No one likes waiting. And if there is anyone on this planet who can tell me that they do, I probably still wouldn’t believe them. The truth is, each time we leave a waiting season, we somehow find ourselves in another one. I am currently experiencing my share of waiting. It can be painful when you are reminded of what has yet to happen. It can also be confusing when you notice someone else receiving what you have been diligently praying for.
What is the result of all of this? You feel forgotten. You become angry, anxious or frustrated with God. Even worse, you take matters into your own hands…causing the enemy to wreak havoc on your life. I would be a liar if I said that I haven’t cried out to God in frustration when something was just taking too long. I think it’s important to remember that despite all of this waiting, God has not forgotten nor has He forsaken you. While you’re waiting, always remember when God has pulled through for you. It’s always good to have some encouragement, so here are three times when I went through a waiting season:
#1: Receiving my U.S. citizenship twenty years after moving to the States
For anyone who has immigrated to the United States, the road to obtaining your citizenship is not easy. The naturalization process is both extensive and costly, and for some families, the process can take much longer. For my family, it took us nearly twenty years. When I finally received my citizenship two years ago, I couldn’t quite describe the joy felt by everyone attending the naturalization ceremony. It was palpable in the room. Despite the setbacks and hardships, the entire process made my family stronger and closer. It also helped me to appreciate the simple freedoms that many take for granted, like having the ability to vote and to traveling freely.
#2: Not finishing undergrad on time
After my first semester of college, I was burnt out. I decided to never enroll in more than four classes per semester. During the spring of my third year, I was sitting in my dorm room looking at my classification information when I noticed something odd. Although I had finished my third year of school, I was still classified as a junior. I thought this was clearly a mistake and called my university. As they helped me to make sense of my academic evaluation, I learned that I was behind on my college credits. I’d be in school for an additional semester.
It was hard not to beat myself up over this oversight. This pushed my grad school plans back further. I cried. I spoke to my roommate at the time who gave me encouraging words. She reminded me that I could focus on my grades more with a lighter load and continue to reduce my tuition. I ended up finishing undergrad with honors. Now, I’m on to a third degree. Isn’t it funny how life works? It’s important that we not fret over the little things because we truly can miss out on the bigger picture.
#3: Finding love after years of being in toxic, one-sided relationships
I feel extremely connected to the person I am with right now. I met him at a time and in a way that I had never expected (I’ll have to save that story for another time!). You ever just find yourself in the company of someone and feel safe? I hadn’t realized that safety was important to me until I met him. Four years ago, I promised myself that I would take some time to heal from wounds caused by previous relationships.
I used my singlehood to focus on building the kind of self-love that didn’t come from the validation of being with someone else. That time was used to care for my weak body, my neglected appearance, and to restore my relationship with Christ. I also used that time to really think about my values, which helped guide me to thinking about what I truly wanted in a partner.
If you’re in a waiting season, I know how difficult it can be. Remember when I said earlier that I’m currently in another season myself? I encourage you to stop and complete a heart check. Are you complaining about your circumstances or are you being proactive with prayer? Do you find yourself taking measures into your hands and seeing the same results? Or are you seeking insight so that you don’t repeat the same mistakes? Are you filled with envy, rage, sadness, and other intense emotions? God is not a man that He should lie (Numbers 23:19). He will fulfill His promises at a time that aligns with His plans for your life, and they will exceed your expectations.
“To everything, there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1 (KJV)