The best piece of advice I’ve ever received when it comes to waiting, especially when it comes to having joy while you’re waiting is to not put your life on hold while you wait. After I heard this I realised that without intending to I occasionally do this. I put my life on hold while I am waiting for Gods promise to come to flourish. I also do find that I do this when I’m waiting for a plan I’ve made to come to flourish in my life. I don’t intend for this to happen or even think I’m doing it during the waiting, but I do.
Some of the ways I’ve put my life on hold while waiting was when I’ve said “I’ll do that when I’m married”, or “I can only do this then because this may happen”. Another example is when it comes to planning something I look ahead and imagine what the future will be like or if I can do what we’re planning to do then if this or that has happened. That was a long complicated sentence, to give an example of what I mean; David and I have to wait six months from the end of September to try and fall pregnant because of the whole partial molar pregnancy miscarriage. This means that in February/March next year we can start trying for our next baby. The waiting sucks and it’s hard because we wanted to have another baby sooner rather than later, but I can’t live in a place of not making plans for next year and living in limbo because I may be pregnant. Alternatively I can make plans for next year and if I am pregnant we can revisit those plans and change them if need be. I hope this makes sense. I’m not going to stop doing things or not plan to do certain things because of a chance I’ll be pregnant, all this will do is rob me of the joy of living life now.
I think that when we rob ourselves of the joy we could be experiencing now it opens the door to bitterness. In other words, you get angry because you don’t have what you’re waiting for yet or because the process is taking too long. This anger can turn into bitterness, especially if we don’t deal with it properly. I think it’s okay to be disappointed during the waiting but we should check our hearts for bitterness during this time. This has been one of the hardest challenges for me, to not let bitterness creep into my heart. It’s also been a challenge to choose joy during this waiting period, but it is worth it. I also think the only way that I can choose joy is by letting God into the frustration with waiting, or the anger or the pain and allow him to work his healing there.
Another piece of advise I heard was to use my time well, to be productive and to find purpose in the season I’m in. There may be things I won’t be able to do once I get what I’m waiting for. I remember how I would go to my besties house at least once or twice a week before I was married. Now that I’m married and especially now that I am a mom I can’t just go and spend hours and hours there like I used to. I also had a lot more time for ministry related things and I could volunteer with more than one organisation and be out 3 nights a week. I guess I would say I was living in my purpose for the season of singleness where I had more time for different things than I do now. A way that I can use my time well now is how I invest in the Lion’s life now while he is still an only child. I don’t know if I will be able to have as much one on one time with him when the next baby arrives. These years of it just being us are precious and I shouldn’t rob him of this because I’m more focused on the future. My purpose right now, besides being a wife is to also be the best mom I can be for the lion and to shape his character while he is still an only child before this changes to a mom of two. I can also apply this to the season of ministry. I would love to be more involved in ministry again, but God told me a few months ago to step out of ministry and to rest. Since I’ve done this I’ve realised that my biggest ministry for now is my family. Instead of planning teen church lessons for the teens on a Sunday, I’m praying with the lion and reading him/telling him bible stories. For this season this is enough and I’m finding lots of joy in it.
When the day is long and the waiting is hard I try to remind myself that God knows the bigger picture. He understands why I have to wait a little bit longer than I planned. He’s also using this time to prepare me for what is coming, I may think I’m ready but he may have a little bit more learning for me to do. I also know God is good and he is faithful and even though he’s making me wait he will be faithful to keep his promises even when the waiting is hard and when things look impossible.