When You Are Ready to Turn the Page
By: Maggie Meadows Cooper
"Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” - Ecclesiastes 3:11
Unsettled. Restless. Discontent. Ever been there? Those are the words to describe me lately. It seems that so many things are uncertain, and I am just waiting, waiting, waiting. Waiting for direction. Waiting for clarification. Waiting for what’s next. And I don’t like it one bit.
I want to let the Lord write my story. I want Him to guide and lead. But I also want Him to move at my pace, down my chosen path, at my chosen time. I end up wondering why I’m out of sync with Him...but the truth is that I know.
It’s because I’m trying to turn the page... and He’s not ready yet.
When bedtime rolls around each night, my littlest lady chooses a story and climbs up in bed beside me excitedly. She examines the pictures and listens intently as the story begins… for about two or three pages. But then, when the words are too many, she yanks the page from my hand and turns it before it’s time. She’s so excited to see what happens next, that she fails to listen to how the story unfolds. She misses the important details that got her to the next page and when she’s confused by the pictures, she decides she would rather make up her own story.
But that’s not what the author intended. He wrote each word carefully, with purpose, to share a story that only he could write. Isn’t it the same way with the Lord?
Oh, y’all. He has such a special plan. For each of us. But in His time, not our own.
If you have been in that place of uncertainty, that difficult space of waiting, and have found yourself feeling like I do, here are three ways to help turn our feelings of being unsettled, restless, and discontent around until it’s time to turn the page:
1. Make the Move from Being Unsettled to Purposeful:
Unsettled means “lacking stability or not yet resolved.” On the contrary, purposeful means “showing determination; intentional.” But how do we move from one to the other? Usually when my heart is not settled it is because I have so many ideas and plans in my head that I can’t decide where to land. I weigh the pros and cons and seek my family and friends’ opinions. But with earthly council alone, I end up with more questions than answers a lot of the time, and my heart and mind are left unsettled.
“You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” - Proverbs 19:21
We can make all the plans in the world y’all, but if we don’t seek God’s direction first, we are just spinning our wheels for nothing. When glorifying Him and serving Him and loving like Him is at the forefront of our minds, it helps us move with determination and a spirit that is not afraid. It helps us plan with intention and move ahead boldly because He has given us a plan with purpose...His purpose.
2. Make the Move from Being Restless to Peaceful:
Restless means “unable to relax as a result of anxiety.” Ever been there? That tense feeling in your jaw, neck, and back. Not being able to get still at night because your mind won’t quit racing. I have too many times to count. My heart longs to be peaceful (“free from disturbance; untroubled”) instead, so I try a hot bath or HGTV marathon to put my mind at ease. But they aren’t the answer.
Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid” (John 14:27 NLT).
Oh y’all, the peace that Jesus gives is nothing we can find on our own in this world. When you are seeking peace, seek Him y’all. Read His word, go to Him in prayer, and lay all of your troubles at His feet.
3. Make the Move from Being Discontent to Content:
Man, this one is tough. Discontent means “dissatisfaction with one’s circumstances.” And y’all, I am dissatisfied with at least one circumstance every day. The state of my house, the attitude of my children, etc. And if I’m not careful, that dissatisfaction can turn to discontent and then to bitterness if I’m not careful. So what do we do with our dissatisfaction before it goes too far?
We turn it into thankfulness. Because there is always something to be thankful for (Ex: My son just threw a baseball in the house and broke a picture frame? At least it wasn’t the big mirror beside it...or his little sister.) If we want to be content (“happy and satisfied with our circumstances”), we have to choose to be thankful... in all circumstances.
“Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” - 1 Thessalonians 5:16
Seek God’s direction first, Seek Jesus’ peace instead of the world’s, and be thankful, y’all. Trust every word of the story He’s writing for you and know that He won’t turn the page one second before the appointed time. I pray we can all live lives of purpose, peace, and contentedness, in Him.
Maggie Meadows Cooper is a wife, mother, educator, author, and blogger with a longing for women to grow a heart for Jesus and others. She is the author of the children’s book Bumper, helping others to see that the heart is what counts most. She blogs at The Little Moments about what the Lord is teaching her in everyday life and contributes to Blogs by Christian Women, Devotional Diva, She Disciples, and Connecting Ministries. An educator with a M. Ed. in Early Childhood Education from Auburn University (War Eagle!), she has eighteen years experience teaching and currently serves as a Parent Coordinator in the Opelika City Schools. She loves all things chocolate, real Coca-Cola, and leading the FBCO Teen Moms group. She lives with her husband, three children, and two rambunctious dogs in Opelika, Alabama.
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