Life has been a crazy ride the last few months. It’s finally settling into something that looks “normal” and all I can say is “whew!”
It’s not been a bad ride, just busy.
After almost ten years, we stepped down from church leadership.
We moved out of the four bedroom house supplied by the church as part of Jay’s pay, moved into a two bedroom apartment, and purged more than half of our belonging. For the first time in years, we’re paying rent. Yowza!
Our conversation to step out of church leadership wasn’t a short one. We began talking about our exit more than two years ago. We weren’t sure where we were going but we knew we had to move. But not just then.
It may seem weird that we knew God was telling us to move but we waited almost two years before doing so. And it was. But it was necessary. God is a God of perfect timing. He never gets it wrong.
For two years, we felt our time drawing to a close. We knew we were setting out — but we didn’t know to where.
If I’m honest, it was completely crazy feeling.
In Isaiah 55, God reminds us that His ways are not ours. He thinks and works differently. He is not a man and He doesn’t work like a man.
At first, we tried to create our own next steps. We formulated plans and spend hours evaluating how best to proceed. Then one day, we just quit. It wasn’t planned but we just quit preparing. We stayed alert but un-moving for more than a year until things started happening around us.
Through a series of God-ordained circumstances, things just began to fall into place. If we had tried to move before it was time, those moments wouldn’t have been ready. We wouldn’t have been ready. We would have ended up confused, misplaced, and frustrated.
Was the waiting easy? Nope! And we’re still waiting!
But we’re at peace and God is opening doors that we could never even have imagined. The open doors are serving not just as directions but as confirmation. God is making the path straight before us.
Waiting on God isn’t
always easy. It can be frustrating, confusing, and wearisome. But over the years, I’ve learned something very important — It’s always worth it.
This isn’t my first time waiting on God and it certainly won’t be my last. When it is a waiting time, I engage three helpful things to help me wait better.
1.Create a distraction
This doesn’t mean more Netflix or time scanning Pinterest. I might organize my kitchen drawers, try some new art form, or explore a little more. These distractions aren’t meant to de-rail me and take me off course. They’re not put into place so I grow lazy or overly content in my waiting. The distractions are small ways for me to not lose sight the present moments, grow a little more, and enjoy the life God has given me.
2.Prepare my person
Many of the distractions I put into place are designed to help me grow, gain new knowledge, and stay connected to the present. I don’t want to become dull while I wait so I focus on preparing myself for whatever is next. I don’t need to know what’s coming next to know that binge watching that show will not prepare me for what God is calling me to do — so I go to the gym regularly. I work to pay off any extra debt. I learn more about the world. I organize all the things just in case he asks me to leave this place. Most importantly, I try to learn more about God and His ways. Preparation is steady race that isn’t going to prepare me for everything but it will make me more ready for whatever comes next.
3.Allow some daydreams
In the first Harry Potter book, Prof. Dumbledore tells Harry ““It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” And it’s true. My wait cannot be spent in dreamland. I can’t live while thinking about all that could be or all that could go wrong.
However, sometimes, I enjoy pulling together the pieces of my life and seeing what they might have been preparing me for. I allow the happy daydreams to become moments when God could speak. I quickly find a distraction if the daydream goes sour. One thing is a certain though, I don’t use the daydreams to formulate plans. God alone knows where I’m going next and I don’t want to exchange His plan for mine.
The pleasant daydreams are for my imagination to run wild with amazing things. And it’s awesome to think that God is able to do far more than I could possibly imagine!
Waiting isn’t easy. The term “waiting room” has never conjured up pleasant, happy, or exciting images. However, with these three tools in my belt, I find that I handle the wait much better. 🙂