Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Weathering a season of waiting

I'm not a patient person. I do my grocery shopping online and pick them up to avoid waiting. I order most things on Prime so anything I purchase can be at my door in two days. I burn the roof of my mouth often because I can't seem to wait for my food to cool. Being a therapist and later a mom has helped me grow some in that department, but I still have a lot of learning to do. So as you can imagine, being in a season of waiting is difficult. 

I've been through a few seasons of waiting in my life - waiting to find love with someone, waiting for marriage, waiting for a child, waiting for a job - and each time felt as if they were never going to end. I would wonder why God wouldn't answer me already, what He wanted from me in those times. When those seasons of waiting would come to an end, I would often be able to look back and understand His timing or why He answered my prayers and questions the way He did. It would make sense why He told me "no" at times, and why He led me in certain directions. 

I never seem to learn, though. Here I am in another season of waiting, and I am going to confess I'm having a difficult time of it. I have been faithfully praying for over a year about it, wondering what direction I am supposed to take. I feel like I have been hitting a wall over and over again, and this past week I finally broke down and cried in between bursts of anxiety. How can I stay positive in this time? 

Being someone who externally processes things, I reached out to others. Unfortunately, I became frustrated. "Pray about it", "give over control", "stop asking God to just give you what you want instead of asking what He wants". As if I hadn't been doing that. I had been praying, I had been asking what His will was in this situation, I had been trying to listen. The unfortunate thing was, I wasn't getting any more clarity. Of course I wasn't giving up control, when I wasn't sure what to give up control over! Why do we guilt each other, instead of building one another up? I knew their hearts were in the right place, but it still hurt. Not everyone approached things this way, but it certainly didn't help.

If you are in a season of waiting - and confusion - like me, then I am here for you. Let's talk about it in a more positive and empathetic way. Some women I reached out to pointed out something important: we can learn a lot during a period of waiting. What is God trying to teach me in this moment? Of course patience, but what else? I know looking back at other times in my life, He was preparing something far better than I ever could have imagined. When I was denied acceptance into certain graduate schools, it was because there was a better fit for me - and He was right! I graduated with an MSW in one and a half years, and was able to even though we moved to a different state. When I was confused about dating, and if I would find the right person for me, He was shaping me into the woman I needed to be in order to accept the love offered to me. When I cried multiple times over a negative pregnancy test He knew that my daughter was the child I was meant to have. I may not be able to determine the why now, but I am sure someday I will.

I am the type of person who is always focused on what's next. What is the next goal I need to accomplish, or task I need to complete. Maybe my seasons of waiting are simply to teach me to rest. As some of those who I reached out to pointed out, this is an opportunity for gratitude. I can take this time in life to look around and appreciate what I have versus what I am waiting for. Goodness knows I am blessed beyond measure. 

Look, I promised to share the difficult moments in life as well as the happy. I can't tie this post up in a neat little bow, because I am still "in the trenches" so to speak. I am hoping to look back at this time and laugh, and know what was meant to be will be. Right now all I can say is: you aren't alone. 

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