The Lie of Perfect Timing

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”   Ecclesiastes 3:1

Five years ago I hit “publish” on my first blog post. As soon as I did, something occurred which could never be un-done. I stepped into a new landscape which I had contemplated and felt called by God to do for so long. Now, five years later, I just spoke at “Inclusion Fusion Live!” for the second time, another calling I felt for so long, but never made the time to pursue. I had delayed taking these steps because I hadn’t found the perfect timing. And I never did.

 In honor of my anniversary of taking giant leaps, today’s post is about one of the greatest myths ever to deceive: perfect timing. So many of my friends are currently struggling with the pull or desire to do something or change something, but the perfect timing just won’t present itself. Anyone, in any season of life, can succumb to this vicious cycle, but the special needs parent is perhaps most prone to be defeated by the “I wish I could, but I can’t right now” thoughts. We often feel trapped in this perpetual season. Other parents’ kids develop, gain independence, and smoothly transition into new and exciting times. I know so many of us who have wonderful God-given desires and dreams that we aren’t pursuing, because the perfect timing is never going to present itself in our world. 

Seasons are different from timing. The Bible contains numerous discussions of seasons, counting costs, planning and patience. Yes, it is important to know your season. But it can be a disaster to wait for perfect timing

For example, I offer my initial—also final—foray into gardening. As soon as we relocated to Chicago, I ordered a giant bag of tulip bulbs. Tulips are my favorite flowers ever. The idea of living in a place where they pop up like confetti was so exciting. I really wanted loads of tulips covering my yard. The bag arrived in September labeled “plant during first two weeks of October,” undeniable bulb season. But on October 1st, I wasn’t out planting. Nor the 2nd. We were homeschooling at the time, and the days were always filled. In spite of my dream to have us all outside digging and planting, the opportunity to do so never appeared. The mornings when my schedule wasn't full, it was cold, rainy or windy. Perfect timing didn’t present itself, and I am ashamed to admit, a half-bag of tulip bulbs sat on my garage shelf all winter and froze.


My tulip example seems pretty basic, but it is exactly what I see many special needs parents struggling with in their lives. But what’s going to sit on a shelf and freeze is not something as trivial as tulip bulbs. It’s their passion and purpose; it’s that new, exciting thing that is lying dormant nearby. It may be a new friendship, job, ministry opportunity or experience with their spouse. 

Five years ago was not the perfect time to become a writer. Last April certainly was not the perfect time for me to become a traveling speaker. The prerequisites that I had in my mind for perfect timing never materialized, don’t exist in my life now, nor will they at any time in the future. As my special needs son has grown older, my life has become exponentially more challenging, not less. But when you know it’s your season to do something greater and you don’t, you become frustrated, heartsick and stuck.

Get Unstuck

It's time to get unstuck. Perfect timing does not exist. God most often requires us to be obedient when it’s inconvenient. I say this based on the multitude of stories in the Bible where individuals were called to do something that would fulfill their destiny and purpose. Read the stories of Moses, Joshua, or Esther in the Old Testament. What about Mary, Jesus’ mother, who was just a few months away from her marriage when she was asked to become pregnant? Talk about bad timing! The apostles struggled with bad timing throughout their ministries. In 1 Corinthians Paul describes them as weak, despised, hungry, homeless, reviled and persecuted, which is not the best timing to launch your road ministry!

Today I ask you, is there something that you know you should start, stop, change or do? Perhaps there is something big that God is urging you to tackle? There’s a small voice that urges you to new levels and experiences. Maybe it’s something new with your special kiddo? Perhaps it’s taking on something outside of your special mom world. Today, ask God to show you why you aren’t doing it. Speak up, step out, go farther.  Taking the superficial excuse of waiting for perfect timing off the table opened new doors, opportunities and experiences for me that I never could’ve imagined.

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