I’m not a very patient person, never have been. When I get an idea in my head, I like to go for it. I don’t always wait for items to go on sale, to make decisions, or wait on other things for that matter. So, when God calls me into a season of waiting, you can imagine the struggle it often is for me to accept that with trust and peace.
Lately it’s been different though. I’ve been learning that seasons of waiting are not seasons of inaction or boredom. In fact, they can be some of the most exciting, anticipation-filled times of life.
The root of so much of my impatience had been stemming from comparison. I was looking at other people’s lives and what was happening in them, seriously seeing their joy and blessings as my loss. I felt like because my life wasn’t lining up “the way it was supposed to”, that I had messed up somewhere along the way. I started to question God’s provision and plans, thinking that maybe I had done something to deserve this wait I was facing. Why was “nothing” happening in my life? Why wasn’t God setting up my future? Why wasn’t he fulfilling my desires?
By God’s grace, my heart towards uncertainty, unwanted stillness, questioning, and all the rest of it, has significantly changed. I’m actually so thankful for this season. I’m thankful that I’m living at home, that I don’t know what God has in store for me after graduation, and for the sake of being totally authentic, I’m so thankful that I’m single. I don’t know that three months ago I would’ve been able to genuinely and truthfully say all of that.
So what changed? I’ve tried to pinpoint this pivotal moment of actualization but I can’t. I can, however, give credit to five decisions I’ve been making over the past three months that contribute to this refreshed and renewed perspective on waiting that I have.
1. Read God’s Word Intentionally
I began to open up my Bible more than I opened my mouth to complain to God about my waiting. I didn’t look for the go-to verses that people post on Pinterest when they feel distant from God, I didn’t go looking for words that would make me feel justified in my pity-party – I took it seriously and with the intention to learn more about God. Knowing that the more I know about God, the more I love him, which means the more I will trust him, which then leads to leaning into His will with everything I have.
2. Invest in Resources
I invested in books that would point me towards truths that I needed to be reminded of, and I read them with a highlighter and open heart.
3. Focus on Contentment
Instead of focusing on what I don’t have in my life, I try to focus on what I do have and how God is calling me to be at peace with what that looks like.
4. Appreciate the Wait
I’ve come to realize that this season of waiting is not punishment or some unhappy time of life God wants me to buckle down through. God is actually pulling me towards him and giving me a season of total rest, he is constantly filling my lungs with the freshest of air. I finally feel content with it just being me. I have acknowledged that this season is a time for me to realize and see who God is calling me to be apart from other people and their influence.
5. Learn When to Say Yes and When to Say No
I decided to start saying yes to experiences that were new and no to experiences that were old. If I saw old habits of disappointment, self-reliance, and impatience creeping up on me, I shut them down real hard, real fast. And, if I had the chance to say yes to something new – even if thats been taking 8 AM trains to Toronto and just walking around and exploring with dear friends, I’ve been saying yes – and praise the Lord for that!
These decisions, choices, and actions items have been the reoccurring theme over recent months and I see now that God’s hand has been in all of them. I can see how he’s used each of those five points to bring me to this place of genuine peace.
We get so used to people saying “well, just wait and see.” Probably so much so that we tune it out most of the time because we don’t like being told that our desires cannot be satisfied instantly. I remember feeling so annoyed whenever my parents would say that when it came to something I wanted to buy – but as I’ve gotten older I’ve been seeing the value of a good ol’ wait. In the wait you find out how much you actually need (or don’t need) what you’re waiting for. You realize that the value attributed to whatever you don’t have may not accurately reflect what it will bring to your life. And sometimes a wait makes you value what you’ve been waiting for even more if and when you do finally get it. In the wait we grow and we learn, we mature and we reflect, but most of all, in our wait we know that God is still working, and he is still good.
Wendy Pope writes that the object of our wait should never be greater than the person of our faith. I absolutely LOVE this. As I pray for a job after grad where my passions and creavitiy can thrive, that job does not become a god in my life and the God I serve gets glorified in the wait. As I yearn to move to a big city, that city does not become a god in my life and the God I serve receives and answers my prayers for guidance. As I desire to be a wife and mom one day, the man I will one day marry does not become a god in my life, but I pray that the God I serve will shape and mould me into a God-fearing woman who will be a good helper, a best friend, and a loving partner when God sees fit.
The object of my wait is not greater than the person of my faith, and for that reason I wait and see, knowing that the Lord is so, so good.