It was a rainy Monday morning. I was sitting at my desk at work typing up an email to send out to my team. As I was just about to press the “SEND” button, I heard a knock at my door – the door that I generally keep closed for the sake of productivity. But with this knock, I sensed purpose. So of course, I invited this mystery guest in. It was a young lady who I had spoken to several times before in conversations that left us both in awe of God’s awesome power. I knew that she was venturing into a new season in life as a working mother, but when she entered she had a look on her face that was somewhat puzzling. And with a heavy spirit she probed: “Can you give me some advice on being a mom and working full time?”
Quickly, I had to switch gears – and by that I mean pray. Not so much because of the question asked, but because of the unspoken words that screamed loudly through her disposition. She didn’t seem to be aware of the shift taking place in the atmosphere, but at that moment I realized that God was answering my morning prayer to use me as His vessel to help somebody that day. So as I opened my mouth, words of wisdom poured out to answer the question that she gave words to. Just a few of the life lessons that the Holy Spirit imparted to me over the past few years as my work life and personal life collided were released…
“Your job does not love you but your children do! Everyone that you work with is there for one common purpose – their compensation – whether that is by paycheck or a pat on the back. So don’t go seeking love and acceptance from the people; but seek to demonstrate God’s love and grace by being the best YOU that you can be at home and work. You will get tired...a lot. But things still have to get done. So do it tired. But remember that your work is dispensable. Often times inefficiency results from the prideful thinking that manipulates us into believing that we cannot be replaced. If you leave your job, however, the work will continue on. But if you forego the attention of your child, the scars will last a lifetime.” And I continued on: “Everything in life has it’s proper place! Order and alignment are chief principles in God’s Kingdom. Without it, we will never reach our fullest potential and our lives will not please God. So put things in their proper place – God, Christ, Man, Woman, Children then work.”
We talked for at least twenty minutes before I understood the true purpose for this conversation. As she listened intensely water began to fill her tear ducts, and I felt a passionate yet calming chill consume my body – that feeling that believers recognize as the presence of the Holy Spirit. As His presence was revealed, the questions that this young lady didn’t voice became louder and God spoke prophetically through me: “Don’t despise your youth. Walk purposefully in this season to glean from those that God has divinely connected you to. For this is your season of preparation.”
Alas, God led us directly to the root and the reason for our encounter on this day...to help bring about understanding of her current season in life and encourage her to be present, not live in the past or future.
Luke 21:36 (ESV) reads: “But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Each season of life brings it’s own set of challenges and opportunities for growth. The season of “preparation” is no different. As Christ’s followers, tribulation will inevitably exist as we are charged with demonstrating our faith in Christ through all of life’s encounters. This is how God purges us from sin to make us more like Him. Whether it’s juggling work-life balance, battling brokenness, facing our fears or trying to find peace in grief season, the same principle applies.
Stay Awake. And Stay Prayerful.
All too often, we misunderstand the purpose of our preparation season. Some may tend to run away from it, reverting back to the same standard of mediocrity that left them unfulfilled in the first place. While others may choose to face the challenges head-on, taking matters into their own hands and neglecting the consultation of their Creator and Sustainer. Both approaches, though in the moment may feel good, will eventually lead to destruction. And that’s because our life’s purpose is more clearly defined in our preparation season.
So stay awake and recognize the season of life you are in. Your life is writing a novel and this season is just one chapter in your book. Walk purposefully and glean from those that God has divinely connected you to. Stay awake and take notice of your own feelings and actions as you maneuver through life. Your resposes to things provide important information that you need to know in order to grow. Stay awake and pray about everything you encounter. Know that God is your strength and your provider. You cannot sustain your own success. But with God, anything is possible.