Sidelines and Spotlights, I Won’t Be Able To Do it All

Sometimes we don't know what is next so

My words hung in the air as hot tears wrecked my fresh makeup. I didn’t care to salvage what was left of it.


I’m pretty sure I looked like a woman counting the costs, empting out pockets with holes in them, and short on change.


“I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it all.”


I am a woman divided by multiple roles asking of my time, some I’ll get to, some will have to wait. Each day I choose which things will hold the best pieces of my attention and time.


I have been a waster of time and heart space, but I learned deep and profound things from it.


I noticed the deer in the headlights look on my husbands face, slow blinks as he scanned his headspace for the right words. Nope, he’s got nothing, so he sits there and lets me ugly cry. Smart man.


I won’t be able to do it all. I just won’t. But, I’ll be able to do what is expected of me that day and know that grace will cover the jagged places of adjustment to a new, really exciting season in my life.


I had a really long season of being hidden. I went off grid and found the most important thing I had to offer had nothing to do with roles and titles and a small paycheck. I found my heart in demanding babies and chubby faces that paid with sloppy wet kisses and I held tiny miracles, fed them, and watched them grow.


The first three years of motherhood my husband would say, “I don’t want you to hide behind your role as a mother. I want to see you use your gifts.”


But, I knew in my heart it wasn’t time. I was using my gifts, just in a different way outside of the spotlight.


It became easier to ease myself back into ministry on my terms, but my heart was centered in my roles at home. The gradual change and lonely season opened my heart to a season of searching and praying so hard I would have carpet marks on my face.


I went through seasons where I felt like the church was the other woman and then that passed.


I went through seasons of questions and that passed too.


I went through seasons of falling in and out of love with the many people in my world and my heart became a revolving door allowing others come in for as long as they wanted. I knew those seasonal relationships where a gift with an expiration date on them and I learned to release my tight grip on the hope of everything remaining the same.

I went through seasons of learning what contentment really looks like and I knew that feeling was up to me.


I’ll be honest; I’m scared to death. I’m afraid I’ll miss the shadow land that I lived in for that season of becoming.


I’ve had a truckload of young girls that I mentor admire this season that I am in and they want it right now. Like, right now. If they try to be like me now they will be chronically tired and might need meds, but whatever. I worry about a generation who refuses to find the value in seasons of waiting.


The only reason I am here now is because I learned to embrace the shadows and sidelines. I learned how to like whatever season I was in, even when it was closer to unlovable instead of livable. I learned a back-of-the-line kind of servanthood even when roles and position told me I could cut in line. And all these years later, I’m still hanging out at the back of the line.


I have tried to rush the hand of God and have missed it.


But, if it wasn’t for all those times where I fell flat on my face I wouldn’t know how great standing up feels.


I have no stinking clue what this next season is going to look like. It remains unseen. But, I will learn to love it and hope in the unseen. I’ll pray until I have carpet marks on my face and juggle a few more roles.


My roles will take on different shapes and I’ll walk in a blind faith knowing that God is ordering all of my steps, even the uncertain ones.


Sometimes we don’t know what is next so we just take one obedient footstep after the other.


The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way. (Ps 37: 23)


Much love to you in whatever season you are in,


Jennifer Renee