By Taylor Quintini
(This post is part 2 of 4 posts in the series.)
Last week as I opened this blog series on seizing the daily for the glory of God, I challenged you to spend some time with the Lord and reflect on a few questions to evaluate where you are right now in your every day life. If you missed part one you can catch up here.
Today, I am laughing to myself – or maybe at myself. As I sit to write this blog post I am 39 weeks pregnant and literally waiting to go into labor. I have to hear all of the comments, “You haven’t had that baby yet! Are you overdue? Are you getting induced? You look like you are going to pop!” And my favorite….”Are you having twins?!?!” Once again, I find myself in a place of not having much control over this situation in my life - other than trying to briskly walk and eat spicy Mexican food, I must surrender to this truth; The Process is the Point. Everything happens in His timing and not my own. Psalms 31:15 declares “My times are in your hands…”
Looking back, I can remember being just 8 weeks pregnant with my very first child. I had longed for a child for so long and found myself childless for four and half years. I saw doctors, took medicine, increased my exercise, changed my diet, went to acupuncture, prayed, sought counsel, wept, cried out for healing and nothing. Then, one day, a miracle. Not by my own hands or control, but surely by God and Him alone. Undeniably He is the one that opened this closed womb in His sovereignty and timing. So, 8 weeks pregnant with my first born in this context was like a dream. The flood of emotion and excitement that filled my heart was one of the most exhilarating things I had ever experienced; I could have done backflips to share the exciting news, register for baby items and imagine holding my very own child in my arms. That would be the pinnacle, the goal, and the dream turning into a reality in my life.
And just as quickly as I had put my eyes on the prize, my reality changed when I found myself hugging the toilet and puking my guts out, being so tired I could literally fall asleep sitting up at my desk or smelling something that a sweet friend made for dinner and needing to excuse myself because I thought she was trying to kill me with the scent of that Asian stir-fry. These were not apart of my dreams. In fact, they were all horrendous things to endure and not enjoyable in the least. We do not ever fantasize or dream about the process. It is often like my first trimester experience – a total let down and filled with frustrating irritations, but the process is everything. We cannot obtain the end goal without going through the nitty gritty of what it takes to grow a baby. What if I told you that the Lord would say to you, “My daughter, the process is the point, not merely something to hurry up and survive, but it is everything to Me!”
The life and story of Joseph found in Genesis 37-50 is quite amazing, but we must begin by understanding that Joseph is only about 17 years old when God starts giving him a vision for his life. He responds by saying “okay, I got the vision Lord….let’s go DO IT! I am going to talk about it, share it and live as if it is happening in the here and now because you, Lord, spoke it to me!” (I am totally paraphrasing here). What Joseph does not realize at the ripe age of 17, is that most often there is still much work to be done in our own lives before those God-given dreams can be fulfilled. Chances are God needs to empty us of our pride first and cultivate our character. Furthermore, isn’t it interesting that the events that transpired from Joseph sharing his dream with his family (being left in a pit for dead, sold into slavery, hard-forced labor) is what directly led him to be the right hand to Pharaoh and in fact see those dreams that were had long ago fulfilled!
The struggle is real! We can so easily lose sight of God’s goodness, faithfulness and delight in us because we lose sight of Him being in the process. I wonder if Joseph felt this way when he was sold into slavery – where are you God? Where is your goodness? What about that incredible dream you gave me? How quickly do we all focus on the end result, expecting God to bring about the fulfillment smoothly and instantly, yet we fail to recognize that a delay between the promise and its fulfillment does not mean God is slow or has forgotten about us. Let me remind you that the process is the point!
Our culture is driven by success and reward along with instant gratification. These cultural norms can be liars to us when we try to super impose them onto the will of God for our life. It is not only the promise of God that shows His goodness; it is also the fact that He allows us to go through the process with Him. The Bible is full of heroes – Moses, David, Abraham and Joseph just to name a select few – who were shaped into greatness through the process of walking the hills and valleys with the Lord. They were not born great, they were made great or if I could even say they were shaped into great.
Has your life ever looked like a complete shamble compared to where it should be? What if I laid down a map of the US and you knew you were meant to be making big things happen in the Big Apple, but you find yourself at Buck’s Big Truck Stop somewhere in the middle of Death Valley surrounded by sweltering heat, desert and no sign of city life or civilization for that matter. I’ve felt those pains and cried out, “Lord just move me! This is clearly not what you have for me! Make a way in the desert God – get me out of here IMMEDIATLEY, so I can start doing amazing things for you, Lord, of course!” Or what about….let me just marry him, then….let me just get pregnant, then…..let me get that dream job, then…..just bless my finances, then…. Our lists of requests of where we need to be and what our needs are can be endless.
One day I found myself watching a video of a tour guide in the Holy Land. He was going through tons of historical facts and explaining to the group what happened in each place they traveled and then in the middle of all of this information he says, “The desert is God’s tool to shape people for the next chapter of His story.” It was like he dropped the mic! What a revelation to realize that God literally allowed His people to endure seasons in the desert that they might be molded and shaped into what He needed to fulfill His will.
Let us be reminded that God Himself promises to be with us each moment in our very own process. And if we stop searching for the ultimate pay off, dream or adventure then He will be faithful to show Himself beautiful in our own process. He is always more concerned about our character than our comfort. We all wait on the BIG MOMENTS, but God is in the process, the daily.
May we be like the faithful servant that when the Master returns we hear the words, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’” – Matthew 25:23. May we be found faithful in our own process.
Intentionally Finding Grace in My Dailies:
- My process may not look like what I dreamed of, but I will embrace it and have faith that the Lord is at work in my life. I trust Him for good things and I will choose daily to embrace His grace rather than fighting for my own idea of perfection.
- I will be faithful today with what He has given me charge over. I will not make excuses that paralyze me into doing nothing, but rather I will be faithful even over the “little” – the unseen, unnoticed, seemingly insignificant in my life.
- My mentality should not be I’m surviving my life; it should be I am seizing the day and thus living my life for God’s glory.
About Taylor Quintini
I am thrilled that Taylor agreed to share this 4 part series with us. Taylor and her husband, Jeremy, live just outside of Baton Rouge. Jeremy is the Executive Pastor at Journey Church and Taylor loves to minister alongside of him. She is also the owner of Weddings Taylor Made, a wedding & event planning company (www.weddingstaylormade.com), she serves on the Refresh team and she does all of this while making sure her three littles are loved, fed, clothed, and clean (repeat). When I say little, I mean her three kids are 3 years old and 2 years old, and 7 months. I may need a nap just thinking about it all. Taylor is a natural leader, her heart is passionate for the Lord and she has a strong desire to share Him with others. I am not sure how the Lord managed to pack so much in such a petite person, but Taylor is brimming over with wisdom, she is strong, honest, and always aspiring to do more for the Lord. I am grateful that she takes time to jot her thoughts on paper and lets me share them with the world wide web.