“Trust the process,” is easy to say. I always thought it was a cliche encouragement. You know, just get through this right now and you’ll reach the light at the end of the tunnel…eventually. The light at the end of the tunnel is never as motivational as it should be. That’s why I ignored people when they told me to be patient, to work on what I’ve got in this season of life, to just trust the process.
Impatience serves as a huge stumbling block. I’ve been impatient all my life so becoming aware of this fault has made all the difference. I alluded to a transitional stage of life a while back and in that sensation of change, I was apprehending the future. Although, I looked forward with hope I was still clawing at the life I had not yet experienced. I struggle with this. There are things in life I want and when I want them, I want them now. Sometimes, it’s a perfect career, sometimes, it’s a marriage, sometimes, it’s a mani-pedi that I cannot afford at the moment.
That desire does not change anything besides my mood, my agitation at what’s not happening for me right now. It’s been good to notice that emotion. Why are you having a bad day? Is it because you’re thinking about the life you crave to live versus living the life you are living? Well, why not have a good day because today you can do the things that will lead you there?
This transitional stage has been about slowing down and getting in tune with what today has for me. And it hasn’t been easy getting here. I started 2019 with a hefty list of goals, resolutions, and plans for the year. For some reason, I believed that I could get a project done very quickly. For a stranger reason, I believed that I could work on everything every single day (I have only 2 hands?). The vision for 2019 was ambitious from art projects to making new friends, which is great, it’s about creating that life I want to live. But the plan, the daily slaving, was OVER-ambitious.
We think we have to do everything everyday otherwise we aren’t getting anywhere. When we fail at accomplishing a thing, especially if as a perfectionist, we feel like we are failing at life.
This is why the beginning of my year looked like a lot failure. Failure is an opportunity to pivot, however. YES!
At the end of each month, I’ve been checking the progress on my goals, searching for areas that I could improve. To my inner perfectionist, April’s poor score made it a month of failure.
But to my outer optimist, April was a month of break.
Rest from my dictator self was much needed. It brought clarity, energy, and peace about working and walking forward. Now, May has a new structure, which means another margin of time to work toward the prize. No more 2-mile-long daily checklists.
Breaking down my projects gives me space to joyfully live today, even though the growth seems small and the future seems far. The natural ebb and flow of life is very much about trial and error. Development takes time. That’s why the fifth month of the year will look better than the second. My resolutions didn’t go out the window, but they needed to be re-evaluated. That’s engaging the process! Pivoting when change calls, relaxing when a break is needed, and reflecting on what has been done so a better plan can be made.
A lot of times, I ask God to have the end-result right now. He often tells me that I have everything that I need for right here and now. It’s true. Maybe my desires are not here, but they are coming. While it may seem like I am just in a waiting season, I am actually in a season of development, preparation, and appreciation. It took a godly perspective to understand this.
The illustration God gave me is rather organic. I’m getting into gardening, slowly, doing a little here and there. I’ve been able to see how a plant dies in the wrong conditions. How it flourishes in the right conditions. This is very obvious, but what’s less obvious is that not only does a plant need soil, water, sun, it needs time. Time to adjust to it’s new dirt home, time to receive the sun, time to absorb the water, time to convert these nutrients into life.
In fact, there were some lemons that turned yellow as tiny fruit, barely escaping the budding period, way before they were large enough for ripening. You know what they did? They fell off the tree and died. And will have to start all over by becoming mere ground nutrient. The seeds from those fruit are not even useful, it will take a long time for that organic matter to become a ripe fruit. Like, years of breakdown, waiting and lots of hope. That’s what happens when we try to mature out of God’s timing.
If I checked the plants every hour, I’d see nothing but when a few days have passed, I can see growth!
Every new bud, flower, fruit amazes me. In the time my hands were away, God’s were there. His Hands are calling the plants to grow towards the sky, towards Him, just as He is calling you and me to be upright. When I look at my life from a wider perspective, I can see how God placed opportunities, people, and gifts in my path so I could convert them into the place I am now. I am truly blessed! I see what it means to trust the process, to trust God’s process.
The point is not to become a flower tomorrow, it’s to convert the nutrients God has already given us into what the flower needs to survive. The flower is not a complete project on its own, it blooms after time has brought the tools together and has put them to use. If flowers were made instantly, they’d be floating without stems, leaves, roots, and dirt.
That life I’m building may still be roots underground, but that’s the whole point. We keep pushing upward. And sometimes, one of the best nutrients is rest and reflection.
Here’s a meme my friend sent me this morning:
May your May be full of blessings!
“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!”