The Wonder in the Wait

wait

“Waiting helps us see God’s hand in our lives.”

We are in the middle of a fruit of the Spirit series at church. Patience was the topic this past weekend and the statement above is one I’ve been pondering. Yesterday, I shared with some volunteers a time in my own life when a season of waiting opened my eyes to beauty that never would have come about had plans worked out the way I thought they should have worked out.

I’ve experienced two types of waiting in my life. The intentional/deliberate waiting is the kind of holding pattern where we are waiting for more direction and discernment from God before we move. You are waiting for the right door to open up…not just any door. You are waiting for the green light to move forward instead of running out ahead of God. You wait because you know (from experience) how messy life can become if you move first and then ask for God’s blessing on your decision.

The other type of waiting, and the type I’m thinking about today, is the forced waiting. This is when you have no other choice but to wait. The test results from your doctor or the phone call from a potential job are the two examples that come to mind.

Years ago, when my husband and I were trying to have our second child, I found myself in the middle of one of those forced waiting seasons. About a year after our son was born, I quickly conceived but then miscarried a couple of months into the pregnancy.  A short time later we started trying again. And then we waited and waited and waited. About a year later, we discovered from a fertility specialist that there was a valid reason as to why I was having trouble conceiving. Doctors did what they could to help our chances.

During this forced wait, my heart became convinced that one of the ministries the church I was plugged into needed was a Christian based recovery group. I had surrendered an addiction to alcohol a few year earlier and a local secular 12 step group played a significant role in my recovery. I had heard of a faith based 12 step group called Celebrate Recovery and felt strongly that a ministry like this would be beneficial for folks in our congregation who might be struggling with a hurt, habit or hang-up.

One Sunday morning, I approached an Elder friend at our church with this idea.  “Somebody needs to start this ministry.”  And like any good leader, my Elder friend’s response was: “that’s a fantastic idea!  Would you be willing to lead it?”

“Waiting helps us see God’s hand in our lives.”

I had never led a group in my life. I had never even considered it.  I was scared.  Could I possibly do this, Lord? 

Six months later I remember sitting in one of those meetings. It was one of those powerful small group sessions when the air filling the space around you is sweet and tender and perfect. It was as if Jesus had pulled up a chair and what sitting there with us. I remember feeling overwhelmed with gratitude. That night, I told the ladies in the group how we most likely wouldn’t have been sitting there together had life played out the way I would have chosen to write the story.

His hand was all over my waiting.  My plan hadn’t been birthed but His plan had...and that plan was beautiful.  Friendships were being created. Hearts were being healed. Life real life was being formed and reborn in each and every one of us.

2 thoughts on “The Wonder in the Wait

    1. Eileen Post author

      I had forgotten about that, Anne. Such a big season of getting out of the boat for me. 🙂

      Reply

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