnant again… something growing inside me… a “new birth”… but it is not time… not now… so I am living in the tension of growing pains inside… braxton hicks so to speak… while God writes the closing pages on one chapter of my life… and before He starts the new one!!!!

    • Ro, as I scrolled down to leave my comment, I was stopped right here as I silently cheered on your Braxton-hicking. When God is on the move, the anticipation is tantalizing.

  6. Yes! I know the , Not Now, better than most of the people I know. However, it seems that a change in the wind has come and this week is the beginning of a new season. I walk with carefuel steps as I say, *Here I am Lord, send me. *

  7. Beth Moore’s “land mines that go with the territory” of teaching…”

    Reminders that need to be in my mind DAILY as I write. So.much.responsibility.

    Help me, Lord, to watch my words.

  8. Can I just add a hearty “amen” to every single word you’ve written here? Some I could have written myself, straight out of my wilderness experiences, and most I just need to hear, again and again. Every bit you included is important, and I’m so glad you shared all of it!

  9. I am praying that through living with chronic illness that God will use it to his glory. Most days I feel like my life is being wasted, as I am not able to do the things I once did. I love what you said about redemptive purpose and how nothing is wasted. That means even though I am outwardly wasting away, God still has a purpose and plan for this season that I am in. When I look at it through his eyes and not I realize that His ways are higher, and although I may never fully understand why it took this kind of season, I know he will use it and repurpose it in ways I could never imagine. Thank you Lord for your redemptive purpose, even in the hardest of times.

    • Your message caught my eye, as I was scrolling down the page. I am in almost exactly the situation that you describe. It can be so hard with a chronic illness not to feel like my life is being wasted, but I pray that God will help me to look at my situation in the way that you talk about here.

  10. Oh, Robin!! This is so timely and perfect! While I have no desire to write a book I still need to focus on being present in the moment and focus on “there you are!” I love this!!

  11. I love when you read things at just the right moment! Just last night I was talking to God about something I’ve been praying about for a while now – a dream I’m holding onto. I know He’s working things out and this post encouraged me in the waiting 🙂

  12. How encouraging Robin! Thank you! Yes, I am in a season of waiting on the Lord to do something that I have prayed about for years. I thank you for reminding me whose I am and who I am,,,thank you for reminding me that I am not the only one who feels this way….May God Bless you and may I be content in this season that God has me in…and May I praise HIM in the oh so uncomfortable Season of my life!

  13. I’ll be honest; this was hard to read. When we’re told we and our words matter–and yet over and over I (and my words) are subsequently rejected, it hurts. It’s hard. I struggle.

  14. I can’t let go of Fear and Ego. I’m facing some changes and don’t know what to do. I hope that things will work out for good but I don’t have real Faith that they will.

    • I hear ya. Change is scary, and often leaves us feeling tremendously alone in the dark. You can place your hope in God – that HE will work things out for the good of those (you) that love Him. He can be trusted.

  15. Yes!!!! It feels so good to say “I don’t WANT to write a book!!!!” Even if it feels that naturally, it would be next in the progression. I just don’t feel I have a book in me – yet – so I’m not going to worry about it! And I love what you said- not now doesn’t mean never. AMEN!

  16. You had me, Robin, at that ver first admission. I think of myself as a “here I am” kind of person. And, yet, it feels like people continually tell me that I have far more “there YOU are” tendencies. And, it’s a push-pull that plays out differently from social situation to personal situation. and every one in between. But, I think I was most blessed, this morning, to read that while we may think we are harboring a desire for something that hasn’t come to fruition, God may indeed bring it to bloom- just not now.

    I bookmarked this post- I have a feeling I’ll be rereading it. More than twice!

  17. Wow. I needed this right now. In this moment. Thank you so much for speaking truth and life in a loving and compassionate way. Know that you are changing lives ❤

  18. Beautiful post, Robin. And you are SO WISE to wait until God says, “Yes.” Just because you have the ability to write a book (and you certainly do!) doesn’t mean you are called to write one just now. (I totally get “by this stage in the game” thinking, but that’s not from the Lord, it’s from our peers or from our fears). If and when the time comes, and God says, “Now,” you will find yourself suddenly filled with a HUGE passion for sharing a particular message with a particular audience for God’s glory alone. As you know, beloved, it can never be about money or fame or platform. It can only be about doing what God has called and equipped you to do in order to encourage His people. I can’t wait to see what that will be in the months and years to come. You are a treasure!

    • Thank you for adding your wisdom to Robin’s. I am definitely hearing the “Not Now” message in so many areas of life, even as I am aware of the subtle push forward in others. Sometimes I wish God gave us a discern-ometer so we could know for sure whether we are hearing His voice or our own wishful thinking.

    • I agree with Michele. Thanks for adding your two cents here, Liz. I love that phrase, “it’s from our peers or from our fears.” So true and easy to remember.

