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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Waiting in Wilmore...

"Have a seat, please." "One moment, please." "Could you hold please?" "The doctor will be with you shortly." "It will be just a few minutes."
C.S. Lewis, in the movie "Shadowlands," nailed the dregs-of-winter months when he called them "the waiting room of the world." Waiting for Spring.

Even Dr. Seuss was inspired by the miserable experience that waiting can be:
..."Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting."

Dr. Seuss had his genius moments, there's no doubt.
Ah, how I long for the next page of this particular book: "Oh, the Places You'll Go!":

"NO! That's not for you!
Somehow you'll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You'll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing."

Wow. Is that the American dream or what? "You don't have to wait! There's a shortcut! Let me show you! For just half of your life savings, you can escape!" Ha!

Not so much in real life... A big chunk of life seems to happen in the waiting. If only I could learn how to find joy while I wait, I think I would be a tremendously happy person!
"Just whistle while you wait --insert musical note -- too, too too too too too too."
Lately, I find myself wondering what is next for our family. It is so hard not to try to figure out where we should go. Will we stay here, God? Will we move again? We we be here three more years? Three more months? Where will we go if we go? Will you move us to places where people are familiar to us? Where we have family? Or friends?

So I lay in bed at night and go over different scenarios in my head: Jon David and Luke going to a completely new school, trying to make new friends, getting used to a new church, new neighborhood, all over again... OK, God is with us, we can handle it. But why must we wait so long to see his plan fulfilled?

I have been struggling with this for a while now. Most of my life, in fact, you might say. In the Spring of this year, I had our future heavy on my heart, and as I opened up my bible study book, the word "WAIT" stared out at me from a paragraph header, almost as an instruction from God... I couldn't help but wonder if it was just that.
Then, another thought occurred to me. Most of us view waiting as a negative thing (I know I tend to). I HATE to wait. Here are ten of my most hated waiting moments:
#10 Waiting in line @ Disney World on a family vaca when I was in the 6th grade.
#9 Waiting in line @ Disney World w/an 18 month old!
#8 Waiting a couple of hours for an OB apt.
#7 Waiting on test results in school.
#6 Waiting on a house to sell... Unfortunately, got a lot of experience on that one.
#5 Waiting seven months to get married!
#4 Waiting in line @ at a "fast food restaurant"
#3 Waiting in Atlanta traffic. AHHHHH
#2 That time Don and I and JD and Luke got stuck in after 4th-of-July traffic in Castle Rock, and took a couple of hours (instead of 20 minutes) to get home.
#1 Waiting to have a baby!!

I think I received a divine thought one day in May. God doesn't necessarily see waiting that way (duh, you say). I haven't watched Braveheart very many times, but I've seen it enough to remember certain scenes pretty well. You know that scene where William Wallace's face is painted blue, and he is giving his speech of all speeches? Isn't this where the British come at them full force, but they don't charge right away? They wait for the signal. They are not just sitting there like bumps (like most of us do when we are waiting). No, there is fire in their eyes, there is purpose. In fact, you might even say that the act of waiting empowers their next move. Because they are following instructions. There is a plan. Their faces are set like flint. They don't know what's coming exactly, but they know what they are supposed to do, and they are determined not to mess up the plan by jumping the gun. Maybe this is how we are to view waiting: there is a purpose behind it.
I can't help but think of Elisha, asking God to open his servant's eyes in first Kings. You know the famous verse --those that are with us are more than those that are w/them. All of a sudden, an entire heavenly army of angels or unknown, unidentified godly beings appear on the tops of the hills, armed, surrounding the enemies.
If only we could see the angels armed and ready behind us. I pray that God has a plan like that for me. I guess it's pretty presumptuous to hope for something that huge. But at times, I feel pretty hopeless. I want to believe that there is something so huge and so grand, that I can't fathom, comprehend, or even begin to wrap my mind around it.

And then, all of a sudden, time passes. I am looking back, and presently, May is four months ago. Jon David and Luke are back in school, doing really well; Caleb is following a better sleeping pattern, routine has resumed; there is hint of fall in the air. I find myself pushing the stroller around for a morning walk after dropping JD off at school. And even though we are not really any closer to knowing where we will be at this time next year, I can see that God is blessing our lives. Oh, how much happiness do I miss by wasting the waiting period? Indeed, there is happiness around. I guess I just have to slow down enough to drink it in.
Active waiting.
I would like to think that typing this is so cathartic, that I am totally over my waiting anxieties... Oh dear. Unfortunately, I still find myself longing for "ambien" at night when I can't sleep. ;) Oh, and I have an ulcers for the umpteenth time this year.
*Sigh* What's next, God?
Fun week-end w/friends from Africa day after tomorrow. I'm on it. Let's go wash some dishes.


  1. WOO HOO! Disco blog! I have not been to the actual site lately! Just used reader and I have been missing out.

    Anna, thanks so much for sharing. I have the same thoughts on waiting. I hate it too. But I love your thoughts on active waiting. That is so good. God does have a bigger plan. When I look back at my life of when I wanted to do my plans and not wait...I can see when he has blessed the waiting part. He just wants us, waiting to not, to have faith in Him. It is a unsettling thought to not know the future. But no matter what He is there.

    We are getting excited about Wilmore!! See you in 2 weeks!!!


  2. This is a *constant* struggle for me as well because God has had (and is having) us wait so much during this season. But you're right--time still flies!!! What in the world?! :)
    And that Dr. Seuss book is borderline of my faves.

  3. I love this post!! I am totally with you and needed to read this today!
    Also, I am with you on your #1 I HATE TO WAIT moments!! urg!

    PS> Move to Bham!! There are fun people here! :)



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