I’m a project-putter-offer. Translation: I really like fresh starts.
I prefer an empty to-do list before starting a new one. I prefer projects to be completed before beginning more. I prefer to put off something new until everything else is in place. My train of thought goes something like this:
“I really want to paint my desk, but I can’t do it until we clean the deck off so it can sit out there. And we can’t clean the deck off until the kids are in bed because they love playing out there.”
Guess what piece of furniture in my office still isn’t painted? And it’s bigger stuff too – I’d love to start a book club. Schedule coffee with that new friend. Work on a writing project. But the list of ‘wait untils’ grows and gets in the way of all good intentions.
I’ve heard the “wait till you’re ready” argument used for getting married, buying a home, changing careers, and having or not having children. These are huge things! Of course there are financial matters to consider. Of course there are steps to take before diving into some things. But in all these situations and more, being ready shouldn’t be a deciding factor.
There are some things that we simply cannot be ready for, and that is okay because it leaves us open.
This isn’t about being a planner kind of person, about having each and every nook & cranny of our lives swept out and ready to go.
It’s about being open to the path God has prepared for each of us. Whether or not we choose to embrace it? That’s on us, and if we’re waiting until everything in our lives is in place, we might miss it.
There’s a running list of incredible-but-ordinary everyday people who stopped waiting to be ready. Who took a deep breath and a leap of faith. Who didn’t hesitate with their yes because their lives were untidy, because they weren’t yet ready.
- David — a young man who chooses to go up against a pagan giant, knowing though the odds aren’t, God is on his side. So even though David’s not equally as giant, not trained, and not ready, he is victorious.
- Rahab — one of the “bad girls” of the Bible, a prostitute who risks her life and her family to help a couple of Israelite spies and ends up furthering the Kingdom of God. You can read her whole story here, but the part that gets me is this: A prostitute didn’t wait to clean up her life to do God’s work. She accepted the opportunity when she could very well have said, “No thanks. My life’s a mess.”
From the (in)courage family:
- Kristen Welch — a young wife and mom, who didn’t wait for the dust to settle and finances to clear. She chose to hear and accept God’s path for herself and her family, and Mercy House Kenya was born. This beautiful ministry has saved the lives of so many mothers and their babies. Mercy House is a light shining, a city on a hill.
- Ann Voskamp — a farmer’s wife and mother of six, who said yes and stood up to evil. Together with thousands of others she has helped to raise over half a million dollars to fight Isis by putting children in school, educating women, providing business grants for women, and by waging love.
So many people are choosing to follow God’s call in everyday-yet-extraordinary ways — despite their lives being messy. They are changing the lives of others, changing the hearts of families, and changing the course of history in simple and beautiful and small ways.
This isn’t bragging on those people. This is bragging on God.
This is bragging on what He did when His people didn’t hesitate with their yes because things in their lives weren’t just so.
What would’ve happened if they’d waited until they were ready to say yes ? There could have been catastrophic consequences to their hesitation.
We may not be ready, but He is. So take the risk. Give a yes. Paint that desk.
What could you do — what could He do through you — if you stopped waiting to be ready?
Angela Nazworth says
Anna, I love this post. And I especially love this line: “There are some things that we simply cannot be ready for, and that is okay because it leaves us open.” I too put things off because I feel like I’m not ready or my life isn’t ready. Thank you for the encouraging reminder of that if God is ready we are in the right place to move forward with him.
Debbie Norsworthy says
This encourages me. I tend to just go with the flow. Let God move me. I don’t always understand His ways. Or why He chooses me. But I love it! It’s hard to say no to God. I don’t want to miss out! I’m ready to try new things even if they don’t pan out. Like going to school. I just want to be obedient and I hope I am doing that. Sometimes I drag my feet a little and wonder if I heard God right and then I decide to keep going because the door hasn’t shut. Like doing foster care…we heard about aittle girl who needs a forever home. All I can do is trust God. My life is in His hands. I want to bring Him glory and get rid of me. Thanks for the encouragement to believe God is not finished with me yet. I believe Him, He can do anything. I trust Him more!
Starting my new blog…that’s what I’m waiting to be “ready” for, and I probably should just jump in with both feet! I’m always too busy or working too much or don’t have enough time or lack the right motivation…and the list goes on. They are all excuses, stemmed from the fear that if I start, the blog will flop, go nowhere, be read by no one, and end up a huge disappointment. For me, it’s easier not to start than to fail.
