When I was waiting for my first baby to learn to go to sleep on his own, I would sing songs to comfort and read the same books nightly to create a sense of security. From one of those books filled with the rhyme and repetition that only Dr. Seuss can do so masterfully, come these words:
The Waiting Place …
… for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
(Oh, The Places You’ll Go, Seuss.)
It’s fun to read those words and laugh at the nonsensical pictures, but how often do we really find ourselves in an endless holding pattern?
When we moved here twelve years ago, the plan was clear and simple. Matt would go to seminary for three years while I worked, and we would move (most likely back to Texas) and continue on our simple life. I waited for this for almost eleven years.
For much of that time, I was busy planning out the rest of our lives according to the plan and vision we had when we first got married. The only problem with that is that the plans of two 22 year olds often don’t match up to the weight of real world responsibility, let alone calling.
For the past year or so I’ve been attempting to set aside my plans and dreams from long ago, and have a more hands off — hands open approach. I’ll be the first to admit that it’s been messy and many times reminiscent of a game of truth or dare, wherein I dare and He reveals truth.
“God, you’re going to have to make it very clear that …”
“God, I just don’t think I can do another year of …”
“If we’re supposed to stay here then …”
And as He responds with provision that I cannot deny is from Him, with peace and with plans, and with a love for my kids greater than I can bestow on them, my prayers are slowly changing … I am realizing that a life entrusted to the Author of Life, is never anything less than an adventure and that trusting the One who has never failed brings the rarest kind of simplicity.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
Is. 40:30-31, NRSV
So whether I am waiting for a full night’s sleep or the realization of a dream …
No matter if I find myself consumed with teaching my kids or looking for a new way of educating them …
When I struggle to have meaningful interactions with my loved ones or I can’t wait to have alone time …
If work is all consuming or I’m looking forward to a week of ceaseless quality time with my husband …
Wherever I find myself, I’m not waiting alone.
“For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”
Deut. 31:6, HCSB
I am so aware that God knows me better than I know myself, and that He is aware that I don’t wait gracefully, and yet He meets me exactly where I am, and He does the same for you. And when He does, there is no doubt that we have experienced the presence of God. The presence that reassures, protects, heals, restores, builds faith, and always places glory where it is due. How thankful I am that even when I doubt, when trust is anything but easy, I serve a God that looks on the heart, and meets me in quiet moments with perfect peace and clarity.
At that moment, the Lord passed by. A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire.
And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper.
When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave.
I Kings 19:11-13, HCSB
I’m so honored to be blogging with a group of amazing ladies this year. To read more on waiting, read Staci’s blog.