How I Escaped From Prison

I’ve spent the last few months in prison and now that I have finally escaped, I never want to go back.

Maybe prison is too strong of a word. Occupied? That might be bit better. That’s a bit more dignified. Whatever the appropriate word, the truth is that I have been under siege.

The last couple months have been a whirlwind of musical rehearsals and performances, end-of-the-year school activities, dance recitals, birthday and anniversary celebrations and in the world of KidMin, getting ready for the annual VBS.  I feel like I have crammed a year’s worth of life into the last 2 months.

I became trapped in the prison of tomorrow.

Have you ever been there? It’s not your typical prison, so it’s a subtle incarceration.  There are no bars and the walls don’t close in on you. At least, not at first. But the longer you are there the more suffocating it becomes until you find yourself gasping for air and you’re sure that you won’t ever escape.

It’s a prison of the mind, this prison. It leads you to believe that whatever you are doing today is not as good as you will have it tomorrow. Tomorrow is always better than today. Tomorrow all the rehearsals will be over and you will finally have more time. Until tomorrow finally comes and you have performances. Tomorrow, after the performance though, you can go home and rest. Until tomorrow comes and you need to get ready for your daughter’s birthday. And so on.

It’s an arresting cycle. This prison of tomorrow. There is no escape.

Unless you come to realize that today is, in fact, yesterday’s tomorrow.

My Escape Plan

It was Monday morning. I was busy getting ready for the first day of Vacation Bible School. The Preschool Ministry staff and so many others had been busy since January getting ready for this day. 6 months of planning and here we were, poised and ready for a great week. But, while I was brushing my teeth, all I could think about was Friday.

“Then it will all be over and I can finally relax.”

I don’t know about you, but it’s precisely in the times when I think I’ve got it going on that God whispers something very contrary into my heart.

“Why do you keep wishing your days away when I created you for such a time as this?”

It was in that moment that I was finally released from the prison in which I didn’t even know I was being held captive.

In that moment I realized that every messy, busy, exhausting day is a day that I was created for. And each one of those days adds up to a whole lot of yesterdays. Not tomorrows.

Tomorrow is never promised.

Today collects the sweet memories. Today builds the Kingdom. Today is when we are living, loving and laughing.

If we are living in the freedom of today, we unlock the shackles that hold us back from living our best life.

For such a time as this. The sleepless newborn nights that when we blink disappear into anxious teenager days.

For such a time as this. The jobless, penny pinching, leaning into God for every provision months that grow us and stretch us into fruitful and trusting children of God.

For such a time as this. When the death of a loved one scars our hearts and grief bleeds and spills into joy.

For the lonely times. The sad times. Busy and overwhelmed times.

There’s purpose in all of it.

If we choose to live liberated in each day we are given, in each moment we breathe. If we remember the whisper, “For such a time as this,” it will be impossible to become trapped in our own personal prison of tomorrow.

Carpe Diem

…Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” Esther 4:14

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