I always thought I’d be famous. Never aspiring to live an ordinary life, I believed I’d do something great.
Even as I chose a college major, I didn’t chase vocational dreams. Psychology intrigued me and I considered going to graduate school, but still, I felt there was something else out there for me.
The Waiting Room
Not knowing exactly how I’d make a difference in the world, I graduated college, started a career, and began my family. I served in the church while nursing a dream to write Bible studies and speak to women on a larger scale. But I felt like I sat in the waiting room, anticipating God to call my name.
Some amazing things happened in that waiting room. I learned contentment. I invested in others on an individual and small group level. But the feelings of longing never abated.
My childlike dream has taken its own turn decades later. My dream is no longer fame; it’s instead a true desire to make a difference. I really don’t care for a lot of attention like before. In fact I’m learning that nothing ignites a passion inside of me more than teaching a small group of women.
Today, I spend my days writing and doing my best to be obedient to what I believe God has called me to, but it doesn’t escape me I’m not where I thought I’d be at this stage of my life.
Has He Forgotten?
Have you ever gone to the doctor’s office on a busy day? You sit in the room for what seems like hours, hearing voices outside your door, perhaps distinguishing the doctor’s voice in the hallway. You crane your neck to hear if the doctor’s steps approach your room, but you hear a knock on another door. Then, a few minutes later, the doctor exits and all the chattering in the hallway ceases. You wonder if they’ve forgotten that you’re in the room.
I can’t help but think I’m in the clinic waiting for the doctor to come in my room, but it’s quiet outside the closed door. Did He forget about me? Did He go to lunch? Does He remember that I’m waiting?
Care for the Soil, Not the Crops
Recently I read a gardening book, and a phrase caught my eye: “Care for the soil, not the crops.”
It’s a phrase I can’t get out of my mind. In fact every time I still myself to pray, God keeps taking me back to that thought.
As a gardener, I know that the life, the vitality, and the potential of harvest, all centers around the health of the soil. Without healthy soil, there is no meaningful growth. A distressed garden looks worse than bare land.
I’m sitting in the room asking when is God going to call my name, and all along He’s in the room with me asking me to draw deeper into Himself. He’s not nearly as concerned about what I produce as He is the health of my heart.
My soil needs tended.
My Father wants me to stop stressing about what all I can do for Him and instead press into Him in prayer.
God Gives the Growth
That desire to make a difference? I still figure it’s there for a reason. But I don’t think it’s the point. Just like a seed sown in healthy soil can’t help but grow, I think making a difference will naturally result from cultivating a God-centered heart.
I can feel a soul-level change as my focus shifts. I’m trading my quest for a stage for the discipline of a cultivating the soil of my heart.
And if what grows from that soil makes a difference to anyone, that’s God’s business. Not mine.
So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. 1 Corinthians 3:7