Unexpected loss.

Like you, I’ve buried people I didn’t expect to. COVID casualties. Old age. Freak accidents. Cancer. Heart attack. Suicide …

One loss in particular caught me off guard. This woman. Smart. Beautiful.  Gracious. Lover of Jesus. Lover of people. Everybody’s confidante. Everybody’s friend.

BAM!  Gone.

Girls, I gotta tell you, when I heard the news, it rattled me. She was only 5 years older than me. It got me thinking about my next five years. What if that’s it? Five years doesn’t seem like much time anymore.

Make them count!

Not that many years ago, I was a full-time mom and wife. I volunteered as a Bible teacher at my little church. I was working at a dental office. Life was busy and full and happy.

Follow your dream

Then a little dream blossomed into the reality of a full-time speaking ministry. Since then, I’ve been shining God’s truth on life’s hard questions for thousands of women. My book, “The Widow Wore Pink” was published. The “Journey to Trust” Bible study was launched. I’ve seen lives changed and it’s the best!

But when my friend died, it made me wonder. What if I only have five years left? How can I best use that time for the glory of God, for the fulfillment of my purpose, to leave a legacy that will last?

Do you think about such things?

Whatever season of life you’re in right now, take notice of the little dream pushing its way into your thoughts and imagination.

Maybe you’re still young and bulletproof. Your dreams are still gelling. You have lots of energy and are waiting for the inspiration. 

Maybe you’re in the middle years… and life is a full-time job. You’re in a season of seconds, when every moment pushes back against you. Every tick of the clock needs to be accounted for as you juggle kids and work and laundry and book club and dentist appointments. You tell yourself there is no time for dreaming, there is barely time for sleeping!

Maybe your season of life feels like a tide of ebbing and filling. Work deadlines and insurance payments are juggled around taking care of parents and bosses and trips to the doctor and trying to stay disengaged from the news and connected to grown kids. Chasing dreams will have to wait just a bit longer.

Or, your pace is slowing down. It feels like you’re coasting to the finish line, and yet, you wonder if there could be more. The dream you’ve put on hold, waiting for the right time, is persistently popping into your mind.

Disregard the enemy’s lies

But now the enemy of your soul whispers it’s too late or too much or too impossible. Silence those lies! 

As long as you are upright and taking oxygen, there is time for you to make a difference. There is time to follow your dream.

Time to write the book, or take the trip, or start the business, or adopt the baby, or attend the Olympics, or learn to cook, or get out of debt, or run with the bulls, or share Good News with your neighbor.

There is a season, this is yours.

The Bible says life rolls in seasons. There is a season for everything and the canopy covering all those seasons is to live fully for Jesus.

What are your plans to make the next 5 years count?

As long as I have breath, I’ll be looking for ways to live as fully as my friend did. My mission is to proclaim the goodness of God, dispense wisdom and spread His love.

What’s yours and what are you doing to make it happen? Leave me a comment below. I’d be honored to pray for your courage and God’s timing. 

Verse for today: Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4 ESV

Prayer: God, I feel the press of your calling but I’m scared to step out. Give me courage and fill me with your strength and wisdom. Set me on the right path and confirm your leading repeatedly as you did for Gideon. I want to trust you in this. In Jesus Name I pray, amen. 

31 Comments

  1. Dianne Wright on February 28, 2021 at 11:09 pm

    Thank you

  2. Dianne Wright on February 28, 2021 at 11:10 pm

    I would like to send you my book
    Please send me your mailing address

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 7:36 pm

      That is so sweet. I gotta warn you, the stack on my nightstand is already pretty tall, but if you want to send your book, my address is
      Robyn Dykstra
      PO Box 150473
      Grand Rapids, MI 49515

      Thanks in advance!

  3. Jacqueline Householder on February 28, 2021 at 11:26 pm

    I plan on contining as leader and Bible teachet of our Ladies Bible Study when we can safely resume weekly meetings and to teach children and youth at my church’s Sunday School. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying my time with God and in his word and keeping in contact with family and friends until the time we can be together.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 7:39 pm

      Hi Jackie,
      Always good to hear from you. Sounds like a win at home and a win in ministry.
      You’re a blessing to all.

