Topics: Infertility, patient endurance, abiding in Christ, reading Scripture.
I’m really familiar with waiting. Like up-close-and-personal kind of familiar. Like you’ve-seen-all-the-worst-parts-of-me kind of familiar. Waiting and I—we’re not exactly friends, but I don’t think we’re enemies either. We’ve been in a few rough fights, but I’ve learned to appreciate her too. We’re like middle school buddies who’ve become adults. We may not see eye to eye all the time, but she knew me when I wore bright blue eyeshadow and went through that Zac Efron obsession, and I knew her when she covertly binged Laguna Beach even though she wasn’t allowed to watch MTV. (This is all hypothetical, of course, and not at all experienced scenarios.)
But we’ll always have that thing, you know? We’ve hit the lowest of lows together, and we’ve come out on the other side in one piece (for the most part). Hindsight tells me to thank God for the waiting; for it was in the waiting where He made me a warrior.
My worst fight with waiting involved a lot of negative pregnancy tests, needles, and prayers. It involved a lot of question-asking and tear-crying and heart-breaking. But I also had some good times with waiting, too. I desperately reached for God in a way I hadn’t before. I laughed so much it hurt. I grew thankful for the small-but-beautiful moments that otherwise might have gone unnoticed.
For me, I think the hardest thing with waiting is the not-knowing.
When will this end?
How will this end?
How is God going to use this?
It’s in those middle, in-between moments where I find myself regressing in frustrated impatience. And then I get frustrated at myself becauseof my frustration in a weird, downward spiral that is not entirely becoming.
I think, “If I am following Jesus, shouldn’t I be able to wait in a peaceful and patient manner? I should be better at this by now. I am the actual worst.” (This is a very logical thought process, obviously.) As my inner monologue starts to go in a dangerous and doubtful direction, I get a little (or a lot) panicky.
But then, like a good father picking up his small-and-scared little girl, the Lord faithfully leads me back to Himself. He lets me ask the questions and then turns me in the right direction. I just have to follow, step by step.
The main way God healed many of my waiting wounds was through Scripture. I opened up the Bible when I didn’t feel like it, and He gently reoriented my perspective. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, His Word washed over me and gave me life, purpose, and hope.
“but they 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.”
(Isaiah 40:31; emphasis added)
Through Scripture, the Lord showed me not to wait on circumstances, necessarily, but to wait on HIM. Because as we lift our gazes off ourselves and onto our Savior, we can’t help but grow in patient contentment. This is how we wrestle through the difficult moments. This is how we persevere through the hard things. This is how we wait well. We must keep looking to the God of the Bible, over and over again.
We won’t do this perfectly, of course. And Lord knows it won’t always be easy, breezy, or beautiful (unlike a Cover Girl ad). We will definitely trip over our own desires and get somewhat sidetracked sometimes. We will continue to have occasional thought spirals that are not true.
But we can keep coming back to this truth: God’s timing and plans have always been—and will always be—perfect and good. We can’t always see the beautiful masterpiece the Lord is painting, but He intimately knows every detail, color, and stroke. Do I sometimes wish that it was more of a paint-by-number situation? Sure. But I’m not the Master Artist; He is.
As I look back on my hardest wait yet, I can see more of His masterpiece. It’s more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. The wrestling of the wait revealed a wondrous work.
Maybe you’re in the messy middle of a difficult waiting season right now. Or maybe you find yourself antsy and frustrated in the everyday waits you find yourself in: checkout lines, traffic lights, holds with those not-always-friendly customer service representatives.
Even though your wait may seem like an inconvenience, it’s really an invitation. An invitation to grow in patience. An invitation to rely on Jesus. An invitation to slow down and surrender to the God who’s got it all figured out.
I see you and have a word of encouragement for you today, friend:
Let’s halt our hurry and watch the Lord to use our times of wait for His glory!
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Alex Fly is a writer, designer, and entrepreneur living in Birmingham, AL with her college-sweetheart husband and miracle baby girl. She loves a funny stand-up show as much as she admires a heartfelt poem, but mostly finds herself somewhere in the messy middle—over-analyzing all the things while joyfully clinging to the grace of Jesus. Alex is passionate about designing happy mail through her business, Alex Fly Designs, and creating Biblical resources that point others to the cross through her blog, The Harvest Letters.