  19. Robin,

    I so needed this today. Yesterday was our first Sunday at the new church my husband is now pastoring. He has been a youth/associate for 11 years and now, at 46 (I’m 49!) we are starting over. Additionally, I am applying for teaching jobs in the new town (interviewed, but did not get one last week). It’s all quite overwhelming. My dreams seem buried, but I have to remember that “Not now doesn’t mean not ever” and that He is truly working in ways I cannot see.

    Thank you for your poignant expressions.

    Donda

  20. Robin, it’s been awhile since I read something that made me say, “Me too! Exactly! Every.single.word.”
    I have been given such a powerful testimony that whenever people hear it, they commonly say, “You have GOT to write a book.”
    My pastor’s wife spoke into my life and said, “You need to write your story.” There was a subtle difference. She didn’t say to write a book, but write (simply) write my story. Yet I’ve struggled with these exact same issues you mention. So many of my friends have written excellent books and I’ve wrestled (a lot) with the “publish or perish” thinking.
    I too have oodles and oodles of “first” chapters, bits and pieces of my story, and WAY too many titles (I actually think in titles!) written down…that have all come to nothing. Writing isn’t easy for me. The words definitely don’t flow out of me like I hear so many writers experience. The thought of writing a book feels so daunting!
    So I finally decided to “write my story” in a series on my blog. And I have been at such complete peace, realizing that I will know when and if God says it’s the right time to actually write a book. And, that it’s not about me ~ it’s about everyone else, and giving the most important message we can give a person ~ that Jesus loves them.
    Thank you for being a conduit of Christ and speaking so directly to my heart this morning!

  21. A few things really spoke to me and affirmed the Holy Spirit’s teaching to me.

    “Not now doesn’t mean not ever.” Joseph got himself into trouble by speaking prematurely about a private dream God had given him. I’m learning like Joseph, some things are not for today but are God’s promise for a future date. Joseph also reminds me that even when I’m in the pit, the promise remains.

    What you said about writing books because other bloggers are… I’ve found myself thinking I should be doing so much more because so and so is. The parable of the talents tells me the Master has given me two talents. It’s up to me to be faithful with what he’s given me instead of comparing myself to my friend who was given 5 talents. Be faithful with what you’ve been given, don’t worry about what everybody else is doing. Comparison is a joy stealer. We can’t “enter into the joy of our Lord” if we live as though what we’ve been given by the Master is not enough.

  22. Nice one. Ego and pride are also subtle idols in my life and I am working to destroy them. I realized that hard truth when I started praying for an event to go well at my church – so that the people who have been doubting me lately would realize that I am a competent leader. And then I thought, what the heck am I doing? Regardless of what people think of me, unfairly or not, this event is for God and His glory. I should be praying every day for it but for His purposes, for the Gospel to be shared, for people to be blessed, not for my reputation. Yuck, yuck, yuck.

    I immediately asked for forgiveness and have been focusing on my motives in all the ways I serve God. All the glory is His!!

  23. Thank you for this beautifully written post. It is true that God has a way of using other’s writings to teach us, to guide us, to help us grow. You have don’t that for me today. Thank you! May the words you write continue to inspire others always, in your blog or maybe someday in a book.

  24. Oh Robin. I’m pretty sure I heard that same talk… There is so much good wisdom in this post, my friend. I’m nodding my head from the back row here, just hoping you know you’ve said a true thing here today. Thanks for being real, and helping me check myself. XO

  25. This hit me right where I am-right now-this moment. Recently I felt the lords prompting to let go of a lot of things and wait. For what? I have no idea! It is an uncomfortable place, but there is a slow settling of peace and trust that is taking place so I am confident I’m heading in the right direction. It was reassuring to read this post and take comfort in the reminder that where I am doesn’t mean I will be here forever-thank you!

  26. I love it when God teaches me by repetition. Just this morning I heard two of the Bible passages you referenced in your post. My ears perked up. I am in a period of transition and preparation. In this phase of life, I need every reminder I can get to follow God’s prompting and not my own. Sometimes I am like a mindless sheep following every idea that comes along. I need to listen for my Shepherd’s voice.

  27. Very wise words. I needed them. Being in my 50’s, with 30 yrs of lupus under my belt should have taught me that what today holds isn’t exactly what next year will be…but I still needed to be reminded of it…TODAY!! I was going to do art work today…but alas!…it’s a day of rest. (Like yesterday, and the day before…etc.) I had grand hopes for today…but God seen different. Thanks so much for sharing your heart!! It touched a deep chord in me.

  28. I’ve had a dream of going to minster and live in Colorado Springs, CO for many years now. I’ve had to let this go and it died many times in my mind but God always reminds me to never let it go. To just enjoy every moment of where you are right then and to grow. My motives for going are now changed radically from when the dream was first conceived. They used to be all about me and my plan, but as time has gone on God has changed me inside and is gradually showing me what He wants me to do there. It is never about us, it is always about God. The funny thing is, that when we get on Gods page and not our own, our desires begin to line up with His, for His glory and eternal purposes. The waiting feels like an eternity but through it I am growing daily, learning to trust the Lord at deeper levels.