  4. Carol on February 28, 2021 at 11:45 pm

    Please pray for my two friends. Debbie is quiting her job because of abusive boss and Jeanne has bone on bone in her knee and leukemia. She needs a new knee but has so many things wrong she can’t have the surgery. She wouldn’t survive the surgery.
    Thank you Robyn.
    Carol Kerry

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 7:48 pm

      Certainly will

      Lord God Almighty, You are Lord over all. We come before you with Carol’s friends, both of whom need you in miraculous ways. God, nothing is impossible for you. Lead Debbie to a great job and give healing relief to Jeanne. We ask these things in the Mighty name of Jesus. amen.

  5. Lou Ann on March 1, 2021 at 1:25 am

    Boy! This just came at the right time. As you know, I lost my son last year and today is the anniversary or my husband’s passing. Lately I’ve been thinking, this can’t be all there is for me. I am having a lot of trouble with prayer. I used to be a prayer warrior; storming the gates of Heaven both day and night. But this past year has served to slow all that down till I barely pray at all. I feel sometimes I’m going through the motions of life.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 7:54 pm

      From personal experience I can assure you this is normal. I don’t know the science behind what grief does to your brain and heart, but it feels like it’s been cauterized. You have been through sooosoosoosooso much in a short time and you’ve been isolated from the support you deserve.

      Lou Ann, I am banging on the gates of heaven for God to connect you to his healing and his people. To grieve the huge losses you’ve suffered and to know you are not alone.

      Romans 8:26 says In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words. Amplified Bible

      I’m asking that as spring comes, your heart is also revived to experience life in full bloom.

  6. Amy on March 1, 2021 at 3:24 am

    I have my first granddaughter and I plan on spending the next five years telling her all about God! I always use to tell my girls that I loved them second most because Jesus loved them most!
    I can’t wait to live life with this sweet girl and tell her she is a princess because her Heavenly Father is the King of Kings.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 7:55 pm

      Amy, I love this plan. Congratulations on the new grand baby.
      Thanks for posting.

  7. Sue Prybylla on March 1, 2021 at 3:26 am

    You are in my head Robyn. Tonight my dear brother-in-law, twice, took his last breath on this earth. In 1983 God lead me from a mega church to my home town in Indiana. We started a Monday night Bible study in my unbelieving mom’s home. Through that study that brother-in-law, a cussing and bucking everything that was being taught man put on Christ as his Savior. I’m 66 now but the Spirit’s fire is still burning within me. I need direction and wisdom for this chapter in my story. There is seriously a book that needs to be written.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 7:59 pm

      Whaaaat? That’s the best testimony, Sue.
      You definitely have the content for a book.

      Have you ever attended the Speak Up Conference? https://speakupconference.com/
      It’s virtual this year, so no travel.
      You’ll find fellow authors, writing coaches and editors who can guide the process.
      This could be your time!

  8. Sherry Booth on March 1, 2021 at 4:16 am

    To overcome my insecurities so much that I will do those hard things for the glory of God and the good of others. Lead a small group study, speak up graciously no matter who is there, go on a mission trip, find a place to volunteer, be strong enough to help my daughter with my special needs grandson, love the prickly people in my life. Thank you.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 8:11 pm

      I’m cheering for you and agreeing with you in prayer for all these things. It’s quite a list. Keep me posted on your progress. I know you didn’t ask for advice, but can you prioritize them, do one for a while and add another one so you don’t get overwhelmed or overloaded?
      BTW, You look a lot like Jesus when you can genuinely love prickly people. 🙂
      Well done Sherry.

  9. Celine Hutchinson on March 1, 2021 at 11:44 am

    My boyfriend of 10 years let me go. Had to move out so his son could move in. I am a bit lost, insecure. I pray for joy. I just want joy to survive!

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 3:06 pm

      I am so very sorry, Celine. This had to be devastating.
      Take time to grieve this big loss. Joy will come.

      Lord, I pray for you to fill in the gaps of Celine’s missing pieces. Be her warrior, comforter, provider and peace. Let her know how much you love her and treasure her. In Jesus Name amen.

