When my best friend AJ and I moved to separate states I almost immediately made friends with Erin. I liked Erin right away, but when we initially started hanging out, I found myself feeling mopey while a continuous loop played in my head: "This isn't AJ, this isn't AJ, this isn't AJ....".
At some point I remember feeling God say to me in my spirit, "OK, this isn't AJ, BUT WHAT IS IT?!". I was so focused on what I didn't have (my friend AJ to hang out with) that I was completely missing out on the treasure that was (and is) Erin.
That's just an example, but the principle has repeatedly shown up in my life. Stop thinking about what you wish was happening and focus on what IS happening. There is certainly nothing wrong with wishing, hoping, and wanting, but pair it with a heaping dose of embracing what is right in front of you.
Another example would be times in my life when I was so focused on a guy I wanted to date that I ignored or felt annoyed by other people whenever that particular guy was around. If the guy wasn't responding the way I wanted him to, I would feel sad. How silly, when I was surrounded by great friends and perhaps other guys that I would have liked even better. But no, I was focused on what I wanted....not on what was really happening in my life.
At this very moment there are things that I want in life and then there is the reality of my life. I want what I want, but will I embrace what I have? Life is a gift. I know sometimes that is really hard to believe, but I think at times it's like a treasure hunt and we have to know where to look. The situation sitting in front you today or tomorrow might not be what you would choose, but where are all the brights spots hidden within it? In every moment that we are given, there are things to embrace, to thank God for.
"I have lived the runner, panting ahead in worry, pounding back in regrets, terrified to live in the present because here-time asks me to do the hardest of all: just open wide and receive."
(God in the Moment from Ann Voskamps's One Thousand Gifts).