Anticipation breeds hope. When you feel stuck in your current stage, know that it will not last forever; the next stage is on the horizon. Nothing stays the same.
If you feel you cannot stand to change one more diaper, know that in a few years you will be done. If your teenagers are wearing you out, it won’t be long before they enter adulthood. If you are sick of college, look ahead; you will walk across the stage, turn your tassel, and then homework and exams will be behind you. If you cannot stand to serve one more customer at the register, realize you will likely not work there forever. All our life stages are comparatively brief in light of the entire scope of our lives. Most stages are just long enough to fully embrace them before we see them in the rearview mirror. So even if you’re in a season now that feels as if it will never end, take heart. The next stage is just over the horizon. Though we should certainly live fully in the present season of our lives, looking ahead to what’s next can give us hope.
Despair comes from feeling stuck. When it feels as if you will always be nothing but a taxi service, driving kids from one activity to another, it’s easy to allow negative emotions to cloud your vision. If we’re not careful, our emotions can spiral downward, taking us lower and lower into depression. The more we consider the difficulty of our current jobs, finances, or relationships, the more we might despair. When we’re in the middle of the tunnel of chaos, we cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel—but it’s there.