Can we just talk honestly for a moment about seasons of waiting? They are not fun or graceful…at least not for me. I kick and scream the whole way through. I show little to no patience during those seasons…patience with myself, other people, and even God. Maybe it’s just being a part of this whole instant-gratification generation, but I am absolutely horrible at staying patient through waiting seasons.
So, why on earth do I think I can sit here and offer you a word of advice on how to have patience during seasons of waiting? Because when I sit down to write these posts I am often in just as much need of writing it as you may feel you are of reading it. I think it’s easy to picture the people on the other side of our screens as having it all together — I mean, they sit down and write this stuff so they must be doing well, right?
Nope. Definitely not.
Friend, I am a broken, messy, girl-in-need-of-grace-every-day person. And I have about .001% of my life together (and that .001% is only because I managed to sweep my floors at least once this week).
Just like you might be right now, I am facing a season of waiting. Waiting on God to answer prayers, fulfill a promise, and bring me to the next part of this chapter. The future is uncertain, my days are often chaotic, and sometimes I am just straight up tired of waiting. So, today’s post is just as much for me as it is for you. These are the ways that I’m attempting to have patience in a waiting season….
Focus on the Present
It may seem simple and impossible all at once, but the best way to attempt to remain patient and content in a season of waiting is to focus on all of the blessings in your present. Try to enjoy the season you’re in right now. Believe it or not, this may be one of those seasons you’re going to look back on with great joy some day.
The summer after I graduated college was one of my biggest seasons of waiting. I had no idea where my life was going and I was doing my best to wait on God to show me the way. I was often stressed, lonely, and overwhelmed. I was searching for my first career break, hoping to have my own place, and healing from a broken heart. But, I often look back on that summer as one of the most fun summers I can remember. It was my last summer of just being a carefree young woman. It was my last summer working part-time, spending my afternoons by the pool, and eating whatever I wanted because I was burning so many calories just by staying crazy busy. It was my last summer home with my parents: the last summer I spent staying up late with my mom, giggling and being silly and talking about life and love. It was a season of waiting for sure, but boy was it a joyful season and I wish I had savored it a little more in those moments.
So, I invite you to try to take inventory of THIS season instead of rushing on to the next one. What things are giving you joy right now? What moments could be fleeting? What experiences could you be having that you may not have again once this season is over? Hold on to those, friend.
Focus on the Lesson
Think about it — what could God be trying to show you or teach you while you’re waiting on Him to bring you to the next step? So often when we think it’s about the destination, it is actually about the journey. Every season of waiting that I have journeyed through has had some sort of major impact on my life, my perspective, or my character. There isn’t a single storm or season that we endure that isn’t meant to mold us, shape us, and make us stronger than we ever thought we could be. Seasons of waiting don’t mean that your hope or prayer or dream is being delayed….they mean that you’re being prepared for the hope, prayer, and dream ahead of you.
I know, I know…seeking the lesson during the waiting season is nearly impossible. It’s so much easier to see it from afar, when we have finally passed through it. But just think of how much less frustration you might have if you can just uncloud your vision for a moment to gain a different perspective of the situation.
Focus on the Relationship
Even if you can’t seem to get a grip on the lesson in front of you and focusing on the joys of the present just feels completely impossible, there is one thing that you can focus on that will make all the difference through your season of waiting: the relationship you share with Christ. No matter what type of season of waiting you’re walking through right now, you can always grow closer to Him. Even when the waiting is painful and unbelievably frustrating, you have a dear friend to talk to about it. Even when the next chapter seems thousands of miles away, you can know that you aren’t walking alone. In fact, the lesson that we usually find at the end of these seasons is quite simple: we need to prioritize our relationship with the One who waits for us every day.
I honestly believe that most of the waiting seasons we face are because we have become so focused on the light at the end of the tunnel that we forget about the one walking through the tunnel right next to us. How many seasons of waiting have we journeyed through because we just won’t make time for Jesus? How many times have we been so preoccupied with where we want to be that we completely miss the point of where we are: because that is exactly where He wants us.
I am guilty of being so caught up in my pursuits and passions and dreams that too often I forget the One who gave me all of those dreams and passions in the first place. I forget that He didn’t create me to just do and seek and chase…He created me to be in constant communication and relationship with Him. We can’t let our longing to get through these seasons of waiting get in the way of what matters right now.
Friend, if you are doing your best to just make it through this season, searching for any sign of an end in sight…may I just challenge you? Don’t worry, I’m challenging myself on this one too…
Let’s make a real effort to seek what really matters in this season. The waiting isn’t purposeless. We need to enjoy these moments, pursue our relationship with Jesus every single day, and attempt to see the message He might be trying to share through this time of what feels like endless waiting. We aren’t meant to just try to get through to the next step: we are meant to thrive and be joyful and point people back to the One who got us this far.
Through my own season of waiting, I’m learning to pray with a new perspective. I’m hearing God whisper to me that I can pray for the impossible because I serve a God for whom nothing is impossible. I’m learning to pray big and expect miracles and believe that seasons of waiting are meant to prepare us for something amazing.
If you’re ready to start praying big for the miracles and dreams He may have you waiting for, click here to read how you can pray big even when you feel small.
He has unbelievable goodness stored up for our future, friend. We just have to be willing to be content with what He has given us right now, in these moments. This season will pass. Keep your eyes on Him. We’re gonna get there…