  29. Love what both you and Liz said. This is God’s word to me today! I read Revelation 4 this morning about how the creatures cried, “Holy, holy, holy” to Jesus over and over. God gave me such peace in my spirit with the assurance that all He requires of me is to PRAISE HIM.

    Whether or not I grow a platform or my message becomes well known, He is pleased with my quiet and consistent praise.

  30. Oh yes! I’ve also felt a little left out because I’m not writing a book, but most of the time I can barely keep up a blog! I still have two kids at home who take a great deal of “raising” still, and my desires get pushed to the side. A lot. And I sometimes feel like life is passing me by and time is speeding on, because I did hit the big 5-0 this summer. But I know better. Thank you for the reminder that not now doesn’t mean not ever, and that my motives need to be God-given and not asking God to bless it after the fact. And I must tell you that when I met you at Allume last year, I was so struck by the way you listened to me. I felt seen and heard. It was very much a “There you are!” moment. 🙂

  31. At times I have the “Here I am” notice me attitude. I feel happy and joyful if people notice me. Most of the time I look around the room and try to notice others.

    God has been saying not now to me and my husband this year. We both applied for other jobs and neither one got the job. Yes I must be honest about why I do and want certain things. It must be all about God and His perfect timing!!

    Loved the post and your writing!

  32. Thank you so much Robin!!! love you! to God be the glory for the impact your article has made in my life today 🙂

  33. Your words spoke to my heart this morning. I am a working mom after 9 years of being a SAHM. I feel cheated. But you reminded me to just keep trusting God. His bringing us here to my hometown (after 24 years) was such a clear move on God’s part you could see that flashing neon arrow pointing right here. You reminded me that God knows my heart and apparently I’m more needed in the role I play today than the one I had picked out.

  34. Thank you for this….not now doesn’t mean not ever….. It really blessed me and put a lot on my heart. After 8 1/2 years, my husband, who has been incarcerated before we met, is coming home finally in January. We met when I was 24 years old and now I am 33, so many things through the years that I have had to sacrifice, so many things I’ve waited on in my life for so long, some of them are about to finally come to pass. That is very overwhelming and amazing all at the same time…. My life is about to change in so many different ways. When I met my husband I never thought this is what my life would be or the direction it would turn but God has filled this time and experience with so many blessings despite the challenges, so many lessons I’ve learned through the hardship, and watching my husband transform and mature into the man God always intended has been amazing. I don’t know how many times over the years I asked God when and heard silence so when I saw the title of your blog and that it was Not Now Doesn’t mean Not Ever, well it just rings so many things in my heart. After 19 years for my husband he finally gets to come home. He finally gets to give back and minister to others who have been in his place and I know God has so much in store for us. Patience definitely isn’t an easy fruit to acquire but it often time comes with trust and hope. It is truly a blessing to look back now and see the ways that God has developed me in this season of my life. Now I finally get to look forward to what I’ve prayed for for so long. God Bless you, and thank you again for sharing.

    Sincerely,
    Kristy

  35. This post reminds me of that time that Max Lucado told me (in an online interactive session in his former Max Lucado Community) to hang in there because there will be a time in the future when God will slow things down so I can ramp things up. 😉 (I was/am still struggling with a very full plate with daily life stuff yet had/have a yearning and calling to write a book and do more for the Lord in bigger ways.)

  36. YES YES YES!!! It’s such a great post. I love me a Beth Bible Study. Robin, reading your posts makes me know you are an “about you” person. Great life lesson-not now does not mean not ever. In God’s time.

  37. Why do we lose hope when God says, “wait?” I so often take it as rejection, but “wait” is definitely not a “no!” Waiting produces patience and patience is a much needed virtue when we are God’s servants. That’s worth waiting for!

  38. Oh Robin, I just love your writing. This is such encouraging wisdom not to do things “just because.” I’ve started blogging (well, a year ago) and a few people have asked what are my writing goals, kind of trying to point me towards a “bigger” goal, like a book.

    But reading your words helps me affirm more fully what’s in my heart: now is NOT the time for a book. I’m helping two home schooling kids, one graduating senior and one younger dyslexic, to equip themselves to enter the world, study further, and follow God’s call on their life. Not the time for a “bigger” goal.

  39. I’m waiting to meet my husband. Most days I trust God completely and rest in the fact that He hears my desires and in His perfect wisdom and timing, He will bring that man into my life. Lately I’ve felt disheartened, like God maybe didn’t hear my prayers or doesn’t want to answer them. But I know that’s not true at all. He is a loving father that wants to give good gifts to His children. So, I will wait in expectation and continue to ask God to work in me as He wishes in this season of waiting.