There are many aspects of my current life circumstances that are not what I thought would be at this point in my life – living in my childhood home, unmarried with no prospects in sight, one parent no longer here, and once-close relationships now nonexistent. There are also many aspects of my current context that are beyond what I could have ever hoped to have had at this point too – a great, stable job that I’m good at and enjoy doing, belonging to a local church body of believers and being joyfully involved there, an abundance of wonderful friends and family, and time and resources to travel and explore.
A lesson I’ve been actively learning about over the past couple of years is recognizing who, what, and where I’ve been called to be faithful to in my life in any given season and context. In my 2021 Favorites list, I shared a quote from one of my frientors (friend + mentor) about being faithful only to today and not to a tomorrow and the circumstances that might come with it that hasn’t even been promised or given yet. Jesus tells His disciples in Matthew to not worry about tomorrow, because each day has enough trouble of its own. He knew His disciples needed that wisdom then, and He sure knew that I would need it now.
Lisa Hensley wrote about knowing our context in one of her newsletters, and since I read her words I’ve been thinking about what my current context is and how I’ve been called to steward it. I have a tendency to get distracted from my own current context when I compare it to others’, or when I care and get too involved in someone else’s rather than focusing on my own. It’s easy for me to wish I was somewhere else in my life, thinking of my present circumstances as nothing more than a holding place until I get to the place that (I think) I’m really supposed to be. But I know that there are no holding places in the way God operates. He’s given me a context that only belongs to me and others a context that only belongs to them. Every single context He sovereignly places His people in is for their good, growth, and sanctification, which is ultimately for His glory. I am learning what it means to functionally live out that truth, and it’s been helpful to name my current context so I can see where and how to be a good and faithful steward in it.
As of Spring 2022, my current context looks like this:
I live in a home, where I’m called to steward its space well. This looks like caring for the space, the things in it, and the people who enter it.
I am a covenant member at a local church, where I’m called to serve, worship, gather, give, disciple, and live out the gospel message. This looks like teaching middle school girls, serving on a team that welcomes the people who come on Sunday mornings, delivering the announcements during the service in a video, being a committed member of a community group of other church members, giving my time and resources generously, and stepping in to serve the various needs of others and the community.
I work full-time in a corporate setting, where I’m called to work diligently and with integrity, putting forth my best effort and striving for excellence while being a gospel witness in a secular space.
I am single, and am called to embrace it as the gift that it is. This looks like spending my time in ways that are pleasing to the Lord and honoring of this season – pouring into the many relationships I have the margin to be in, enjoying His creation through travel, and creating art and beauty with my hobbies and skills.
As Lisa wrote in her newsletter, “I want it to matter that I was here. I don’t need to be celebrated or remembered, but I do want it to have made a difference. I haven’t looked for big circles, but I do want to invest faithfully in the small circles that I have. I want to understand my context and live in it well.” Even though there are parts of my current context that aren’t exactly what I pictured or wanted, the reality is that what I do have right in front of me is good and mine to own and tend to (no matter how I feel about it). I have a past that is gone that I can no longer tend to, and (hopefully) a future that awaits but doesn’t need tending to yet. So here I am, in this present time and season, naming what it is, and learning to live in it well.