Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Art of Waiting

Everyone at some point in their lives has to wait for something. For a bus or a plane. For a holiday or vacation to arrive. To grow up. To finish school. To fall in love. To get married. To hear back about a potential job. To have children. We've all experienced different degrees of waiting (short-term, long-term).

How do you handle yourself while you wait? Do you obsess about time and how slowly it appears to be passing? Do you try to take your mind off of the waiting? What if the thing you're waiting for does not have a set day or time that it will arrive?

For me, waiting is really, really hard. It's like the ending scene of When Harry Met Sally, when Harry professes his love to Sally and says "And it's not because I'm lonely, and it's not because it's New Year's Eve. I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible."

As soon as I realized that I wanted to be a mom, I was ready for that chapter of my life to begin immediately. Obviously it did not work out that way. I have spent 17 months hoping, praying that I would finally be able to begin that chapter, but the Lord's answer has consistently been "Wait."

Why is waiting so hard? Is it only as hard as your lack of patience? If I were more of a patient person, would this trial be easier to bear? I'm guessing the answer would be no, it wouldn't be any easier. Waiting is mentioned frequently in the Bible. I think God uses the uncertainty associated with waiting to build faith in His children.

Job 6:11
What is my strength, that I should wait? And what is my end, that I should endure?

Psalm 69:3
I am weary with my crying; my throat is parched; My eyes fail while I wait for my God.

But God is with His children, always and forever, even while we wait. It may feel like God has forgotten about you, or does not see your suffering, but He does - it's just not yet time for the waiting to end. But He is ever-present to give you the strength you need to get through it. And the reward for your faithfulness is great and honoring to Him.

Psalm 27:14
Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.

Psalm 33:20
Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield.

Psalm 39:7
And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.

Psalm 62:5
My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him.

Psalm 130:5
I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.

Isaiah 40:31
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Lamentations 3:25
The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the person who seeks Him.

Romans 8:25
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.

I know for me, this time of waiting for the hope of future blessings of children makes me feel a conflicting emotion towards time. Time feels like it's c.r.a.w.l.i.n.g. ever so slowly. I feel like, "Enough already! I've waited plenty long enough..." But when I think about how much time has already passed, it's kind of scary. I pretty much wasted most of 2011 focusing on a heart of despair. I was unhappy at my job because all I really wanted to do with my life is be a mom, like that was my one and only purpose that could possibly define who I am. The year 2011 flew by because I let it go to waste. So that's the conflict, it feels like time passes slowly, but when I look back, it's crazy how much time is already behind me. It's hard for me to believe that I've been waiting for children for 17 months.

Thankfully, nearing the end of 2011, I began to climb out of my pit of despair. I realized that being a mom is not what defines me. I am me. I am first and foremost God's daughter. I am a wife. I am a daughter, grand daughter, niece, cousin, sister-in-law, and friend. My heart's desire is to be a mom someday, but even when that happens, just like now before I'm a mom, my purpose is to love the Lord my God with all my heart, mind, and soul. So that renewal of my spirit helped me to re-focus my heart and mind on things above. To stop looking at time as the enemy and obsess about my age and whatnot. To stop wasting the precious time given to me today. I made it my mission to grow as a wife, grow in my God-led ministries, and stop looking at everything in my life through a negative, depressing filter of "If only I had a child, I would [fill in the blank]..."

Time is a gift from God. He created it, He allowed Himself to be bound by it for a time during Jesus' life, and He designed us to be bound by it until we are reunited with Him in heaven. Make the most of the time you have, even if your heart's desires are not yet realized. Don't believe the lies Satan tries to sell you that time matters so much more than it really does, putting undue pressure and stress on yourself. Time is not the enemy. Age is only a number, nothing more. Instead focus on the age of your heart, the maturity of your character. Are you making the most of your time by your thoughts and actions? Are you fulfilling your true purpose in this life - loving the Lord and obeying His will in the present time?

1 comment:

  1. Christine, this is a beautiful post. I also want to wait well. I'm so thankful to have you for a friend.