Waiting: We’ve all been in that boat! I was recently faced with having to slow down on a project. I’ve been really excited about the project and wanted to throw myself into it at high speed! I didn’t want to put the brakes on, but I realized I needed to for a bit until a few things line up. So the big question for discussion today, is what do we do while we’re waiting for a green light! I’m going to share a little behind the scenes of my approach to waiting and what I do with my time.
- Accept & Acknowledge. Accepting the red or yellow lights in life comes easier if we give ourselves permission to feel the disappointment and struggle. When I’m disappointed, it’s cathartic to be honest about it. To admit that I’m not getting what I wanted, that what I was hoping would happen isn’t right now; expressing sadness or struggle, feeling free to cry, journaling, getting alone with God, sharing with a friend. Recently I sat on the couch with my husband and shared why I felt disappointed about slowing down on this project. It was hard to voice what I had ‘hoped’ [I might have shed a few tears] because sometimes it sounds silly to admit our dreams [fear of what people will think]. But the honesty, and even details, when voiced really helped me to see where I wasn’t being realistic, where I could have communicated better, and where I could still head in the future. Accepting the change and acknowledging the disappointment frees us to be able to shift expectations.
- Embrace. I’m at where I’m at, in the season I’m in, and with the people I’m with. Yes, you can thank me for stating that profound truth. ? Seriously though, it helps to remind me that I’m making choices and I am not a victim. I choose to slow down, to stop, and to trust that God is in control [especially when the waiting bit is out of my control], for the good of my relationships or myself, and I need to embrace the choice I’ve made. Whatever season of red or yellow light I’m in, and for however long it may last: good things are happening. If I respond rightly, if I’m faithful to do excellently where I’m at, if I don’t disengage but instead fully engage and press through – I’m going to find the treasure in where I am. Embracing the season of waiting is walking the line of not losing hope for dreams and desires fulfilled, while not putting my life on hold until then. It’s opening our eyes to learn new things and grow right where we are planted.
- Get Ready. There is so much strategy that can take place in the waiting! I make mental notes of all the ways that I can get myself, my people, my schedule and my environment ready for the exact moment I sense the green light. A lot of times there are practical things we can do to get ready: apply yourself to learning new skills, communicate dreams and goals with our support networks [because having your people on board is vital], build relationships, reorganize the way you spend time. There was a season where I was waiting to own a home – during it I cleaned my rental house out, gave stuff away, had a yard sale, organized things in a way that would be easy for living and packing. I didn’t buy anything extra so we could save money. These were all practical things I did to get ready for the green light. Sometimes we’re not sure why we need to slow down or stop. The changes that need to take place before it’s the right time might remain a mystery, but responding to that with a heart that says, ‘God, I trust You’ is one of the very best ways we can prepare ourselves for the green light. Trusting God is in control is a weapon again worry, hopelessness, discouragement and fear!
Bottom line: waiting is hard! But it doesn’t have to be empty, and it doesn’t have to lack joy! The aching, longing and yearning heart can find its peace and satisfaction in Jesus. And for the ‘doers’ (insert my name here), make your list of active ways to embrace the season while getting ready for the next! If discouragement or frustration strikes – remember that God is greater than any obstacle you face. There is nothing that will keep you from fulfilling your purpose on this earth if your eyes are on Him and your heart is teachable to His ways.
Until you get your green light, Happy Waiting, friends!