Anyone else ever ask themselves this question? Or maybe you haven’t asked yourself but someone else has asked you. Depending on the stage of life you’re in (or state of mind for that matter) this question could prompt excitement and anticipation or fear and frustration.
You graduate from high school or college, what’s next?
You get engaged or married, what’s next?
You have a baby, what’s next?
You go on an amazing trip across the world, what’s next?
Or maybe you find yourself in a more difficult season of life.
You’re facing divorce or a bad breakup, what’s next?
You’ve been fired or laid off from your job, what’s next?
You’re kid ends up in rehab, what’s next?
You’ve lost a loved one and you’re gripped by grief, what’s next?
You’re faced with the sobering reality that life is short, not promised and fragile at best, what’s next?
Maybe you’re facing something that isn’t so externally obvious to others, but it’s slowly killing you on the inside.
You’ve been fighting depression for months to no end, what’s next?
You’ve been anxious for everything and everything, what’s next?
You’ve been struggling with insecurities and now it’s beginning to effect your relationships, what’s next?
For me personally; I’m about a year out from graduation, I’m pregnant with my third child, this year marks my 3rd year at the company I’m working at and my 10th wedding anniversary. I find myself stagnant on my own personal endeavors which leaves me frustrated (and slightly annoyed) so I often find myself asking the question ‘What’s next?’
I’ve noticed that no matter where I am in life, whether good, bad or indifferent, this question remains; what’s next? This year I’ve been asking myself this question ALL- THE- TIME. I sound like a broken record!! I realized the depth of my dysfunction when my little girl, Savannah who’s just four years old began to ask me ‘Mommy, and then what?’ meaning, ‘what next?’ … I remember gently nudging her and saying ‘Savvy don’t worry about what’s next, just enjoy what’s now. Enjoy this moment.’
How many of you know that sometimes as you speak to someone else’s situation, dysfunction or concern, God is able to speak to your own?
I realized that moment that I’ve been so busy asking myself ‘what’s next?’ that I totally miss out on WHAT’S NOW moments of life.
What’s happening now?
What am I doing now?
How am I feeling now?
How can I live in this moment?
How can I better enjoy this season?
I want to ask myself more often, not what’s next, but rather ‘What’s now, Lori?’
Life is so fragile, I want to live with expectation of the future, yes, but also with a commitment to experience the present.
What’s next? I’m not sure. I might never be, in fact, it might never even come… But what’s now? That I do know, that I can see, that I will live in.
This post isn’t to belittle the planner, the thinker, the goal setter; I am that person. It’s more of an invitation to this awareness that while we can expect great things in the future, we can also appreciate this moment now.
I don’t want to be so farsighted that I miss this moment looking into what could be the next. I also don’t want to be so focused on what was that I miss out on what is.
I want to enjoy this season of life, of love, of marriage, of ministry, of mothering. What’s next? I’m not completely sure, but I do know that what I do now, how I invest now, what I believe now, what I live now, will determine if the next ever gets here.
For me, my now is embracing this place of amateur writing, embracing the sleepless nights, the toddler tantrums, the stretching belly, the extra pounds, the routine of life and marriage. I’m embracing the unknown yet very familiar, steady season I’m in.
I don’t want to miss a moment of it. I don’t want to leave an ounce of opportunity for this season because I’m fixed on what’s next. I want what God has for me now.