Last week I walked out of work and I yelled at God.
I let Him have it.
Here’s the thing: my words weren't a surprise to God because He knows me intimately. He knows when I sit and when I rise and when I lay down. So He is certainly aware of my emotions.
It was a tough week after the car accident and some communication misunderstandings and I screamed at God, “What am I supposed to write about waiting well? What do you want me to tell these people?!” (By ‘these people’ I mean all of you.)
“Right now the waiting is. so. hard. What do you want me to write? We already know that You love us and that You understand. But it still hurts. It hurts so bad right now. Waiting is incredibly painful.”
And then I knew. That's exactly what I should tell His people:
God desperately loves you and He deeply understands, but that doesn't mean it’s not painful.
It hurts when they make the unexpected announcement you've been longing to make.
It hurts when they get to make a choice you can only dream of making.
It hurts when they get the recognition that you are waiting to receive.
It hurts when they take for granted what you desperately want.
It hurts when it's in His control, and yet He's choosing to say no.
When Ryan and I got engaged it was a joyous time. It had been a long eight-year journey and I was ecstatic to finally be tying the knot. I went dress shopping. I asked my attendants to support me. We picked out a venue for the reception. We chose a photographer. We registered for gifts. We attended bridal showers. I was a glowing bride-to-be.
But in the midst of my joy, my dear friend (and roommate!) was heartbroken. Her engagement had been called off. What should have been a time of shopping together, dreaming together and planning together, was now a time of mixed emotions. On March 9, 2001, she walked down the aisle dressed in navy rather than white. She danced as a bridesmaid rather than a bride. And she endured a painful season as my dreams progressed and she continued to wait on God for her future husband.
Fast forward five and a half years: In due time God brought a wonderful man into her life and they had gotten married 10 months earlier. She discovered she was pregnant and shared her pregnancy news with us. However, her announcement was bittersweet. Just weeks earlier I had lost our baby to miscarriage and I was grieving that loss. It was deeply painful to see her walk through a season that I longed to be in: wearing maternity clothes, registering for baby gifts, preparing a nursery, attending baby showers. Shopping, planning, and dreaming. She was a glowing mama-to-be.
Looking back now I see how God met us in our times of waiting. He dried our tears. He walked alongside us through our pain. He used those seasons to prepare us for what He had in store.
The worlds tells us to take control. God says, "Trust me. I'm in control."
The world tells us that waiting is wasting time. God says, "Blessed are all those who wait for me."
The kind of waiting that the world laughs and scorns at can be excruciatingly painful.
I've referenced these words by C.S. Lewis before: “We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”
When the waiting hurts we can cling with desperation to the promise that He makes everything beautiful in its time. That means He is working all things together right now for beauty.
Sometimes waiting for beauty hurts like hell, but it's the only thing worth waiting for.