But something tells me God doesn’t see it that way…
The timing of this could not be more perfect!
It is so easy to let Satan distract me from what I do truly believe God has set before me.
Really needed this today!
Donna W says
Oh, thank you. You expressed what I have done my whole life and what I recently began doing – finally getting the courage to confront this area – in my life. This year, I’m stepping out (along with the prayer of Jabez to enlarge my borders) into those put-it-off-until-I’m-totally-ready projects and desires. My life is already changing, quickly, and it’s both frightening and exciting. At the moment, I am standing (stunned) watching God open doors to two things that I never thought could/would happen, and in the midst of my panicking “I’m not ready” remind myself that God will equip as well.
Thank-you for sharing this message with us Anna,
There is alot to be learned from it,
There was something really moving that I saw this morning with a similar message in the way that reminds us that if we really listen we’ll hear what God intends for us to do.
We can choose to ignore it or like you said Anna say “Yes” and trust in Him and go with it.
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I think that a lot of times, God purposely calls us when we’re not ready because then He can be glorified through our weakness. He called me to help start a Christian School in Pakistan for many of the reasons Ann stood up to the evil in Iraq. Heinous acts are going on over there – especially to children. Someone needed to step in NOW not later. If we all waited until we felt ready, nothing would ever be accomplished. Even in my ignorance, God is using me, and that way my “life arrow” points toward Him. Awesome post this morning!
Anna, what a breathe of fresh air! I love and adore the fact that God sees beyond our flaws and fears. He sees the giant IN us when all we see is the giant (s) in front of us!
Thanks for this message. God knows my life is very untidy right now and I’ve used that excuse for too long….mainly out of fear. My lack of follow through with a number of “projects” or delayed actions that miss the intended moment due to my procrastination, seem to plague my life. Your message hit home because I honestly need to confess it so the Father can address it for correction. I know He will do so in a loving way. Continue being a blessing Anna.
If there was an Olympics for procrastination, I’d be a gold medalist! I’m forever waiting for something else to be done before I get going. But if I’m waiting until *I* get ready, doesn’t that take away from my reliance on God? Thought provoking post!
Susan G. says
Amen! Well said!
Thank you for this!
Joanne Peterson says
Anna, finishing taking the leap to start an adoption support group. Many people are hungering for this ministry. I had literally been thinking I don’t have my life together enough to start this group and who am I since I am doing such a great job with my two boys.
God does though, and my transparency I believe will help other people to understand they are not alone on this tough journey with children who have had hard beginnings. God loves our children and us, and we need a safe place to share, gain understanding, and get support for the challenges we and our children face. God’s heart is with the orphans and the widows. I have a lot on my plate, but I kept hearing the call, and it seemed I just could not get away from the need that I kept seeing and feeling in my face before me. And the need just kept coming back into my face. I’ve asked for confirmation, and received it, including this post. I just need to keep on stepping out, trust Jesus, and listen to the direction of the steps, pray, obey, and sit back and watch the movie. It’s God’s ministry, not mine.
Thank you Anna, this is the catalyst I need to keep going forward.
Meghan Weyerbacher says
This post grabbed me right away because of the title. This is something God keeps whispering in my ear and it is time to stop “praying for multiple confirmations!” Thank you so much, this was timely in my life.
I needed this nudge today… I needed to “hear from God” today about this very topic❤️! When I read the question on FB: “What could you do – what could He do through you – if you stopped waiting to be ready?” I saw in my mind’s eye the “life” I have been praying for [for 40+ years] finally playing out! Getting out there for God! Time to get going, ready or not!
This post is so me. I always think this or that has to be done…in order for me to move forward. I think the root of this is fear. Fear I will fail…fear I will be rejected…fear in MY abilities. Instead, I should be trusting in GOD and HIS STRENGTH. This quote is GOLD: “We may not be ready, but He is.”
This is so encouraging and very enligtening! It’s true, at times we missed the right thing and the right time because of the “not yet ready” reasoning… GOD bless you, Anna!
Beth Williams says
My life is anything but put together. I had to resign my position due to family illness-aging dad got super sick last year. God didn’t say are you ready, he just allowed me to take this time. Funny thing is this time last year I sensed I wanted to quit and be a local missionary. Just do some cooking, help raise money, whatever to aid the less fortunate in my area. Now it seems like He has said go for it!
We must always remember that God is in all things. If He wants you to do something He will make a way for you!
Absolutely! God is Able I’m finding this out more and more through all He’s doing in my life. God Bless you as you move forward!