Instagram makes unicorns. Let me explain! I used to scroll through instagram and see the following in a matter of 30 seconds: a traveler posting pictures from the top of Machu Picchu, an old friend who just graduated from medical school, an adorable couple who has been together since high school, a super fit gal showing her super-toned body in the latest yoga clothes trend, a make-up artist with perfect eyebrows, a family member showing their latest kitchen remodel, and a gal with 10 of her best friends at a Bachelorette party. Suddenly, the unicorn in my head rode into my subconscious. I would suddenly feel inferior, because those images/emotions have blurred together, and I felt like I needed to be and have all of the things I just saw. But let’s take a step back here.
Maybe the traveler worked night-shift nursing for three years after college so she could afford to take four months off and travel. Maybe my old friend had been rejected from medical school on his first attempt, and had to work in a research lab to gain the connections he needed to finally get accepted into the school of his dreams. Maybe that couple had to spend the better part of last year in couple’s counseling, fighting for their marriage, in order to make it to their fifth wedding anniversary in a healthier place. Maybe the super fit gal had never been athletic in her younger years, and finally found a fitness regimen that makes her feel confident and strong.
…getting the idea?
Good things, truullyyy good, wonderful things in life – they don’t come easily. It is too easy to want something, and then hope or will it into existence ASAP. One of two things will happen: you either will not get it right away and be disappointed, possibly even give up or move onto something different, OR you will get it, and you will not be satisfied. You will be left wanting more. As I type this, I am realizing in writing these words that this is true for nearly everything in my entire life. Here are just a few things in my life right now that I cherish more than anything:
-my husband, our marriage
But has everything with my family always been absolutely perfect, with no one ever disagreeing with one another and we all sang kumbaya every night before bed growing up? No. Have my husband and I always been perfectly in-sync with each other’s love languages and had the exact same vision for our futures? Definitely not. Did I just fill out a sheet of paper, flash a smile and earn my job I am in now? Ha! (19 years of schooling and four years of building my career before I even applied!)
The things I cherish the most in my life have taken time, patience, growth, failure, learning, pain, forgiveness, healing, persistence, and faith that they will all be worth it. And they are.
So here is where I want to encourage you, friends. You may be in a journey right now. You may have something you desperately want, hope for, wish for or pray for. But all you can control is today. This moment. What are things, in this very moment, that you currently have, that you once hoped for? What are things you have, that other people in the world could only dream of having? Take a moment to be grateful for your blessings. Stop for just one moment thinking about what you want or do not have, and truly say to yourself, or in prayer (if you are a prayerful person), thank you for this life. Thank you for this moment and these blessings that I have. Once you have done this, you can finally move into the next steps in what this blog post is titled, “how to embrace the journey.”
Try to take a moment and think about what good could come from the season you are in. If it is a season of sheer grief, friends, I truly am sorry. I have been there, and it is more lonely than I ever knew I could feel. But maybe, just maybe there is another human in your sphere of influence who is grieving, too. Maybe they need to know that it is okay to not be okay, today. If you are in a season of waiting, try to think about what you could do with your time and energy now to better prepare you for what you hope is to come. If you are like me, maybe you are in a season where you feel completely overwhelmed. For me, it has stripped me down to brass tacks. It has forced me to remember every day who I am, and what is most important to me in life, and to LIVE my life with those priorities reigning true.
But that’s not it. I believe that trying to take a moment to be present and introspective in your current journey is so valuable, but there’s something else. You do not have to have all of the answers. You do not have to know how things will turn out. But you must have two things:
You must have hope. Without hope, we have nothing. If I did not have hope that my marriage would stand the test of time, why would I bother to work so hard at it now? If I did not not have hope that what I believe in my faith would come to pass, why would I bother learning to wholly trust in Him?
You must have persistence. You must never quit, no matter how many pivots, turns, or even rest breaks you must take. You must never give up.
Your life is a masterpiece. A messy, beautifully imperfect one. Sometimes I lose my breath thinking that I was created to be exactly who I am for a purpose beyond what I can comprehend. I can barely explain it. But no matter how good or bad my day has been, no matter how optimistic, or anxiety-ridden I feel, at that moment, I let that sink in – and I take the next step. And the next one, and the next. I never give up. This journey of life will be worth it.
Sending you my love, friends. Happy Sunday <3
XoXo Lindsey Sholtis