Un día a la vez, she thought. One day at a time. That’s the refrain that played on repeat in her head whenever life got too difficult and even a thought about the future too overwhelming for her fragile heart to handle.
I often admire her, that girl who had so much faith and just knew that the future held better things. She was emotional, naive, sometimes too stubborn in her ways. But she had so much faith to keep going when the only thing she knew about the future was that God had a plan. That girl was me 7 years ago.
Sometimes I wonder what I’ll think of present me 7 years from now. Will I admire her just the same? I guess that decision is still within my control. Can I still sing that refrain, un día a la vez, one day at a time?
You see, life turned out to be a lot less stable than I ever could have imagined it to be. So unstable in fact, that for the last 2 years or so I have been pretty much forced to live quite literally one day at a time. It’s hard to make strategic plans and dream big dreams when the details of my life, both big and small, seem to be ever changing. My whole life it has been so ingrained in me that the only way forward is to keep going. I have to be productive, always working to make something out of myself. I have to buy a house, have a retirement fund, and get married by a certain age because if I don’t they’ll deem me a failure, a lazy millennial who is just dragging her feet in life. Ouch.
So what happens when I live in a foreign country where after 4 years I’m still waiting for a long term visa? What happens when I have no car, no husband, no retirement plan and I’m turning 26 in less than two weeks?
I’ll tell you what happens. I’m forced to live un día a la vez, one day at a time. I’m forced to see and accept that it isn’t me who needs to make something out of myself. It’s God who is making me. Maybe I don’t have a 5, 10 or even 1 year plan. Maybe there are many people (myself included) who tend to see my current situation as temporary or transitional. But what if this is the most important time? The time where I get to choose to truly trust the Lord un día a la vez. And if I do, I’ll look back on this young woman in her mid-20s and realize she is so strong. So brave. Her faith is so incredible. She’s still emotional, a little naive, and definitely stubborn. But wow, she needs a lot of faith to live her life one day at a time. And what grace the Lord must have for her to allow her to be in a place where dependence on him is so hard. What love he must have to want her to learn what it really means to follow him one day at a time, un día a la vez. Because actually, this life isn’t at all about making much of me, it’s all about making much of him.
And really, what more do I need than to know that I can trust God with today; and every day that I wake up after will be just the same? What if God doesn’t want my productivity and strategy? What if he just wants me to be present with him?
The truth is, I am not and never was capable of living my life just one day at a time. It is a task too impossible for me. But God has shown me since the very beginning that it is not impossible for him. So maybe he has pulled me away from the easier, lesser tasks that I hoped to accomplish on my own to assign me to a bigger, much more rewarding task: to go through this life depending on him un día a la vez, one day at a time.