The waiting. In a world of instant gratification, where I literally LOSE MY MIND when the internet is even just a little bit slow, God often makes us wait. We wait for answers, wait for a diagnosis, wait for a spouse, a child. And more times than not, these are good desires to have, understandable questions to want answers to or even bold prayers of healing, and yet God makes us wait.
Throughout the Bible there is verse after verse on waiting on the Lord. And I can relate so much to David in the Psalms because he is praising God one minute and crying out to Him in frustration the next. But all throughout the wait, He is preparing people for something bigger. Like a good dad, He knows what we need, He knows how rooted we need to be in Him, and so, sometimes He makes us wait so that we seek Him.
We don’t need God until we NEED Him. Isn’t it true in life that we often don’t need God until we NEED God? We give God our leftover time, leftover energy. We don’t seek Him with all that we’ve got until we are desperate to hear from Him? Pastor Joby Martin once said, “It’s often only at rock bottom that we actually look up.” And I’m ashamed to say that it’s true in my life. It’s been those moments when I was longing to find my companion for life that I was on my knees desperate to hear from Him. It was in those years that all we wanted was a healthy baby, that we stopped and cried out. It was in those moments where my husband was in the hospital that made me stop and cry out for the only one who could really heal him.
The Waiting is HARD. It was in those agonizing moments of waiting ,where my only hope was in God to provide, that I felt God in a way I never had before. But, it wasn’t always pretty waiting, and gracious peace while I waited. It was HARD, and desperation is the only way to describe how I felt. I remember those moments so well. It’s so easy for people NOT waiting to tell you: Be patient, it will happen in God’s timing. He will show up when you least expect it. Have you considered adoption? The list goes on and on of the stupid things good intentioned people say in those moments. And honestly the only good piece of advice I ever received in one of my moments of desperation was this, “Lean in. Be mad with God. Be honest with Him, but make sure you are being honest WITH Him and not at Him.” For some reason that really impacted me. From that moment on, I decided that instead of being angry and avoiding God, I would be angry WITH Him. I would lean in, wait patiently (or try to anyway), and meet God in that place. I started being dependent on God in a desperate way because my life was in shambles and He was the only light I could see. I desperately needed Him to REDEEM my situation.
Be Still and Lean In. In my experience, every time I’ve been desperate for God, desiring something that is completely out of my control, that God was preparing me for something great, something for my good and His glory. I heard a quote recently that left a mark on my soul, “When God has an impossible task to accomplish, he finds an impossible person and crushes them. So leave room for the crushing. In every great work of God, brokenness and failure are necessary.” (Chuck Swindoll) Wow. That’s a prayer I would NEVER pray for myself or anyone I love, but man, I’ve seen it to be true in my own life, and it also gives me a great sense of peace, power and purpose. God meets us in those desperate places. He deepens our faith and it is in those times that we realize that our circumstances don’t dictate our joy. It’s in those desperate places that we start to understand the depth of His love for us and the great purpose He has ahead of us.
He Will Redeem It. I remember a moment when I was coming home from a doctor’s appointment. I was crying on the interstate because it was a follow up after a miscarriage. At that point, I heard the song, “Worn” by Tenth Avenue North. They couldn’t have described how I felt more if I had written the lyrics myself.
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes to keep on breathing
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart that’s frail and torn
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
‘Cause I’m worn
For us, going through all that we did before having Kennedy, taking us to a place of desperation for Him, gave us a stronger and healthier marriage, and rooted us so much deeper in Christ. And, because of it, we are better parents for Kennedy. If I had never experienced waiting on the Lord for a husband, I wouldn’t appreciate the man God chose for me like I do now. Waiting on the Lord for a child deepened my faith in His promises and made me realize what an incredible miracle a healthy baby truly is. If I had never been through all we did, I wouldn’t have found a passion for loving and encouraging other women going through similar things. I would never have discovered my passion for writing and speaking life into others. I would never have understood that NOTHING in this world satisfies my soul, and the only adventure great enough to satisfy me is in His great plan for my life.
Easy for me to say. I know it’s easy for me to tell you all of this because I am on the redemption side of trials (for now). But I say all of this to give you HOPE. Hope that God is bigger than our circumstances. God is bigger than our fear, doubt or questions. He loves us as His beloved children and wants to give us good things, in this life, not just in Heaven. As a good dad, he longs to give us the good desires of our hearts, we just have to trust in His timing, and trust Him in the waiting. Lean in, my loves. Lean in.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-6