The following was written by contributing writer Kediesha Watkis
“I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
When I was about seven years old, my aunt and uncle took me, my brother and our two cousins to a resort for a few days. On one of those days, my cousin and I as little girls, were in the children’s swimming pool. Another little girl, a few years older came by to play with us. She mentioned that her parents allowed her in the big swimming pool. She wanted us to come over there with her.
It did not take much coercion, and at some point I ended up in the big swimming pool. The water might have been about five feet deep or more. I struggled to manage myself and had to be holding onto her. In fact, I knew I couldn’t swim but I went in there because I wanted to have this girl as my friend. When she realized I was barely even able to stay afloat, we got out and I went back into the children’s pool where my aunt and uncle left me. That was the water I could manage, even if it was at my ankle.
What insight might this incident with my seven year old self offer twenty years later? Consider this – we sometimes take on what we’re not ready for just because the person next to us is doing it. Let me take it a step further. We even desire to have the gifts, talents, calling, profession or possessions of the woman beside us, never embracing that our design is completely different and perhaps unsuited for those ideas. My aunt and uncle placed us in the children’s swimming pool knowing our little bodies would less likely encounter danger with water at our ankles. Our play there would be enjoyable and without anxiety since we didn’t need any swimming ability for it. Yet, I was enticed to more and went into something I was not prepared for. Isn’t this similar to how we operate in today’s social media age? We see other young women ‘making it happen’, ‘doing the darned thing’ and immediately become transfixed on replicating some aspect. We begin to compare ourselves with celebrities and ‘Instafamous’ people whose circumstances are different. We make their pursuits our own.
Today, it’s so easy to get distracted by the noise on social media.
We are so digitally connected and saturated by what someone half-way around the world is doing. We constantly hear about ‘the next move’, ‘the come up’. Everybody seems to be ‘getting it’ and well, it all can make you feel like you’re stuck. I’ve fallen into this trap myself. I become consumed by what others are doing, the success they’re experiencing, and lose focus on my own journey. Thankfully, it’s lasted only for a moment and I’m able to quickly refocus. At the same time, mentally I lose ground in that moment, experiencing anxiety as I wonder how to do what they’ve done. How do I get that bestselling book, grow a powerful platform, become a household name synonymous with success? In one such recent moment, the Lord reminded me that He has not called me to fame but faithfulness. My faithfulness, He says is what He’s carefully noted. Before this He spoke to me in a dream:
I was at a bus stop in my hometown. I saw others there too as I was waiting for the bus to come. A friend from high school was among those there. The bus was taking too long to come so I made the decision along with her to take the next vehicle out to another location and catch a bus there. I saw us going into a van and others I recognized as high school friends came too. We got off on a road not very far from the bus stop, our original location. When I asked if they weren’t going out to the next stop to catch the bus, they said they were waiting on someone. I felt slightly confused and puzzled at hearing that because I thought they were headed to the place I was going. I then departed from them and began making my way to the location. I started walking and the road was empty. There were no buses or taxis, nothing at all. I looked back at the bus stop and it too was clear. No one was there. I continued walking the journey. It felt slow and daunting.
When I awoke, the Lord began speaking to me immediately.
“Don’t get off route following someone else. Don’t run ahead and get off track. Take the route I have for you” He said. He cautioned me against seeking to get to my destination by following what seems to offer a faster pace. As soon as He spoke, I got in prayer and made up my mind to throw out all plans of my own to move faster toward what He’s called me. Immediately the Apostle Paul’s words in Philippians 4:11 swept over me, “… I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (NIV).
Daughter of God, what part of your growth or journey are you experiencing anxiety about? Has God called you to what you’re doing and where you’re at? Are you trying to move faster, gain more ground without His instruction? Receive this caution, don’t get out of sync trying to get to your destination out of God’s timing. Make no move on a whim. Seek His guidance. He will in His time, perfect all plans concerning you. Trust Him.