Lately, I’ve become conscious of the adverse effects of my vivacious desire for accomplishments. The drive, goal orientation, and hunger for checking off my checklist have been vital for achieving several successful endeavors in my life. I’ve acquired degrees, built businesses, and even more recently, written a whole damn novel. But that eager thirst for racing to the finish line of any life event brings with it a stressful, anxious mind.
And anxiety kills.
I remember years ago shopping in the grocery store and suddenly hearing Holy Spirit say, “Nicole, you’re in the grocery store. Why are you rushing?” It was true. I had nothing planned after my trip to the grocery store. There was no engagement I was late for. I was heading home to relax afterward. Why was I rushing?
But rushing has tagged along with my whole adulthood and maybe even teenage years, if I’m honest. For the most part, I didn’t even notice that it was strapped into the passenger seat of my life.
I know for a fact my spiritual journey has been crafted to cultivate patience within me. However, as I mentioned in my last blog post, at 40 years old, I still didn’t understand the need for this patience. I felt the term “patient” was just another description for people who waited too long to get things done. And while I still feel like this is an issue if you’re on the other end of the spectrum, I now see how my rushing has almost stolen certain gifts in my life.
There is peace in waiting.
That was what I heard God say to me recently after I subconsciously sabotaged my relationship. I thought my way was better because I had the fruit of my accomplishments as proof. But the truth is, each accomplishment was birthed after a season of waiting.
My advanced degree arrived after a 4-year hiatus from academia and several years of pruning in my career. My home was purchased some 15 years after my initial desire for it to be bought. This was following humbling seasons of living with roommates and in the inner city. My income increased after nearly 15 years of living paycheck to paycheck, taking out loans, and trying to be a good steward of what I had been given. The last few years of travel have emerged after 10 years of my adult life, never having gone out of the country.
Indeed, good things come to those who wait.
So now I have a bit more understanding of how waiting can benefit one’s life. Those more laid-back personality types who are more chill seem to struggle less with anxiety. They’re not overly obsessed with life going according to plan and don’t fall apart when life’s plan overrides their own.
Historically I have felt tormented by each second ticking by when I’m waiting to meet someone. The minutes that they’re late slap me in the face, and I try my hardest not to stare at the time.
I realize now some of this is due to my perspective. I fear that if “it” does not happen on (my) time, “it” will not happen. And then I function out of control to make it happen (this too is a new revelation). I fear that if I don’t make it happen, they will not make it happen. God will not make it happen.
The main underlying thing at work, though is fear.
The problem with this mindset is that there is no fear in love. Those of us who function this way have vexed spirits because we’re not trusting. If our perspective is “it is going to happen, it just may not happen when I want it to,” then we can rest in the initial clause of this sentence: “It” is going to happen.
That is the view I am trying to adopt with this new relationship. Because he and I are wired so differently, I’m being taken out of my comfort zone. But what I realize is, I am not being harmed, I am just being made uncomfortable.
We always grow (if we choose to) when we’re uncomfortable. We never grow when we are comfortable, we just feel good. It is truly iron sharpening iron.
Ultimately my heart is to have a calm spirit groomed within me. After all, a gentle spirit is of great worth in God’s sight.
How about you? Do you identify with rushing through life? Or are you the more laid-back type? Feel free to chime in in the comments or shoot me an email with your response!
In other news, did you know that I just dropped the pre-sale for my debut novel When Love Wins? You can check out more here! This time around there is an audiobook in addition to the eBook and paperback versions. Make sure you are subscribed to my email list to catch special offers, discounts, insider information, and more!
Are you on Instagram/Facebook? If so, please reach out. I have a series called “Word of the Day Wednesdays” where I share 5-10 minutes worth of nuggets that are on my heart, which I hope are encouraging to others on IGTV/FB Live! I have these also posted on my Youtube Channel.
And, lastly, if you have read “Stories for the (Urban) Soul, please put up an Amazon review here. I was SUPER encouraged and blessed when a new reader put up her review for my 2nd book which you can view here :).
As always, thank you for your support!