by Anna Lind Thomas
Sophia is the Greek word for Wisdom, and Propel Sophia seeks out the voices of truly wise women and asks them to share worked examples of how they express faith in daily life. Pull up a chair at Sophia’s table, won’t you? There’s plenty of space.
I’m never ready for anything. I’ve tried to recall a time when I’ve walked into any situation prepared academically, emotionally, spiritually, or physically. Nothing comes to mind. Adult decisions, marriage, conflict, parenting, crow’s feet, large pores, skinny jeans, hosting a dinner party... you name it, I’m not ready for it.
Don’t get me started on enrolling my daughter into kindergarten. It was February when I was having lunch with a friend. “Have you registered Lucy yet?” she asked, taking a sip of her soda.
“Registah Lucy fah wah?” I asked with half a sub sandwich in my mouth.
“Kindergarten,” she said with a “what else would I be talking about?” tone.
I beg your pardon? She’s still in pre-school and I just shoved my Christmas tree into the storage room. Can everybody just calm down and give me a minute? Where am I supposed to register her at, Kindegarten.com? Can I Google it? What’s happening? WHO’S IN CHARGE HERE AND WHY AREN’T YOU HELPING ME.
Life appears to be, at least to me, consistent pushes into things I’m not ready to do. Sometimes it’s just poor planning on my part, but other times it’s life gently guiding me into seasons, experiences, decades, careers, relationships, reconciliations, high-rise jeans and TikTok.
Or sometimes it seems, at least to me, life pushing me off a cliff.
My precious baby goes to kindergarten. My husband’s beard sprouts gray hairs. Suddenly, I’m no longer the young college student blasting No Doubt out of her Jeep Wrangler on her way to a friend’s house, but a grown woman in her sensible mid-sized SUV on her way to Target to spend a remarkable amount of time in the Hearth and Hand Magnolia section. Time moves, babbles, like a never-ending stream. And it keeps going, even if we aren’t ready for loss, for success, for rejection, for sprained ankles, for summer, for winter, saggy necks, gray hair, a financial catastrophe, or an unexpected inheritance.
To grow up. To become. To PTA meetings. To our callings. To court.
But somehow, miraculously, God finds a way to push me forward. And the more I’m pushed, the more I’ve had to rely on God for a miracle. A reminder that I can accomplish anything I set my mind to while simultaneously recognizing I can’t accomplish anything at all.
I dreamed of becoming an author since I was a child, and I wrote to a small audience for over a decade before I got my first book deal. For the first twenty-four hours I felt an incredible sense of gratitude and satisfaction. I worked so hard, so long, for a dream. And suddenly, it was realized.
Then, at my celebratory dinner, I realized: Oh no, that means I have to write a book.
Dread springs forth. Desperation blossoms. Google searches for “How do you write a book?” paginate.
After my book We’ll Laugh About This (Someday) was released, I was asked to speak at a Creative Mornings event. I needed at least a month to prepare, but was given a week. I crafted my speech, practiced it while pacing my living room, watched several episodes of Dr. Pimple Popper, then practiced some more, quite certain and terrified the Creative Mornings crew made a mistake.
But the day of, I was pushed out of bed, into my blazer, into my car and into the venue, anyway. I sat in the front row, waiting to be introduced. I spoke tenderly to my heart. Take a beat. Relax.
“I can’t!” my heart thumped. “Why did you agree to do this? You need more preparation. More practice. Six months with a speaking coach, at least! You aren’t ready!”
In moments like this, I like to think of Acts 12:7, when Peter is asleep in a jail cell and an angel hits him on the side. Startled, Peter wakes up and sees his shackles are open. “Quick!” the angel says. “Get up!”
Then, the host called my name. Push, I rose. Push, I walked. Push, ahem, I spoke.
And, somehow, I crushed it. The push led me to something new. Something I loved.
We’re pushed forward all the time, and it’s wise to let it happen. Even if it scares us. Even if we feel dumb, or out of place. So ill-prepared. If we simply resist the temptation to flee, we’re granted moments when God gives us a little, or big, push.
Of course, we’re never ready. But maybe that’s the point.
Anna Lind Thomas is a humor writer and author of the best selling book, We’ll Laugh About This (Someday). Her highly anticipated second book I’m Not Ready for This released May 10, 2022.