When I realized the significance of Monday, I had a moment. It was my baby’s last first day of school.
Stephen is beginning his senior year of college, and just as I did for his older sister and brother, I’ve prayed him through these years. We may not have the opportunity to be physically proximate to one another, but prayer always keeps him (and all my babies) close in heart.
He’s intentionally carrying a heavy course load so his final semester can be light. He’s also busy polishing his resumé for the interviews that will take place in the weeks ahead. While his major is specific, the entry-level jobs he’s qualified for are across the board, and I cannot wait to see where he lands. Mamas are like cats in that we live many lives — our own but also the life of each child. We bear the weight of their losses. We savor the mirth of their successes. Love syncs the hearts of mothers and children so we can feel their pain and joy, but wisdom restrains us from imposing our unmet dreams on our children.
As his wonderful college experience reaches its natural end, he’s at the beginning of an exciting new season: the rest of his life. It’s hard for him to see it though — the incredible and endless opportunities in front of him. And thinking about his potential job opportunities has me thinking about my own potential.
Yes, even at “my age.” It’s so easy to feel like it’s too late, like “that season” has passed you by, that you’re too old to begin a new thing. To that I say, Get behind me, Satan! Banish those negative thoughts! Every job I’ve had since college has involved writing in some way or another — even when I was director for our church Parents Morning Out program — and yet I’m writing my first book at 55 (pray for me?)! Don’t you dare try to tell me it’s too late.
Having plans for my future is important because the Lord has plans for me. He has plans for you, too.
For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good
work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
Philippians 1:6 (NASB)
Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established.
Proverbs 16:3 (NASB)
You know these Scriptures, but are you trusting God and believing they’re true for you personally?
Oh, dear lovies, what is that inkling, that twinkling, that idea swirling in your heart? Is there a passion or a project that you put aside for a long while because you’ve been making excuses or been occupied with other things? Is there an interest or job you’ve long wanted to pursue but never felt like it was the right time? Have you been scared or felt unqualified? Have you simply second-guessed the years away?
Don’t be fooled into thinking your dreams have to be grandiose or affect zillions of people to matter. In a social media world where our value is too often derived by “likes,” numbers of “friends,” followers, and subscribers, never, ever, ever underestimate the power and influence of one kind and loving gesture toward another. Don’t worry about going wide with the masses; go deep with the few.
I have a list of imaginary dream jobs (tell me you do too?) — an OPI or Essie nail polish color namer, proprietor of a magical little venue offering inspired coffee, tea, and desserts, artist, photographer, family and marriage therapist, hair stylist, marine biologist, event planner, entomologist, and more. Some of these will live on in my imagination, but some I could easily pursue as a hobby. Some I’m already pursuing as hobby. There are fewer barriers to entry than you might think. Perhaps the greatest obstacle standing in your way (and mine) is the negative voice inside your head.
Are you seeking God for the “what next?” in your life? Are you sensing His leading but resisting His calling? It’s not necessary to say yes to every opportunity that comes your way. In fact, saying “no” to good things will allow the space for better things. I don’t know what that dream or idea you can’t seem to let go is, but if it’s constantly resurfacing in your head or your heart, you should pay attention. The intersection of God’s plans and your dreams is powerful, and it can change our world for the better.
No, it’s never too late as long as you’re alive and kicking, but time is ticking. You do have to respond to opportunity. I’m happy to tell you you’ve got the rest of your life to begin, and the rest of your life starts now.
So, what are you waiting for?