“I’ll be happy when all that I think sucks with life will go my way even though I asked for what I currently have, I’m over it. I’ll be happy when I get the next thing. Please and thank you!!”
You may have never uttered the last part of that quote but I believe it’s safe to say that most of us have either thought or spoken the first four words, “I’ll be happy when…” Let’s be real, life happens and at times when things aren’t going our way, we’re ready for the next best thing—or so we think. I don’t know about you but sometimes I’ve gotten the next best thing only to want something I think is better.
“Graduation is almost here, hurry!! Hurry!! Hurry, please!!”
While I’m grateful to be done with school I didn’t realize what else I’d be leaving. A somewhat flexible work schedule—it worked around my school schedule, my social life and also gave me the time to decide what it is I really want to do with my life—or to learn what God wants to do with my life. Of course I still have time but a lot of my free time has been spent resting and catching up on some much needed sleep.
I got some things I wanted—or things I thought I wanted—only to find that I don’t want them or they’re not what or how I thought they would be. With that, I’ve found myself uttering, “I’ll be happy when…” because I didn’t factor in that nothing, no one and no place is perfect. In my mind I pegged out how things would be and how they would look. But in my reality, I met none of what my mind cooked up.
*sings: “That’s the story of, that’s the story of life..” (I know the lyrics aren’t completely accurate but I’m illustrating a point here lol [insert embarrassed emoji])
So, what’s one to do when our unrealistic or idealistic expectations and realities collide? Well, do not do what I initially did—stress eating and storing up bitterness towards yourself and others—release and let it go!! I honestly don’t have a remedy for you; only a suggestion because only Jesus knows what we each specifically need better than I or any self-help book could ever guide you.
BUT I believe that it can be helpful to take advice from others and pray about what God would lead you to do. What I’m about to share is literally still a work in progress for me. In fact, the peace I’ve gotten from it was due to the hope I see in it—if that makes sense. [insert another embarrassed emoji lol]
Change your mind, change your life…
Instead of “I’ll be happy when…” we can be intentional to say, “Jesus, thank You for…” even while we’re in the place we want to leave. Even in the midst of whatever may be going on, be thankful and say so. Don’t stop there, it’s a great starting place though! But also take time to pray for God’s will for you!
Maybe you’ll find that He has strategically placed you where you are for such a time as this. Maybe there’s something there that you need to learn. Maybe there’s something you need to learn from that person or whatever your, “I’ll be happy when…” may have to do with.
For me, it’s a number of things. For you, maybe it’s school, a vocation, location or a relationship status. No matter the case, ask God if you’re where He wants you to be in this time of your life. And if you are where He wants you to be, pray for the grace to remain and not only to remain but to do it in excellence.
If, however, it isn’t God’s will for you to be where you are currently, pray for Him to direct you to where He wants you to be. Pray for the open door and pray that any and all hinderances be thwarted in their attempt to block you. Pray for God to supernaturally place you in the place He’d have you to be at this time in your life with the grace and the empowerment to be there.
From there, thank Him for wisdom. Thank Him for guidance. Thank Him for what you do have and what you get to do while you wait for the next thing. Be it graduation, a spouse, a new job, a new car or anything. Thank Him for all He’s done on the way to what He’s about to do. Receiving from God is a lot like receiving a gift from someone with the exception being that we may not see the manifestation of what we’re receiving from God right away. But because we know we’ll have it—because God will not and cannot lie—we have the freedom, the faith and the empowerment to thank Him in advance.
I found myself complaining about SO MUCH!!! Yet, none of it was changing—at least not in good ways and I wondered why. I can’t promise that I won’t ever complain again or that I’ve got it all figured out because I don’t. Nothing’s changed yet for me in the natural but I believe that God is faithful and He will lead me into His perfect plan for me even if that’s the strength to remain in my current place.
Like Joyce Meyer says, “Complain and remain, praise and you raise.” (Something like that.) This isn’t an overnight process so don’t lose hope if you don’t feel you’re making any progress. You are! Know that you’re not alone, God is with you and cheering you on and so am I.
So, how do you create the life you want? By praising in the in between of where you are now on the way to where you’re going. Looking at where we’re not in disappointment won’t help us get to where we want to be. As we cultivate a thankful heart where we are now, we take the focus off of the things that look impossible and put it on our God who specializes in making the impossible possible!
Here are some scriptures to encourage you on your journey:
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 )
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” (Galatians 6:9)
“I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put his finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (Philippians 1:6)