I feel like everyone in my life right now is sitting in the “waiting”. We are all wrestling with discernment and trying to figure out where the Lord wants us. Our minds are overflowing with questions of how do we follow and how do we know where He wants us. Some friends are waiting to figure out about where they are going to college. Some friends are waiting to figure out how they are going to spend their summer. Some friends are trying to figure out what to get involved in and where to invest themselves. Some friends are trying to figure out what life after college looks like. Everyone is in the waiting and in trusting of what’s next.
Fear and waiting often become intertwined during these times. The reason waiting is so difficult is because we are sitting in the unknown and we really have to trust. We play the what if game and have no idea what is to come. We don’t know where our feet will stand and that unknown is taunting. Waiting is so hard but every bit worth it.
The funny thing about this post is that I wrote those first two paragraphs over a month ago and never got around to finishing them because of all the craziness. The cool thing is, I am no longer sitting in the waiting anymore and neither are any of my friends. The waiting was a long few months full of emotions with learning how to trust. I got to see my friends and myself walk through discernment and man did the Lord show up.
I saw one friend lean into trusting the Lord throughout college with where He would lead her next. She prayerfully and patiently waited to see if nursing and grad school was for her. After 3 years of waiting and trusting, just a month ago, with her obedience and hard work,the Lord has led her back to Athens for grad school with nursing.
My roommate and I have both been waiting for a while trying to figure out where we are supposed to be this summer. For months we had applied to camps, done interviews, and thought up different ideas of what our summer could look like. One door after another the Lord kept presenting my roommate with different options. She got summer staff in Colorado, another Camp Counseling job in Arkansaw, and a mission trip in Haiti was thrown into the mix of options too. She was waiting for one more yes or no answer from the Haiti internship she applied for, and this was the answer she had really been waiting for. After sitting in prayer and discernment, she decided to go with the camp in Arkansaw and the Haiti Mission trip. One day later the Haiti internship answer came back with a yes. That yes led her to a new and bold yes and back tracking to a few no’s. The Lord showed up bigger than expected for her summer plans and soon she will be one of a few interns and I am so proud of her. I on the other hand still am waiting for a few answers from the camps I had hoped to attend. In my time of waiting the Lord presented me with a few things I hadn’t even thought about. After a lot of prayer and conversations with friends, I learned that home is where I need to reside this summer.
One friend who is a senior in high school has been playing the waiting game with college. I remember this time last year the stress and anxiety that came attached to waiting and wandering where you will be next. There is a lot of fear that comes attached to not knowing where you will be living in 5 months. This friend had her mind set on her plans of what college would be up until her parents said that financially it just can’t work. She was devastated and right back to waiting. This waiting required more trust and patience than before and only consisted of 5 days. On the fifth day UGA released a few acceptance letters and she was one of the few recipients. The Lord showed up in a bigger and better way than she had even planned, but He led her to wait just a little longer and trust a little harder until He faithfully provided.
A different waiting a lot of my friends and I have been sitting in is waiting to decide where the Lord wants us to plant ourselves next year. For a lot of my friends there has been no clear yes or no answer, just a lot of tears and a lot of leaning into the Lord. With these decisions we have learned to pray in a way we never have before. I have been so proud watching my friends walk in obedience and saying the hard no’s or committing to a scary yes.
These are just a few of the many ways I’ve seen the end to the waiting game and I am just blown away by how He is always doing immeasurably more than we can ask or think. Ironically, or probably not, I have been reading through Psalms these past two months. This last month I have found a common theme of waiting threaded through the Psalms I have been reading.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14
“My times are in your hand.” – Psalm 31:16
“Be strong, and let your heart courage, all you who wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 31:24
“Our should waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in Him because we trust in His holy name.” – Psalm 33:20-21
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” – Psalm 37:7
“Wait for the Lord and keep His ways and He will exalt you to inherent the land.” – Psalm 37:34
“But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you O Lord my God, who will answer.” -Psalm 38:15
And then after sitting and listening about waiting, He takes you and brings you out of the pit and provides in ways you didn’t even ask for—
“I waited for patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.” – Psalm 40:1-3
I’d be lying to you if I said that the waiting was easy. The waiting period is messy and hard. The waiting period brings tears and fears. The waiting period pushes you to places you felt unprepared to go to. The waiting period reminds you of how small you are and how little control you have— all very humbling.
But, the waiting is where you see how much bigger He is and how much He cares for you. No path and no two relationships with the Lord look the same. He knows our every need and He leads us each differently. I am learning to become very thankful for the waiting. Our whole life consists of waiting for where He is leading us next — and the waiting only requires more patience, trust, and obedience as we grow. That shouldn’t scare us though, that should excite us because that only leads us to a greater intimacy with Him.
Take heart and wait for the Lord. He is fighting for you and He is leading you my friends.
I am rooting deeply for you in the waiting game. Write me anytime He shows up for you through the waiting and I will add to hear. I am always excited to see His faithful hand on different lives.