“Ashley, stop trying to grow up so fast.” A great quote I hear from my mother on the reg. For most of my life I can remember always trying to get to the next step. As a child, I couldn’t wait to be an adult. As a high school student I couldn’t help, but rush off to college. After college, I could not hardly stand myself I was so ready to be a Veterinarian (which by the way never happened). Even as plans changed and God’s plan developed into my life I still find myself trying to hurry up only to find God making me wait.
In college, I met the man I now call my husband. We dated for an agonizing nine months before he asked me to marry him. Now I know what you’re thinking. This girl is crazy. People now days are dating for years and years only to be engaged and take more years to actually seal the deal. Mostly I think the root issue there though is that people have this try it before you buy it method to marriage. Colby, my husband and I, however did not take that approach. You see we waited for each other, and it was the best decision we have ever made. We waited to have sex, and we waited before moving in together. However, it was the hardest decision too. I won’t drag you through all those details though. Let’s just say that nine months was ample time to know what we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, and four months was way too long of an engagement. It, however, was PLENTY of time to plan an amazing wedding (don’t believe me? Check out the pictures). It was also ample time to be tempted and tried by my flesh and Satan himself. In the end, though God was definitely glorified and we can only accredit our strength of restraint to the creator Himself.
After we got married I was again plagued with another angst of moving to the next step. I was still not done with college, and still very much hating it. I was so ready to be through. I had decided I would be a middle school teacher, but again God had other plans. I just imagined Colby and my marriage would go something like this….. We would live in Americus until I finished school (one and a half years tops) then I would teach and he would land some great Biology job outside doing what he loves. Then we would maybe buy a house and have some kiddos. Let’s just say that is NOT how it went. You see when I tried to control how my life turned out I always ended up disappointed. I was on birth control when we first got married and found myself in an awful depression. I was working and going to school and I literally only saw my husband on the weekends. Colby was working at a job that he hated and needless to say marriage was not meeting either of our expectations. We both just thought the only way we could get by was to just deal with it, and later it would be better. The world, of course, supported that idea.
Who in their right mind wants to live like that? The answer if you haven’t already figured it out is no one! I started realizing AGAIN that my way was not anything compared to what God had in store for us and the peace that comes along with that. Colby and I started praying to be sensitive to God’s convictions and for Him to guide us. God was pleased and immediately we began getting responses from Him. I talked with Colby, and we stopped trying to prevent pregnancy and I quit my job. We felt so much PEACE and for our obedience, God provided us with so much money we started a savings which is still growing, and we were able to give to missions. As we gave Him more and more authority He gave us more guidance, peace, and resources. We later began reading a book Radical and grew closer to a family that helped disciple us and teach us about giving up everything and following Jesus! (Shout out to the Evans family) Then before we knew it we were living basically for free in a beautiful home in Oklahoma, and I got to quit school.
Now don’t get me wrong. Waiting on God is a lesson He will probably have to teach me over and over again. I now can’t wait to be a mother. I want a job so bad, a house full of babies, and Colby and I still want to get overseas. Again God is having to grab my attention and slow me down. He has a plan for my life, but He doesn’t feed it to me all at once. It keeps me dependent on Him and makes our relationship stronger. I am trying to learn how to live in the present and enjoy right where God has me because one day I’m going to look back and realize that my time is up. I will have spent all my days wishing them away. The latest thing God has shown me is that He provides His peace in the present. Psalm 32:8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.”
For that, I am so thankful. How relieving is it to know that you don’t have to stress worry and plan your life. Maybe Mama was right after all when she warned me about growing up too fast. God has the BEST pathway for you already, and it is packed full of His presence, peace, and grace. So rest in that friend and don’t waste your lives trying to hurry up and wait.