You gave me the word, I finally heard, I’m doing the best I can

by | May 20, 2024 | Faith | 6 comments |

In this season of recitals, end-of-the-school-year banquets, and graduations, I can almost hear the sighs: “Finally! Finally, finals are over. Finally, after all this time, hard work has paid off. Finally, I can move on to the next thing.” But what is that next thing?

I experienced the same feelings the Wednesday morning I saw my faith memoir Wisdom Builds Her House available for pre-order on Amazon. Finally, I could break out the champagne—and we did for our Friday afternoon Happy Hour, me in my work duds. After the celebration subsided, and I asked myself what’s next, I realized I needed to get the word out—which Keith and I started to do at the local Farmers Market on Saturday morning. On Monday, I finally heard the words: “You need a plan.” And so, I sat down and typed one up, my finally heard what’s next.

The Beatles’ finally heard

In May1967, the Beatles released “Getting Better” as a track on their album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Though written mostly by the more optimistic “getting better” band member Paul McCartney, the song also includes lyrics by the more pessimistic John Lennon: 

Me used to be angry young man

Me hiding me head in the sand

You gave me the word, I finally heard

I’m doing the best that I can.

In later years, Lennon admitted his violent abuse of people, women in particular. He was the angry young man who came to believe in peace. Who the “You” was that gave him and/or McCartney “the word, I finally heard” we’re not sure. We do know the final next thing for Lennon and can only hope he found the peace he sought.

The Bible’s finally heard

The word “finally” in the Bible marks not a conclusion but rather a transition. “Finally” might be the last in a series of events, or maybe a way to introduce a final point of reason. 

As the church in Ephesus heard from Paul in his letter: Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Ephesians 6:10 

Or the church heard from Peter in his first letter: Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble. 1 Peter 3:8

So, we’re back to asking, transition to what? From weak to strong faith. From division to unity. From dislike to love. From harsh judgment to compassion. From arrogance to humility.

My finally heard

It took me years until I finally heard, and I have no doubt who “You” gave me the word. Part of what I heard, as John Lennon heard, too, is that becoming older does not replace who we were before. As Andrea Carlisle wrote in There Was an Old Woman: Reflections on these strange, surprising, shining years, “Who we become in old age is the elder within who finally manifests.” I am the sum of my past selves: child, adolescent, young adult with children, adult with adolescents, mature adult with adult children. Entering the third stage of life is similar to the transition between childhood and adulthood. Both are “finally” graduations and thresholds to what’s next.

There is a final “finally” transition. This from Richard Rohr, quoted in my post from two weeks ago: “In the metaphor of life as a journey, I think it’s finally about coming back home to where we started. As I approach death, I’m thinking about that a lot, because I think the best way to describe what’s coming next is not ‘I’m dying,’ but ‘I’m finally going home.’”

I don’t know when I’ll finally go home but know someday I will. In the meantime, I’m listening to the You who gave me His word; I finally heard. And, thanks be to God, I’m doing the best I can to grow in faith, love, and hope.

Linkup with Five Minute Friday:


  1. marianna crane

    Carole, Congratulations on the publication of your book. What next? Promoting the book!

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you, Marianna.

  2. Kathryne Leach

    Congrats on finishing another project, Carol! No onto my least favorite activity-marketing. Thanks for mentioning Andrea Carlyse— I’ll definitely check out that book.

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you! Thus far, I’m enjoying the marketing process, because I’m promoting the mission and not myself.

  3. dawnfanshawe

    Congratulations. I guess there is no ‘finally’ until God says so.

    • Carole Duff

      Thank you, Dawn. Finally, after I’ve fulfilled God’s purpose of me.


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