"I just want to get there already!"
Do you ever hear yourself muttering these words? I won't lie, I find myself making these comments every now and then.
I think sometimes we get so caught up in looking at the end goal that we forget to embrace the journey (and all the learning curves that come with it) on the way.
Whatever your journey looks like - whether you're wanting a new job, a stronger marriage, to reach a fitness goal, graduate with a university degree, to see an entrepreneurial dream take off, or any other goal - this post is for you!
I understand that the journey isn't easy. Oh gosh, sometimes I want to throw the towel in, pack my bags and head off to a tropical island to sip from coconuts. Is anyone else with me?! But while the journey may be tough at times, there is so much beauty in the process - you've just got to find it.
Here are three thoughts on how to embrace that journey of yours!
1) Every accomplished dream has a story - yours is unique.
You aren't like the girl next to you, and nor do you have to be. You've got your own desires, passions, and dreams for the future. This means that the journey to your dream will be different than your best friend's journey. And that's OK. Cheer that lovely friend of yours on, and remember that her success doesn't diminish yours - you're running a race and you're in your own lane. In my own life, I've realised that God is taking me in a different direction than the one I thought I would be going in three years ago. I'm heading down a different path to the one I thought I would've been on. God's been taking me on a journey into the unknown. I'm sure some of you can relate! In the midst of the journey, I've found it a little bit difficult to let go of the 'expectations' I had for my life and my 'career', in particular, and to embrace the true God-given desires of my heart. And even then, I've had to constantly remove my eyes from wandering to other people's paths and to put my focus back on my own. God has a beautiful plan for my life. And when I remember that truth, I can't help but smile - because why would I want to live out someone else's journey at the expense of missing out on the unique one that God has purposed for me since before the beginning of time?
Be encouraged, lovely lady - your story is uniquely yours.
2) Embrace the learning curve - even when it hurts.
The journey will shape you, it may nearly break you. But one thing is for sure: it will teach you invaluable lessons that will prepare you for what's ahead. Tough situations suck. They really do. There's no nice way to put it. But they really teach you lessons that you could never have learned if you hadn't gone through them. When facing tough situations, here are some lessons that I've learnt: disregard the voices of gossips no matter how loud they might be, people will ALWAYS talk about your situation, even those who truly mean well. It happens and sometimes it's completely out of our control. Maybe your situation is a failed business attempt, a very public break up, a health challenge. Life can be really tough, and people's careless words can so easily twist the knife in a little deeper. In the midst of stormy seasons, I've learnt the importance of embracing the all-sustaining peace that can only come from God, and from that place of peace, I've learnt to be gentle and graceful toward those around me (even when I really don't feel like it).
3) Find who's in your corner - and embrace them!
We all need support - we're stronger in community. Not everyone is going to be cheering you or I on 24/7 but there are some very special people in our lives who will be there on the the sideline every single step of the way. Personally, some of the great encouraging women in my life are my mum, a few trusted friends and some ladies who've walked a few more steps in life than me - their consistent encouragement, honesty and reminders have been life changing for me as I navigate my early twenties, marriage, a full time job, this blog, and a number of different ventures. Who are these people in your life? Are they your closest friends, your mum, a mentor? Grab a hold of them. Why not even take the time to tell them how much you appreciate their input in your life and how you see them as a great support. Tell them that you would love to have their presence consistently in your life - whether that's frequent coffee catchups, chats on the phone or even words of encouragement over text. I really urge you to take the time to seek these people out - good guidance and consistent encouragement truly helps to make the journey so much more lovely!
If you're struggling in a season of waiting right now - whether that's for a relationship or a job or anything else, I encourage you to check out Wendy Pope's book Wait and See. It's all about finding peace in God's pauses and plans, and I know it will help, strengthen and encourage you in your season of waiting.
I really hope that you can take something out of these three points. It's time to shake up our perspectives - lift our eyes a little higher, stretch our arms a little wider and embrace the good, the bad, and the ugly times! Remember, Rome wasn't built in a day! Embrace the journey, lovely one.