Being in community with many women in waiting, in tandem with my own seasons of waiting, I have learned how we handle the wait says so much about what we believe to be true about God.
I have seen some resign their lives to the sidelines, while others bravely live fully in the midst of the wait.
What are you waiting for?
A spouse? (or an improved version of the one you have ;)
A much deserved promotion?
Not many of us would describe seasons of waiting as joyful or peaceful. Instead we feel torn between our world that is and the world we so desperately long for—believing that once the wait is over life will be fulfilled, easier.
In the wait we give ourselves excuses to check out. And instead of pressing into what IS, we hold out for what WILL BE—missing out on the life happening all around us, the opportunities to join in on what God is doing and participating in His Kingdom coming.
But we all know that when the wait is over for thing “A”, the wait begins for thing “B”. And so, we tend to live in part, thinking our lives will begin when the wait ends.
All too often, in our seasons of waiting, we convince ourselves that God can’t use us. We believe that things will be better, that we will be better when we get to the other side of this thing, and THEN we can lead, THEN we can serve.
Last year I sat at a women’s retreat overcome with feeling stuck. A mom of a one year old and one on the way, I felt trapped in my life stage, unable to truly step into the things that God was calling me to. I was convincing myself I would have to wait until my girls were in school, or even out of the house.
How long, oh Lord, must I wait? Did I miss the window?
Then the speaker of the retreat said something I will never forget: “the call for your life is God’s call for your kids’ lives.”
And in that moment I suddenly realized there is no “ideal” season of life to go all in for Jesus and live fully for His kingdom. There is no ideal stage of life to take steps toward the things He has called us to, except right now.
I felt permission to step out and say, “Here I am, God—use me, now! I am incomplete and don’t have all this figured out and I don’t have enough sleep to think logically all the time and I don’t feel qualified, but here I am. Use me!” Some things in my life have really shifted since that day.
Have you told yourself this lie: “I can’t lead or step out for the Kingdom right now, but when I’m out of this season of waiting THEN I will be capable, strong enough, wise enough”?
If you are a follower of Jesus, you are already a leader. Because leadership is influence, and we are all influencing someone. And the best leaders I have experienced are those who admit they are in process, not having life all figured out— people open to being transformed into the likeness of Christ—relying on Him for strength and wisdom instead of mustering it up on their own.
God isn’t looking for the most qualified, those who have all of their ducks in a row and kitchens cleaned. He uses the weak, the marginalized, the unexpected, the moms, the singles, the unorganized (PTL)… the waiting. He is looking for the person who is open to Him—the son or daughter He can transform in front of their friends, families, enemies, and coworkers—the people we influence.
God isn’t waiting for you to get to that next thing. He is ready to use you now.
He is inviting you to walk with Him and join Him. Think about how much life and ministry we would miss out on if we always gave God the typical excuses.
“When I graduate...” “When I get married…” “When I get that job…” “When the kids are out of the house...” “When I am more financially stable…” “When I’m more qualified…”
In Mark 13, Jesus is telling a few of His disciples what to look for in the end times. Jesus then explains the day and hour are unknown, and a powerful little nugget about idle living in verse 36 struck me:
“Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping.”
If Jesus came back today, would He find you sleeping?
Our seasons of waiting do not give us a license or excuse to be idle, to not participate in being transformed. Life on earth will never be “complete” and we will never arrive at the perfect place to step out and into the things He has called us to.
What would it look like for you to say YES to God right now?
As we yearn for the end result, yet press into the process, it is in this dissonance that, if we let Him, God can come in and teach us deep, transformational things about ourselves and about His love and faithfulness.
Because isn’t “the wait” right where God has placed us all? In His Kingdom, but not fully. Living His promises, but not completely.
We wait for His return, the perfection of His creation. This life on earth is a lifetime of waiting. He created us for waiting, for longing. He has equipped us to thrive in it…
May you say YES to God today in your waiting! And may you value the process over perfection, the transformation over the destination.
Press on, my friends. Not to an end result, but toward Jesus.
What are you waiting for?
Grace and Peace,