April 5, 2013

After the Present

   I've spent much of my life looking forward to what comes . . . after.

In junior high when I was writing that poem titled, Being Thirteen, I was wishing I could just get past it because anything was better than thirteen.  High school would surely fix it.

When my four years of high school ended with broken hearts and broken promises, I just wanted to put it all behind me and move on to college where I fully intended to get my MRS. degree or at least be a candidate.

I wandered for awhile among the consequences of poor choices and circumstances, until I did marry the man of my dreams some 10 years later!

And then finally, I looked forward to being a mother.  That was my only dream. That was the end of the story. I didn't want or need anything else.  I had a plan, and I was stickin' with it.

God has a different plan.

Motherhood didn't come so the end of the story never came, and I found myself dangling in between chapters, lost in the pages of doubt and uncertainty.  Most of you know that story.

In the midst of no ending, is where God shows us a new beginning.

Maybe that's why now "my thing" is about living in the present.

The past was once the present, and we can't get it back. The present will soon be behind us, and just around the corner are new fractions of time.  They will come so we don't need to look for them, or wish for them, or hang our hat on them.  All of life is about the now within which we live.

What we regret about the past, happened in the present.  What we hope for in the future, is shaped by our actions now.  Events of that past that give us hope for today and tomorrow, were once present moments.

I want to live intentionally as if this is my last millisecond on earth, but do so fully knowing that whatever tomorrows may come, are being shaped be these very present moments that I am choosing to capture or let fly away.  God knows all about my tomorrows, and if I walk in his will today, and each and every day that follows, his will for my future will be manifest in my life.  I look to the past only in so much as it provides faith for today.

Join me in today, in the now.  There is no room for regret here, and fear isn't welcome either because what may never happen doesn't exist yet.  I think I'm really gonna like it here.  How about you?

Today I'm sharing with:


  1. Beautiful, Stephanie. So much of our lives we look forward to things, and find ourselves lost in a life that we imagine will happen, and miss the joy of the life that we have presently..right in front of us. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. You are so very right. I find that I keep looking forward to "after" way too much.

  3. Yes, so true. Living in the moment means, living to the fullest in each moment. So much like smelling the roses and sensing the warmth of the sun, the coolness of the breeze and the joy of company and family and more.

    thanks for the insight.

  4. Boy, you are really speaking to me with this one! I spend way too much time living in the past and trying to get over guilt, regrets, etc. It's difficult to be happy when one spends so much time looking in the rear view mirror. Lately my devotionals have been speaking to me about this, and now here you are writing about it. It's almost scary to think that God is actively trying to speak to me. Sometimes I think I am afraid of God! Thanks for the wonderful words today. God bless you, Stephani, you are a true woman of God.

    1. Gail, if you're like me, you're not so much afraid of God as you are of yourself, and what you will do with what God teaches you. I know when I hear a word from the Lord, I have a choice to obey or walk away. And I'm a sinner, capable of anything, but I'm a sinner saved by grace. These are the moments where we should look to the past to see how God fulfilled his promises in our lives then so that we can trust him in the now. We don't live in the past, but we acknowledge that he sustained us then, and he'll sustain us now. Grace to you my precious friend. God is working in your life, I see it.

  5. I feel a kindred heart here today... my dream of motherhood, even wife-hood, had to be surrendered. But God does hold us close and there are dreams ongoing that we never imagine. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    And... I have that same exact and lovely clock on my mantel, alongside my own teacup! Love your photo!! :)

    1. Pam, I just heard John Piper speak a few moments ago and he talked about the singleness of Christ, never married. It caused me to also think about the fact that he never had biological children. Have I ever somehow felt that I am not a whole woman because I don't have children? If so, then why what was good enough for Christ is not good enough for me? This humbles me low. My joy is complete in Christ, single or married, with or without children. He is all.

      Thanks for stopping by and introducing yourself!

  6. Beautiful reminder! Sounds the Lord has done so much in you!


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