The Power of “Not Yet”

With all the determination and focus her little 7-year-old body could muster, my daughter Claire stood strong and ready to break her first board. She drew her arm back and struck with all of her might.

Nothing. The board did not break!

Quickly, she straightened up and prepared to try again, but her efforts were met with the same result: Nothing.

This went on SEVEN times and with each failed attempt her body and confidence visibly withered.

As a mommy on the sidelines seeing all the other children easily breaking their boards, I was dying for her! My heart split in two. One side of me wanted to scream, “You can do it…BREAK that board!” The other side of me wanted it all to STOP, so my sweet little innocent girl would not have to face failure again and again.

Haven’t we all faced something similar in our lives?

We’re trying with all of our might to breakthrough something but we’re met with failure and the uneasy feeling of uncertainty.

We question ourselves:

“Will I ever break this addiction?”

“Will I ever overcome the pain of this loss?”

“Will I ever be able to forgive that person?”

“Will my business ever succeed?”

“Will my relationship with my spouse ever be restored?”

The list goes on and on. We’re all like my 7-year-old daughter, striking again and again and again at the same obstacle. Sometimes it takes many strikes before you breakthrough.

But I have to ask, do these attempts feel like failures or opportunities?

I recently learned about this school in Chicago where they don’t give traditional letter grades. Rather than an A, B, C, D, or F, students receive a “not yet” if they haven’t mastered the skill being assessed.

There is so much power in a “not yet” because it leaves room for growth, perseverance, and opportunity.

I think Paul knew this to be true when he said:

“I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.” – Philippians 3:12 (CEV).

Paul knew he would face failure and uncertainty in his life, but he trusted in a CERTAIN God. A God who’s promised He would “never leave us or forsake us” (Heb 13:5), who would “complete the good work started in us” (Philp 1:6), who will “draw near to us if we draw near to him” (James 4:8) and so much more!

Paul trusted in his Almighty Father to guide him through the struggles and uncertainties of this world.

I was faced with a whole lot of uncertainty as I watched my daughter try again and again to break the board. My mommy heart was done watching the struggle. I’m ashamed to admit I said, “Stop, she can’t do it!”

But God, had a different plan.

Just after my outburst, a new trainer came up to my little withering flower and told her, “You can do this!” He gently whispered new instructions in her ears. He looked at her with hope, confidence, and strength and said, “Now break this board!”

She stood up straight, balled her tiny fists and broke the board! My daughter placed her faith in the instructor and believed she could do it. And she did!

1 John 3:2 reminds us that the spiritual life is the life of a child. We’re not uncertain of God, just uncertain of what He’s going to do and how he is going to do it.

“Beloved, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is.” – 1 John 3:2

I leave you with this:

When you’re faced with what feels like failure and uncertainty, stand strong, ball up your fists, and strike your “board” with child-like faith.

If it does not break the first, second, third, or even seventh time know you have not failed. It’s simply a “not yet.” Trust your CERTAIN God to guide, teach, and direct you through all uncertainty and obstacles you face.

How does the concept of “not yet” apply to the dream you are working on today? How will trusting God help you stay the course in the face of uncertainty? Share your thoughts below as we’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Jayde Gray

Jayde Gray’s superpower is her extraordinary amount of patience, which allows her to maintain calm for herself and her co-workers in otherwise stressful situations. Because of this, she has thrived in her career which has taken her from the elementary school classroom to Program Director at For the Girls International (FTGI). During her tenure at FTGI, she has overseen a variety of programs, but her heartbeat is their SHINE program. The goal of SHINE is to awaken teenage girls to their worth, strength, and purpose. Not only has Jayde helped develop this program from its infancy, she jumped in knee-deep, leading groups and mentoring girls in the program. Her passion is to see women and girls awaken to their purpose and live life to their fullest potential, and her role at FTGI allows her to live this out daily. When she’s not in the office, Jayde can be found in the kitchen cooking or outdoors exploring with her two daughters Lela, 10 and Claire, 7, and traveling with her husband Noah.

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