the hallway.

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A few years back, my mom gave me this wooden sign that now sits by my kitchen sink: “Until God opens the next door, praise Him in the hallway”. It’s become a favorite sign for me to read on a daily basis while I’m washing dishes and I routinely ponder what it looks like in my life.

I envision a long hallway with a locked door at the end. Have you ever stood in that hall with me? Trying to open a door that doesn’t seem to be budging? Perhaps you can relate in the desire to have a baby. Or maybe on the other side of the door is the spouse you’ve been praying for or the job promotion you deserve. Whatever it is, you can see it – some days you feel like the doorknob is wiggling, and yet, you can’t get in the door. So in the hallway we sit.

I turned 30 last week. T H I R T Y. At first I was nervous about entering this new decade, the one that now requires me to check off a new age bracket, start seriously thinking about eye cream and even renew my driver’s license. Thirty.

I didn’t anticipate it, but guess what? I love being 30. Like, L-O-V-E it. It seems crazy that an age can bring with it such a wave of contentment but I am so fully embracing this new decade that it scares me a little. I am doing this. I am being and enjoying life, with all its unknowns, even here in the hallway. Perhaps I am still running off of birthday celebration fumes, the aftertaste of parties and cards and hugs. But it feels deeper than that – it feels like a fresh start.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Our speaking pastor, Jason Strand, mentioned it yesterday in his sermon and I absolutely loved what he said after: You don’t need to be thankful FOR all circumstances; you need to be thankful IN all circumstances.”

You know what that means? We don’t need to be thankful for the hallways – infertility, singleness, job loss, health issues … but we do need to be thankful IN the hallways. There’s a big difference there! Being thankful in the hallway starts with our attitudes, how we view our circumstances, and what we choose to focus on. Our pastor continued by saying “Happiness isn’t getting what you want; happiness is enjoying what God has given you.”

So good.

What is your hallway today? And how are you learning to embrace it and find joy in it? I promise, no matter how lost we feel, God sees us there in the hallway. We haven’t gotten stuck in a maze and disappeared from His sight. Maybe that locked door isn’t opening anytime in the near future. Or perhaps it never opens but another one in the hall does. Or maybe, it opens tomorrow. Either way, we can’t waste today forgetting that it’s possible to praise Him in the hallways.

Now a note to myself:

Dear Future Chelsea, remember this moment. Remember the contentment you have in the hallway. Don’t lose sight on His goodness as you wait. Keep your perspective upward and when you slip, which will inevitably happen because you’re human (and hormonal), come back to Him and keep praising Him. He hasn’t let you down and He won’t start now.

Love, 30 years + 5 days old Chelsea

Have you gotten a copy of the In The Wait devotional book yet? Don’t miss your chance! Preorders close THIS Wednesday and then the book won’t be available for purchase again until September 14th. Plus, you get freebies if you order now! Check out this post for all the details + your chance to order.

Interested in hearing Pastor Strand’s entire message? Click here to listen. 

20 thoughts on “the hallway.

  1. Catherine says:

    Happy Birthday Chelsea and glad to see what an awesome job God is doing in your life. My devotional order is in. Thanks again

  2. chon says:

    happy birthday plus 7 days! This is your power year. I can feel it. I hope you had a lovely day. 30 was a good year for me – we built our first home, I got married, didn’t get a baby but you know! Have a good one.

  3. Adrian & Kylie Steel says:

    Hi Chelsea,

    Thank you for perfectly summing up my life right now. I too am joining the 30 club mid next year and I have been having such mixed emotions. I have been so upset at this clear border I’m crossing in relation to my infertility/fertility but I also feel like it isn’t holding me back anymore. I’m not ready to give up hope but I am finally ready to step into life. I have never heard that quote but I think i will put it in a prominent place also.

    I just wanted to ask about your devotional also. I went to preorder the other day but I am in Australia and only the U.S. came up. Am I doing something wrong or is it not yet available outside the U.S.?

    Thanks again for your inspiration?,

    Kylie

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    • chels819 says:

      Hi Kylie! Thanks for your comment. I am praying that your transition into your 30’s goes as smoothly as mine has. Do not give up hope! And I pray that you are able to embrace your hallway, even though you don’t know how long you will be in it. And thanks for your interest in our devotional! I would LOVE to get you a copy! Reach out to Holly at holly@hollyholtdesign.com to chat about shipping to Australia. It isn’t something on the website right now but single case arrangements are being made and I would love to bring it to the post office myself and get it over to you. :) SO!

  4. Kimberly says:

    Checking off the age braket!! yes!! ha, I had a hard time with that one too. I feel like your in your twenties forever, then all of a sudden your 30. I had a hard time with 30 for sure, and turning 32 in June even worse. This post was a great reminder of being thankful Praise the Lord for the things that I DO have. Ordering the devotional…. now!

    • chels819 says:

      I haven’t had to officially check anything yet but maybe my thoughts on the transition will change that day, haha! And thanks for the support with the devotional I am super excited to see how God works! Thanks girl!

  5. Jessi Wallace says:

    Welcome to 30! I always told myself that age is what I make it – I’m only as old as I feel. And while some days I feel like I’m going on 50, most days I have a 15-year-old girl in my heart, who will sing, dance, and praise the Lord through everything! Thank you for the simple reminder to praise Him in the hallway – I will remember that!

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