On Waiting and Remembering

Good morning, citizens of the Interwebz!

I hope your Tuesday is off to a good start. Summer is in full swing here, complete with sunny skies and the occasional unexpected thunderstorm. My dogs hate the Scary Boom season. They will be absolutely useless in the apocalypse.

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I am feeling better every day. I’m walking lots, and some of the weight I’ve been struggling to lose seems to finally be breaking up or something. I think my body’s energy was diverted to doing damage control for a long time, and now it can just focus on processing everything properly. I am definitely watching my diet, though, because until I’m cleared to do my full workouts, I won’t be burning my regular level of calories.

In this healing season, I’ve been struggling with waiting. I am not a patient patient. After about three days of convalescence, I started doing some of my usual chores around the house again. After a week, I could not stand sitting around anymore, so I started walking. Y’all have no idea how tempted I am to haul the vacuum cleaner up the stairs and suck up all the tumbleweeds of dog hair.

And yet, I have been told to wait.

So this week, I want to share with all of you some thoughts about waiting, and I feel like I need to warn you–this one is Jesus-y. If you don’t like the Jesus-y posts, feel free to skip this one. You won’t miss out on any writing updates or anything.

 

The Background

I started ruminating on waiting and patience several weeks ago, actually–right before I scheduled this surgery.

Every morning when I get up, I take care of the furry children, grab coffee, and head to my office for some quiet time. This time is intended primarily for me to get some Jesus and come to full consciousness.

At some point on Sunday morning May 5, I checked my Facebook memories (this was before I opted out of the toxic social media stew), and this article from The Gospel Coalition popped up. It’s a careful examination of what it means to wait on the Lord when someone we love is not pursuing a good path. I shared this article back in 2017, when I was feeling the burden of waiting keenly after all the upheaval of 2016. When I read and shared it the first time, it was a balm to my spirit and reassurance that God is not idle.

Just a few days later, I visited the doctor and learned my diagnosis. He gave me a few options, and because I am an impatient person, I opted for surgery as soon as possible. We got it on the calendar, and I proceeded to wait.

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And now, I’m in another season of waiting.

 

The Things I’m Waiting For

Truth be told, I was in a season of waiting before I learned what was wrong with my body. I was already trying to lose weight and get my old fitness level back, and nothing was working, and I kept waiting with frustration for something to change–for my brain fog to lift, for my old energy to come back, for the scale to budge, anything!

I have been in a season of waiting for a long time with some people I love. When you see people you love making choices that are not in their best interests, it’s so hard to wait for them to bump into reality or express willingness to take advice.

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Our lives are full of times of waiting. I wait for clients to respond to me all the time. We wait for food orders in restaurants. We stand in lines waiting to be called forward. We wait for contractors, mechanics, delivery trucks. We tick the days off to big deadlines or events, eager or anxious or excited or nervous for the next stage.

Sometimes we wait for sad things. I am keenly aware as I enter the second half of my sixth decade on earth that there are likely fewer days ahead than behind, especially with some people I love. My old dog, Sirius, is getting more wobbly as the days go by; Tonks, though she’s four years younger than he is, is getting gray in her muzzle. I don’t eagerly anticipate any of these things, but I understand they are coming.

Sometimes there is waiting on things we have no control over. We watch storms approach, wondering how they’ll impact our daily lives. We watch politics and wars and wonder how things will turn out, what they will all mean. And I am well-aware of how my twelve best fans are still waiting on me to finish The Taurin Chronicles, knowing they have no control over my process.

Waiting is built into our experience on this planet.

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And yet… patience is not.

 

Act and Remember

I am increasingly convinced that patience is a spiritual discipline. I used to think it was something people either had or didn’t have, or maybe something that you used up over time, like a pitcher tipped over just enough to constantly drip patience into a bottomless sink, never refilled. I envied people who seemed to just be patient–those people who could basically wait out any storm with assurance and aplomb.

Have you ever noticed that those people are almost always older than we are by ten or twenty or more years?

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I am in a season of waiting. I am waiting for my body to heal, for visits and getaways planned this summer, for people I love to turn away from things that hurt them.

None of these things are easy to wait for.

But… there are two things I can do.

First, I can act. I can’t wave a wand and immediately be healed, but I can eat right and walk a lot, which will both improve recovery speed. I can’t make the calendar move faster, but I can prepare my house for visitors and work extra hours to finish client projects before upcoming events. And I can’t force people with free will to change direction, but I can love them as much as they’ll let me and pray hard for their hearts to soften. (And yes, prayer is action.)

And I can remember. So much of faith is about remembering. When I went dark, I spent a lot of time in prayer and reading my Bible, trying to figure out who I really was, what my purpose is, and whether I could even be considered a follower of Christ. I came out of that time on much more solid footing, but wondering why it all had to be so hard. When 2016 hit, I knew why–because if I hadn’t had that time, I would have likely turned away from the faith entirely in 2016 and not looked back. God prepared me for 2016 during that dark time.

So now, I remember. I remember that the people I’m worried about have dormant seeds planted in their hearts and minds, and all it will take is a little sunlight and water for those seeds to sprout. I remember a wayward child who stumbled back to family when he had been humbled. I remember that God never fails to deliver on his promises and that he loves other people far more than I do.

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Waiting is hard. Patience does not come naturally.

But while I wait, I act and remember, and I daily relinquish control of the things above my paygrade, and I trust.

And it’s enough.

 

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