Family photo 2013

Family photo 2013

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Learning to wait

When Bobby and I were dating, we belonged to an *ahem* unusual religious organization. This particular sect was keen on micromanagement of its assemblage. You may remember me mentioning before that because of this, we were engaged for 3 years before we were told the date we would be married by their minister.
(No, we did not select our own wedding date. Can you spell w  e  i   r  d?) I could go into the intricate reasons we subjected ourselves to this particular brand of strangeness, but that's another  story....

That 36 month period of time was extremely trying for me, as we waited for word pertaining to our own holy matrimony. In my hypersensitivity to all things marriage related, it seemed that there was a continuous stream of news shared about friends and family members who were tying the knot. Witnessing other people, seemingly easily, gain what you long for is not necessarily the most pleasant sensation that can befall an individual. I may have turned physically green with envy. I spent a great deal of time bemoaning my (obviously, wickedly unfair) lot.

It's funny now, almost a decade and a half later, some of those marriages that took place in the years just prior to ours, the ones that I was so jealous over, are not even still standing. Each one of the couples has certainly endured their share of hardships and joys, trials and sorrows, high mountain tops and low valleys. Marriage, of itself, the institution I heaped my praise upon when I wanted it so badly for myself, did not automatically ensure some golden ticket to life long happiness.

Would you believe, that from my vantage point today, as I look back on that (extended) spell of time that was our engagement, it is with extraordinary fondness. Fondness! Of all things! What sweet memories I hold of dating my beloved husband-to-be, when we were both young and free, full of energy and adoration. What fun we had together. What precious moments were shared as we wrote the beginning of our story, which would one day become our sacred history.

Now, I am beginning to see that over the years, there have been a variety of stages throughout our lives where we have been in waiting, for various events that may or may not take place - seasons where we just didn't  know what the outcome would be of this or that. Times that we, beyond our own control, were forced to simply wait. Waiting for things we desperately wanted. Waiting for things we were ferociously trying to fend off because we did not yet realized their utter inevitability. Waiting.

Waiting is hard to do.
It can cause the heart to grow faint.
It can elevate the godly desire into an idol.

Yet, there always seems to be something new to wait for. The immense satisfaction of the arrival of what we hoped for lasts only for a while, before we find ourselves waiting for something else, something new, something next, once again.

So, as I wait now for my heart's desire during this chapter of my life (one that I do not know if I will ever obtain or not) I pray to God that I am learning to wait more maturely. I ask that I will see His glorious face in these days. That I will know His presence and that He will use this time to build character, trust and surrender. That I would learn to loosen my hands and relinquish the angst and the grief I can all too easily burden my hours with. I pray that I would find sufficient strength and humility and reverence to praise and rejoice and worship and offer sincere gratitude for all I have at this very moment whether or not I ever gain what I long to have.

That I may learn to recognize and savor the sweetness of these special, fleeting, waiting days....before they are gone.

Teach me Lord. I am waiting.

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Courtney said...

oh, yes...waiting. teaches us SO much. i'm AMAZED how much of the Bible is about waiting...

and i love how you always put a few pics at the end of your posts :-)

JamesBrett said...

why do they call the guy who brings you food and drinks a waiter? unless he's an exceptionally good one (working alongside a really fast kitchen), isn't it generally the table of customers who are waiting?

a Tonggu Momma said...

Loved this. As we are fast approaching referral (after an almost five year wait), I know in my heart the Lord called us to stay in the NSN line because He was teaching me to wait more maturely. Thanks for sharing this.

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