Written February 2009:
Today I spoke with a few friends who are waiting.
And if you've ever had to wait, you know waiting is hard.
One of them said the most simple, yet profound statement to me. Through her tears she told me, "We are choosing to wait, but that doesn't mean it is easy."
I could not agree with that statement more. It could not be a more accurate description of the two-year season of waiting Ryan and I experienced. We chose to wait on God. We chose to wait in Hope for our future family. But it was not easy. It was really really hard.
During my season of waiting a friend gave me a copy of a talk from her church in Iowa: the sermon was titled Waiting Well and it was given by Pastor John Fuller at Prairie Lakes Church.
I listened to this sermon over and over again. It gave me hope. It gave me encouragement. It helped me wait well. It was, by far, one of the most impactful sermons I have ever heard. Here are the notes I took on waiting well:
Be assured of this, if you are not in it right now, God will call all of us to waiting periods in our lives.
The way that we wait reveals the extent to which we trust the one we are ultimately waiting for.
It’s not that you will have to wait, cuz we all are going to have to wait. It’s how you wait. What happens when you wait.
How then do we wait well on God?
1 – Think right while you wait. God will often use waiting parts in your life to groom you. You can grind against it or say “God, keep making me more like you.” Never forget that God is working in you….you can grind against it or you can accept it.
2 – Stay present in the waiting. There is always the temptation to look to the next thing. You gotta grow right where he’s got you. Mary said “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said" and "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Holy is his name."
3 – Watch out. Don’t become a weak target during your wait. Whatever your greatest strength is can be your greatest weakness. Don’t lose the time while your waiting, use the time for the Kingdom.
4 – Give thanks. Contentment comes when we abandon the search for what we lack and learn to live with what we have. Even if it’s a desert time, he’s got ya.
5 – Seek God. Learn to love God not just for what he can do for you – not just the gifts and blessings – learn to just love God. I just want you. I want to know you.
How you wait matters. If you wait well….one day you will be able to say, “Here’s what God did, here’s what God did, here’s what God did during my wait.”
Friends, that is what this blog is all about. Sharing what God did during my wait. Some days I waited well, some days I did not. It was the hardest desert season of my life. But today I firmly believe what Pastor Fuller says: The way that we wait reveals the extent to which we trust the one we are ultimately waiting for.
It's not about our wait. Really it isn't. It's about trusting the One we are ultimately waiting for.
May we all strive to wait well and one day we'll all share what God did during our wait.
Posted August 2009:
This is an e-mail sent to me in December 2007 by my mother-in-law. I often talked about Waiting Well with her and encouraging others to do so. She sent me this e-mail and it so touched my heart. I came across it the other day. I am not posting it as a way to say "look at how well I waited," but rather to encourage all of you who are in a waiting season of life to strive to wait well and make the most of your time of waiting...
My Dear Stacy,
I see you waiting across the room, everyone is congratulating your friend who just announced that she is pregnant. I see you smile and busy yourself.
I see you hold the newborns and lovingly coo and rock them.
I see you proudly show off photos of your best friend’s baby girl.
I see the delight in your face as you meet your husband’s cousin’s baby for the first time
I heard that you helped your friend make her birth announcements.
I know you traveled miles to visit your new nephew and congratulate your brother and his wife…many times!
I know you are a great support to a friend who had to give up her 2 foster children.
I know you spent a weekend with a friend and her new baby to help her out.
I know you have cried along side others who have lost their babies
I know you have written notes and cards
I know you have shared on the ‘blog’ to moms who benefited from your encouragement…even when you needed the encouragement.
I know you have stood by the grave of a newborn and cried as if it was your own.
I know you have felt pain, anger, lost, confusion, disappointment and sadness.
I know…that I don’t know…
But I know you are waiting…
and I know you are ‘Waiting Well’.
You couldn’t be doing all these things that I know about or have seen in you if you weren’t ‘waiting well.’ You are “numbering your days aright, you are gaining a heart of wisdom.”
Don’t discount that you are also ‘living’ as you are waiting and because of that you are making an impact on others. You are not avoiding the pain or ignoring the loss, you are acknowledging the fact that God is in control every time you reach out and help a new mom. Every time you put your pain aside and rejoice with another’s happiness, you are loving one another as Christ loves you.
You are living and I am so proud of you. You are present in the moment…waiting, hurting, wishing, but you are present and that is what life is all about. Being present in the moment and living for others. You are of great worth.
I am waiting, too. I am waiting to see what God has in mind for both you and Ryan. Your maturity and love for one another is so rare these days. I can only think that even God is waiting to see just how He will best make the most of you and Ryan…a couple that loves each other and is committed to walking a journey that is so painful.
I love you,