Tuesday, June 10, 2014


It is something about the waiting, isn't it? I don't know anyone who waits well. Maybe it's because we all know that what we're really waiting on is change. We're waiting to ask a question. We're waiting to make a move. We're waiting for the time when something, or someone, is about to have the chance to speak into our lives and here we are, opening our lives up to this very thing! We are emptying ourselves and creating space for whatever comes next, and it's hard.

Because it doesn't feel like it's anything. It feels like whatever we're waiting on is something but this? This is nothing. This waiting is the emptiness. This waiting is idleness. This waiting does not change us, not in the way whatever's coming will.

Or does it?

When you understand waiting in the context of change, you realize that waiting is really the thing. Waiting is the crucial moment. Waiting is the preparation for what's next, and most of us miss our chance to prepare because we're so uncomfortable waiting. But waiting is the big thing.

It's the moment when you're hovering, feet in the air, waiting to come down into some new reality, trying to figure out if you're floating or falling. Trying to figure out if you'll be caught or you'll crash. Trying to figure out what the next thing is going to mean.

These are all questions we answer in the waiting, whether we're aware of it or not. Waiting is the time when we decide what whatever comes next is allowed to mean.

Have you ever thought about it that way?

It's true. In the waiting, we declare, "I'm about to be the kind of person who _________." And that has implications.

It doesn't matter whether what comes next is a given or only a possibility. It doesn't matter whether you have any say in what's going to happen. It doesn't matter whether this is something you want to do or something you have to do. The waiting is all the same. It's a time to reflect. It's a time to consider. It's a time to choose.

Waiting is a special time.

I've had this experience a few times in my life. That is, I've been able to pull off a conscious waiting heart. I wish I knew how it happened (so I could do it more faithfully and not agonize so much in the waiting). I have to admit - it just seems easier in some situations than in others.

For instance, back in February when I was getting ready to preach in a new venue for the first time, I initially wondered how I would ever get through Sunday morning. I wasn't set to preach until the Sunday afternoon services, and even on a busy Sunday, this seemed to leave plenty of time for me to, uhm, stress out. Like I normally would. Not because I'm nervous or scared but just because I'd be waiting for the opportunity. Waiting on the services to actually start. Waiting to step up and say my hellos.

Early that Sunday morning, in a quiet moment before I really even got my day started, I had one powerful thought sneak into my conscious. "This. is gonna be cool." This is what God created me for, what He called me to, and what He constructed into this day. My preaching that afternoon was perfectly what God intended for that day, and you know what? I had no trouble waiting. Yes, my heart was aflutter. Yes, I had intermittent deep breaths and moments without breathing at all. Yes, I was excited. But I was also...okay. Sunday morning service came and went. I made some lunch. Ate some lunch. (Kept it down.) Drove on over to the chapel, said my hellos, introduced myself, and preached. Then grabbed a burger on the way home.

I kind of hit on this in February, too, when I wrote about being a single girl on Valentine's Day. I wrote about spending the day in anticipation of, and preparation for, my love. Whoever he is. Whenever he's coming. Because I understand that God has written love into my story and he's out there. So in the waiting, I'm focusing on what God is doing with all of this and I'm okay. It's okay to wait.

It happens really by accident that I get waiting right. I'm trying to be more diligent about it, but it's hard when you wake up and the nerves have already taken over. The possibility of change is already there. But I think, from the few times I've stumbled on it, that this is the key to waiting:

To take the time to focus on what God is doing.

Waiting is directly related to change. The agony of waiting is the conflict of knowing that things are about to change, and either you want them to, you're scared they will, or you're scared they won't. Those are the big three. But when you take the time - the waiting - to reflect on how that change reflects what God is doing in you, it settles your spirit. It doesn't take away any of the anticipation or the excitement. It doesn't necessarily alleviate the hesitation or the fear. But it provides an understanding of what's about to happen, of the very real possibility that God is using whatever comes next to draw you closer to His plan for your life.

Whether that means you're about to become a person who trusts in the healing power of the Lord, because you've opened up the possibility that your body may be broken. Or you're about to become a person who refuses to settle and has to say no to something really good because it's not holy. Or you're about to become a person who can stand on her own two feet, without a man to lean on because he's not the man God wants you to spend your life with. Or you're about to become a man who is an incredible father to a child he never planned on having.

Or you're about to become a person who enjoys a Bacon McDouble because it's delicious and cheap and God has created you for things that taste good.

Whatever it is in the waiting, whatever statement is about to be made - it's not just about your life. It's not just about who you are. It's about who you are in God and His life in you. It's about what He's doing. Big things, little things, things that are coming for sure and things that are only possibilities. Things you would choose and things you would shy away from. Whatever it is that's put you in this season of waiting. It's a reflection on the word that God speaks, if you're listening to your heart.

And the waiting isn't merely waiting for this. It's a season all its own. It's a time of preparation where you get to decide whether you fall or you fly. Whether you crash or you'll be caught. It's a time where you get to empty your hands of whatever you're holding onto and prepare to grab onto a new thing. Whatever that thing may be.

It's hard to do. But it does make the waiting easier.

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