Life doesn’t have to be perfect

Published 10:04 pm Thursday, July 20, 2017

By Tonya S. Swindell

“Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful!” I told myself that was a good quote when I saw the words printed on a calendar above my co-worker’s desk. It provided the same valuable lesson I have tried learning ever since I was a kid.

My lesson continued when I stopped by a department store recently.

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While in the store, I walked through the aisle featuring colorful pictures, shadow boxes and decorative pieces with inspirational messages. My eyes locked on a framed picture with light blue lettering. It displayed the same message as the calendar in my co-worker’s office!

There it was again: “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful!”

I asked a lady standing nearby if it meant something for me to see the same words on a sign twice in one day. She smiled, came over to look at the framed picture then said, “It sounds like somebody is trying to tell you something.”

Catty-corner to that picture I saw another one that confirmed the real purpose for me being in the store. It said, “Today you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Tomorrow is up to you.”

I showed the picture to the lady. She smiled at me then repeated her original statement.

After picking up the picture to look at it more closely, I discovered another one directly behind it. My eyes landed on six very inspiring words. I smiled while reading the phrase: “The Best is Yet to Come.”

I debated about showing that picture to the lady, because I didn’t want her to feel bothered. But I kept feeling a gentle nudge to share what I found, so I showed it to her thinking she might have had a rough day, too.

The lady smiled when I told her “The best is yet to come” was a familiar message the Lord used for encouragement.

I didn’t explain that over the years a song by the same title, performed by Donald Lawrence and the Tri City Singers, played on the radio and lifted my spirit. Sometimes I’d get into my car and hear it playing on the radio. Other times I’d be driving along, and it would begin playing right when I needed it.

After leaving the store, I headed to my car. But instead of driving off, I walked across the parking lot to a different department store. While looking for inexpensive deals on clearance items, my ears focused on a song that was playing.

I didn’t recognize the music, but I repeatedly heard the phrase, “The best is yet to come” being sung by the artist. I felt amazed and uniquely chosen to receive encouragement so personally and consistently.

Before leaving the store, the song transitioned to an equally inspiring message. I don’t recall the exact lyrics, but the overriding theme was clear and memorable: “The darkest hour is just before the day.”

Tonya Swindell writes a blog for and a teacher for Kingdom Building Equipping School ( She can be reached at