Invest and Wait

  My stomach did little flips as I walked to the front of the room for my holy yoga student teaching. Four girls from my group laid out their mats and looked at me. I tried not to think about what a disaster the last class I taught had been. I pushed it from my mind and said a quick prayer.

As I led them through the short class I could feel my whole body shaking, but my voice was steady.

When it was all over, the feedback was validating.

"I love that you did this..."

"I like how you said that..."

"You have the yoga part down..."

"You weaved the word well, but you are ready to go deeper and take your class further. You have a voice you need to share even more."

And down in my gut I heard, "You are good at this."

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She came along side of me as we walked, "I wanted to tell you how much I'm enjoying the writing project you are doing on Instagram. There's something really inviting about each piece." She emphasized the word inviting and it lingered in my mind.

"Thank you," I said, smiling as I gave her a sideways hug.

Deep in my soul the message rose up, "You are good at this."

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My hands shook a little as I spoke, "I am loving doing this, but I think I need to pull back. At least from the day to day."

I leaned forward in my seat and took a sip of coffee. She was gracious and understanding and so very encouraging.

I left the coffee shop with her words ringing in my head, "You are good at this."

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I sat in the quiet asking God for a word, one word, for my ministry in this season, asking how I should use what skills I have for his glory. It came quickly, but it was undeniable, unavoidable: "WAIT."

Pull back. Not yet. Hold.

Tears welled up in my eyes. It wasn't the word I wanted.

I wanted to come into my own, to bloom and blossom, and do something great. I wanted all these messages of "you are good at this" to mean something. I wanted to use these things for some great purpose or good. I wanted to hear NOW, charge the gate, it's time.

Instead the message was "hold". It wasn't let go of these things, it wasn't give them up, it was wait. Hold them. Keep them close to your heart. A time will come, but it's not yet.

These desires aren't bad, these dreams aren't bad, these skills aren't bad, but it's more important that you follow. Follow were Jesus leads - in this season, in this day, in this very moment.

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I was standing in the kitchen when I opened the email. My phone was tethered to the wall by the power cord as it sucked energy from the outlet. When I read the words I wished I was tethered as well.

"When Grief Masquerades as Hustle"

That was the subject line and it was enough. It struck me like an arrow.

Ever since last fall when Bryan's tumors began to grow again I have fluctuated between inactivity and overactivity. I have thrown myself into new ventures, new work, new dreams, new projects, new trainings. And then I have ended up burned out and/or sick and unable to function at all. As soon as some semblance of energy returned I was back to hustling, but in a new area or realm.

There were good intentions, good ideas, good dreams. And a few good results. But, no margin.

Grief masquerading as hustle. Hustle as a drug for grief. Hustle as an avoidance for grief.

Hustle isn't a healthy response to grief. And neither is inactivity.

This hit too close to home. I closed my email. I would finish reading later.

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And so the message comes again: Hold. Wait. Slow. Steady.

And yet I wrestle. Because the message comes amidst open doors and words of validation. Because some dreams have been festering in my heart for five, seven, ten years now. I'm tired of holding them. I'm tired of hearing wait.

---

We didn't plan on running into them. We were finished with our meal when they walked through the door. But we pulled up seats at their table and stayed because how often do you get to have a spontaneous meal with people you enjoy?

Throughout the conversation one word rose to the surface again and again...invest.

It's risen to the surface of multiple conversations since. And I think somewhere in that word is a clue.

It's not time for fruition, it's time for investment.

Investing allows for margin. It's devoting some portion of yourself or your resources to something with the hope of a future return. Not a current return, a future return.

Right now it's not about fulfillment or completion, not about big dreams or accomplishments. It's about intentional investment. Hold your time and skills with intention, and invest first and foremost in LOVE.

There are only so many hours in the day, so many days in a year. And all of it is fleeting. Our lives are short.

How do I value my time and use it wisely? How do I invest intentionally in myself, in my dreams, in my children, in my friends, in LOVE? How do I find balance in my ideas, pursuits, and responsibilities? How do I discover balance without resentment?

I can't say I've found the answers, but I think it has something to do with listening and getting still enough to hear Love's call. Then following that call for each day, each moment, into intentional investment.

What do you think?

Rejoicing in the journey, Bethany

randomBethany Stedman