  10. Lena MDayzie on March 1, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    There’s a season for everything under heaven. I have loss my husband recently. However, in the next 5 years I will work until retirement. As the Lord will be my helper and my guide to accomplish what is in his plan for me. I will not fear anything, because he is God and up hold me with his righteous right hand. Amen

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 3:02 pm

      So sorry for your loss. I so appreciate your faithfulness and courageous forward motion.
      Thanks so much for posting.

  11. Joyce Barbatti on March 1, 2021 at 2:49 pm

    Thank you for this encouraging message, Robyn. Like you, I’ve had loss. My dear husband went home to Jesus four years ago. I didn’t think I could ever live without him. But through God’s Grace and strength, I am still living and breathing. I opened a Christian bookstore a year and a half ago—totally God’s idea because I still don’t know what I’m doing! But when He calls you and we say yes, He guides and equips you along the way. (You and I met last summer in Cedar Falls, Iowa at the Bible Conference. ?)
    A dear Bible Study Fellowship sister died vey suddenly and unexpectedly a few weeks ago. She had just turned 56 three days earlier. We all were shocked and miss her so much but we know exactly where she is! She and my husband are both in the presence of Jesus!
    None of us are guaranteed tomorrow. I have so much more clarity on the brevity of our earthly lives. I pray the Holy Spirit will empower me to be bold and courageous to do the Father’s will.
    Blessings to you dear Robyn. ?

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 3:01 pm

      Oh dear Sister, your wisdom and courage shine through you. Thank you for posting and many blessings on everything you do!

      Thank you for posting.

      • Stephanie on March 1, 2021 at 3:18 pm

        Seasons do change in our lives sometime it maybe years in between and might be months in between or even days in between the season but how ever long my seasons run I plan to live my life to the fullest for God and his plan for life and for my family and myself

        • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 8:19 pm

          I love your passion and commitment. Pretty sure Jesus is smiling about it, too. 🙂
          Thanks for posting.

  12. Jeannette Cooke on March 1, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    Your lesson resonated with me. My identical sister was diagnosed with cancer and died six weeks later. For over a year, I expected to die with very little time to prepare. So, I began to put all of the photos (some over one hundred years old)
    into albums with dates, places and people identified, That finished, I worked on family trees (two for my side of the family and two for my husband’s). Now our family histories can be passed on to the coming generations. I also put all of the family archives in computer thumb drives for all of my extended family, My future descendants will know something about great great great grandparents who came to America for religious freedom and they will learn what life was like for me and my parents.

    Well, I have survived longer than expected. In a few days it will be 3 years since my twin’s home going. I’m thankful for every day that I can serve my husband (kids are grown up now) and church. I still miss my sister a lot, but the intensity of grief is subsiding gradually. I’m usually feeling like my old self again, but now with much more understanding of those who are still mourning. God is good.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 8:22 pm

      Oh My Stars, Jeannette, what a story. I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine a sister dying.
      But wow, what an accomplishment to have your legacy in order.
      I am so glad you posted. You inspire me.

  13. Risa Blyer on March 1, 2021 at 4:23 pm

    Thank you for the encouragement! You are such a blessing! I am so glad I was able to hear you speak once at a women’s conference. God Bless you and your family.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 1, 2021 at 8:25 pm

      Risa,

      You encourage me, too! Thanks for posting. I hope we meet again.

  14. Toni Brunson on March 3, 2021 at 4:04 am

    Good word, Robyn!
    Are you still coming to North Augusta First Baptist this month? You had told me you were in your Christmas card. I didn’t know if that had changed or not?

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 7, 2021 at 7:20 pm

      Alas, Covid made it impossible. Look for me next year. 🙂

  15. Larissa Fluegel on March 6, 2021 at 3:15 pm

    Wise and life-giving words! Thank you!! I agree, all of us, as you thoughtfully put it, no matter the season, should live under this mindset, seeking the Lord each day for the answer to these questions: “How can I best use [the time I am given today] for the glory of God, for the fulfillment of my purpose, to leave a legacy that will last?”, that we may be good stewards of our time while finding/experiencing true joy and lasting peace.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 7, 2021 at 7:21 pm

      Great questions for us all.

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