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You Are Right Where You Need to Be

On Valentine’s Day, I was running late. Our heater wouldn’t turn on and it was uncomfortably cold all morning. As the minutes ticked by, I told myself that I should have left a half an hour ago, maybe more. But I was waiting for someone to come fix our furnace, a meeting had gone long, and I’d gotten a late start on my lunch.

I was so thrown off my routine that I considered not going to my writing group. I knew I wouldn’t get there when it started and even though it’s a very relaxed, come-whenever type of group, I questioned whether I should even go at all. You see, while I acknowledge the downsides of being a perfectionist, I also recognize that I am most comfortable when I'm prepared and things are going according to plan.

Except I also knew that if I skipped it, I wouldn’t have a productive day at work anyway. It was just one of those rocky moments that made me grumpy, cold, and frazzled, wishing I hadn’t gotten off track. I longed to be on time or ahead of schedule, efficiently checking things off my to-do list. I wanted to be someplace warm and calm, wrapped up in my cocoon of working heaters and easily flowing schedules, instead of the cold, hectic place I was currently in.

But I trekked on ahead and went anyway. I decided to give myself grace and forgiveness just for showing up. No need to be perfect. So I picked up my pace and got there as quickly as I could, a frown pressing down on me.

As I walked up to the library, a large group of preschool-age kids and a few adults were clustered around the entrance. I moved to the side to let them pass, but they waved me in instead. As I stepped into the lobby, ready to hustle up the stairs, one of the adults stopped me and asked, “May we give you a gift?”

I glanced at the group of children and realized they weren’t huddled by the door to leave, they were gathered there to greet people as they came in. I nodded, still probably not smiling, and said, “Sure.”

Then this teacher picked one child out of the group and asked, “Would you like to give our friend a gift?” This generous little kid nodded, walked over to me, and handed me a Valentine’s card. It said “Hot Dog! UR the BEST!” and had a Micky Mouse pencil attached. I loved it immediately.

For the first time all day, a smile broke out across my face and my heart melted. I gratefully accepted the gift and gushed my thanks to the gift-giver and the entire group. The crease left my forehead and my heart softened. Kids can do that to you. So can unexpected delights from strangers.

As I joined my writing group upstairs, I was, as expected, late. Introductions had finished and everyone was already writing. But several members looked up, smiled, and greeted me with genuine pleasure.

Glancing around the table, I also noticed that no one else had a Valentine’s card in front of them. When I left soon after, having completed a decent amount of writing, I exited through a quiet lobby. The huddle of preschoolers had left.

I walked outside beaming, reflecting on how I not only got a pretty darn cool Micky Mouse pencil and Valentine’s card from a sweet, kindhearted child, but I also received the biggest gift of all. In that moment, I realized that I was right where I was supposed to be. I wasn’t late or falling behind. I was positioned at the exact right time and place to receive a gift that turned my day around.

How many times do we tell ourselves that we should be somewhere different? That we should be farther along on this project or in that journey? Or that we’re late because we should have done something sooner when in fact, we’re right where we’re meant to be?

Because the Universe is lining up something perfect for us. And if we get there any earlier or a little bit later, we’ll miss it. But if we trust in divine timing and accept that there are things we might not know, we’ll get there exactly when we need to.

Maybe you’re struggling or feeling behind. Maybe you’re recovering from an illness and are trying to push yourself too hard, forcing yourself to recover quicker than your body can. Or maybe you’re just somewhere outside of your comfort zone, wishing you were somewhere else.

It might feel uncomfortable. And yet maybe, just maybe—you are right where you need to be.

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Nicole Pyles
Nicole Pyles
Mar 02, 2023

Amazing timing on your post and something I needed to read today. As a Christian, I remind myself constantly lately that God has a purpose with where I'm at. He has a reason for having me right where I am today. It's hard to remember that when things aren't going right. And I'll be honest, they just aren't for me lately. Your post touched my heart and reminded me of that truth.

Amber Byers
Amber Byers
Mar 02, 2023
Replying to

Hi Nicole! I'm so delighted to hear that this was just what you needed to hear today. And I love that sometimes the messages we most need to hear pop up all over the place exactly when we need them. Wishing you peace when things aren't going right - and may the winds of change bring you one small joy today. 🌿

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