Living in the Present Tense

Mondays at lunch: prayer and fasting for men to bravely lead, for women’s hearts to soften, and for current and future marriages to honor the Lord.

Living in the present is not my best skill.  I specialize in regret (living in the past) or worrying (anxious future living) or daydreaming (happy future living).  When it comes to my dating life, I am an experienced professional at all of these categories.  I can regret the miscommunication that ended a previous relationship, worry that no one will ever choose me, and daydream about how happy that new cute boy at work will be when he realizes he is my soul mate.  Sad but true.

So when a budding relationship that looked and felt so perfect evaporated into thin air recently, I managed to do everything except live in the present.  In fact, I still find myself regretting some particular detail, as if the relationship would still exist if I had worn that other dress?  And I worry that I will now be alone forever, as if this relationship’s failure is the barometer of all men ever?  And I daydream that perhaps he will realize his obvious and great error and pursue me again, as if my only hope rests in this relationship’s restoration?

Again, I see how much I resist living in today.  Living right here, right now requires an intentional embrace of the tension of past and future.  I’d rather want to know what comes to next or to revive the opportunities that yesterday seemed to present rather than trust God with today’s struggles and thank Him for today’s joys.

Here are my reminder verses – I hope they are encouraging for you as well!

(Psalm 27:13-14): I believe that I shall look on the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!  Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage – wait for the Lord!

(Romans 8:28): And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.

(Psalm 139:16): Your eyes saw my unformed body, all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

(Proverbs 3:5-6): Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.

(Matthew 6:33-34): But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Praying with and for you on Monday – that we would know His goodness in our present tense lives, that we would live free of regret and worry and daydreaming.  In valleys and at high points, He is equally good and gracious to us.  Praying to find a place of gratitude and rest in His provision for this day.

Bread of Life – give us this day our daily bread!


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15 Responses to Living in the Present Tense

  1. radioman says:

    I’ve noticed that I do this a lot too. I think I do it because I like to think back to those brief moments when it seemed that a relationship was developing with someone. How much as a guy I enjoyed getting to know the girl in question, how much I enjoyed spending time with her and chatting about God with her, how good it felt to not think of myself as single at that time, even how good it felt to feel that someone might possibly think I was special and might even like to be in a relationship with me. There was a beautiful Christian girl I met at college and I so happy to sit with her in lectures and walk into the lectures with her. Alas, later on, she said that she did not want to date me anymore and it was very sad then to sit on my own in the lectures without her.

    So I too live in the past because those brief moments were so special and enjoyable, when I was no longer stuck in a moment (singleness) that I couldn’t get out of.

    Alas, there comes the heartache. Aside from the girls who have told me that only wanted to be friends, there have been a few occasions when everything fell apart when I asked girls to be my girlfriend. 3 times I have asked girls to be my girlfriend. A few years ago, summer of 2012 and two months ago. Each time, the answer has been no.

  2. Rebekah says:

    Thanks for this post, Amy! I, too, struggle with focusing my thoughts on understanding the past and preparing for the future, so it’s easy for me to miss today. I believe it is partly because it’s tough to just be in today. It’s raw to be in the middle of things, unresolved, waiting.

  3. Amanda says:

    A dear friend of mine passed this blog on to me. She and I shared some tears (and encouragement) together this past weekend, as we both walk through a season of unintentional singleness that is lasting longer than we ever thought it would! I’m thankful to have been introduced to this blog, and intend on fasting and praying with you!

  4. Summer says:

    Thanks so much for this post! I really liked how you remind us that when we live in the past or the future, what we are really doing is putting our hope in the wrong thing (basically, in our wishes or efforts or attempts to correct things). However, when we are in the present moment, then all we can do is put our hope in God – although a God who can do and will do anything for our good! This was such an eye-opener for me – thanks again!!! 🙂

  5. Single Mom says:

    Wow. The Lord has spoken. I was doing a spiritual research and came across your blog. It answer it exactly what I needed. I have an issue with living for today. I struggle with that in relationships. Years ago I was focus on a vision wall posted on my mirror. Year after to year, I would review my vision and then be mad at The Lord for not working on my time. So about two years ago I erase the mirror. My problem was trusting God and the mirror was enabling me to trust in me. At 31yo and a single mom, I am yearning for the opportunity to connect intimately with a human being. However, I have to remember it is not my time.

  6. Cheryl says:

    I too know that feeling all too well. Two years ago I met a church music director on a Christian website. I had waited years to date & thought I had met the man of my dreams. However, he was a true wolf in sheep’s clothing. He told me that I couldn’t talk about being “born again” at church because it “might offend someone”. I saw other red flags along the way although he frequently took me to his parents’ house so I thought he was serious about me. Then he told me he loved me & presented me with an expensive necklace from Zales for my birthday. A week after that he asked me for sexual favors & when I declined, he turned cold on me & a week later I found out he was back on the Christian dating website while I was on vacation with my family! I confronted him & he got very angry with me & when I got back he refused to date me or see me in person. In two weeks, he was back on the hunt online again. He abandoned me! I wrote a letter to both his boss & his dad to let them know of the things he was hiding from everyone else. He still works for that church & I was treated like I don’t exist. He is well known in his community, but he is a master deceiver & not living for Christ. I even question his salvation now. In the end, God took this man out of my life for my own good because he did not have right motives toward me & doesn’t honor God with his life.

    God knows things you don’t know about the man who disappeared out of your life. He may have had impure motives toward you & may have other issues that could have ruined your life. Count your blessings.

    I was devastated when it happened because I had not had a serious boyfriend in 13 years at that time & I am now 43 & still waiting to see if God has marriage for me or not. I still know I am better off alone than to be with a liar & a cheater (he also shoved me twice when we dated). God wants His best for you. Trust HIM & know that He is there to protect you & provide for you.

    Hang in there! Cheryl

    • fast. pray. says:

      i’m sorry – it sounds like a painful saga on all fronts, but thank you for the reminder that trusting God’s plan is really the bottom line – thanks for the encouragement!

  7. Betsy says:

    Amen! Just what I needed to hear – thank you.

  8. Amy says:

    I’m sorry this heartache and disappointment came into your life, Amy. I’m struggling with a similar situation. Thank you for these reminders of God’s faithfulness!

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