We wait in line for our Starbucks, we wait for class to finish, we wait to cross the street, and we wait for good news to arrive. As I’ve grown older it seems that every wait gets harder. But, we fall back into the perpetual routine of waiting.
There were some waiting periods that I didn’t think I could handle – like not seeing Zach for months on end. Some waiting periods that I didn’t think would come to an end – finally finishing my degree (okay, I admit, I am being dramatic – these four years went by fast). And some waiting periods I didn’t know I would end up in – moving to a new country. But, God ultimately prepared me in my past for my future. He prepared me for the waiting, the hardships and the love.
I have found that these periods of waiting are exemplified by the growth and sanding off of my selfish and needy thoughts. I’m naturally a stubborn person – it comes with being a red head – and I tend to be set in my ways. I definitely do not like changes. However, time again, I had to be refined by the Lord to see His good and perfect will and trust fully in Him and His capabilities, not my own. Every season of waiting, I have to be patient. Every season of waiting, I learned so much more than I thought. I have seen God’s love for me unfold more, and my desperate need for Him has risen.
Since 2014, I’ve been in one of the longest, hardest and most rewarding waiting times of my life. I met Zach in 2014, and from then, we have lived on opposite sides of North America. We not only had to wait to be a normal couple, but we had to wait to see each other. Dating, engagement and soon to be marriage has been a test of patience, technology and love (you can read more about our relationship in Trusting Through the Distance). Zach and I have been waiting for our government papers to come in, for us to get legally married. Waiting on someone is hard. Waiting on the government is practically impossible. But I needed to remind myself that God is in control. He is the one that formed my relationship and has a plan for it. He is the one that Zach and I lean into when confusion and trials arise. He is the one that will provide a way for us. No matter how long we have to wait. Thankfully, at the beginning of August, God put an end to the visa paper wait and provided. However, we knew with this blessing, more challenges and waiting would arise – the never ending season of waiting. But, God is faithful, and He willed us to get here, so He was going to provide for our future. With all the unknowns, restrictions and government processes, God is bigger and makes a way through everything.
I have been in Oregon for almost a week. Not only was my transition into the USA safe, but it was seamless. God made a way for me to walk freely into a new chapter. All the waiting, and all the tears pushed me into trusting God even more. When I packed up to move back to the other side of the continent, I could not do it alone. My strength alone was not enough to pull me through, it was all and only God. In the time that I got anxious and worry consumed me, I couldn’t see a way out. I focused on my weaknesses and what I couldn’t do, when I should have focused on God’s capabilities. He challenged me, and continues to challenge me as I walk towards this chapter.
“You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons. Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” – 1 Corinthians 10: 21-22
I read this passage, and my heart filled with guilt. Guilt that I placed my wants before the Lord’s. Guilt that I felt I knew better than the Lord of the universe. Thankfully I serve a gracious Lord, who is patient and loving. He wipes away all our guilt through His death on the cross. And thankfully, He waits patiently for us to realize we made a mistake. God waited until I came to my senses, and worked in my life in the best way – the way that I needed.
After reading that passage, Paul reiterates all God, or nothing. There is no way that I could still think about my worries and serve the Lord. It has to be Him, all Him. The beautiful thing about serving God is that He knows that we aren’t perfect – no matter how much we try. He is patient with us as we get tempted by the delights of this earth. He is patient with us as we put our fears first and not Him. He is patient.
This season has been worrisome, joyous and long. It was met with literally blood, sweat and more tears that I would like to admit. But, as God has proved – daily – He is in control, and will provide in His perfect time and for His glory. My human nature tries to keep me grounded in my stubbornness and pride but, God continues to sand off the rough edges. Sanding is never easy, nor is it comfortable. However, I want it. I want this life that the Lord has been creating. Even though these growing pains are hard, and uncomfortable, God has made me comfortable within Him.
Whatever season of waiting you find yourself in, remember that God is faithful. Even in the hardships, temptations, trails, joy and peace, trust in Him. He’s got you. This life isn’t easy on our own, and the seasons of waiting are hard when you try to do them alone.
In this new season of waiting, I need to be reminded of the adventure that I prayed for. I need to be reminded that God graciously led us through every season and He will not leave me. The new situations that arise bring so many questions – I know how hard it is – but if we emphasize God’s greatness and focus on all His capabilities then what else is there? I know that is hard to swallow, it is hard to trust, hard to obey. But, that’s what we are called to do. Trust Him because He is able to do more than we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20). He gave me more that I imagined.
Looking back on this season, God opened every door. Now I am not talking about slightly opening, no, He blew the doors off. When new things rose and plans changed, He was faithful and kept us walking in the same direction. God provided! The fiance visa season is coming to a close, and though my emotions raged, God peacefully led me to Zach, Portland and marriage in the perfect way.
I will still make mistakes. I will still focus on my worries. But, I will still trust God to the best of my abilities. I pray that you are able to be patient in your season of waiting. I know it is hard, but please trust that God led you here for a purpose and that He won’t forget about you. He never forgets us. We are His glorious design, His glorious children. God loves you.
The season of waiting that you find yourself in will help bring upon His glory. It is for your betterment and His righteousness. Don’t forget to take time to thank God for the season of waiting, to seek His guidance and enjoy the lessons that you will learn. I wouldn’t trade what I learned in this season, and I know that God isn’t finished with me yet.
Thanks for walking beside me on this journey,