I may not know you, but I know this one thing: You’re waiting on something. And sometimes, the struggle of waiting for the unknown can feel overwhelming.
I myself am currently in a stage of waiting—asking God for direction, looking for answers, and expecting some upcoming changes. The hardest part is that they are things that are completely out of my control. For control freaks like me, that’s not always an easy pill to swallow. Waiting on God can be really hard.
There have been many different times of waiting in my life. I look back at my twenties as an entire decade of “waiting.” It’s a time of looking ahead at finding the right college, choosing the right major and dreaming of the right spouse. Then comes finding the right job, the right community and the right church. Waiting on God seemed to be intertwined with every single milestone of my life.
But I’ve always found it hard to know what it practically means to wait on God. Do you just sit around twiddling your thumbs?
At certain points in my life, I was so caught up in trying to get to the destination, that I missed the journey. Now that I’m older (and praying to be wiser), I see that the process of waiting in my life has been just as important as the end result. I look back at the times of waiting, and I see that God was using the waiting to prepare me, to change me and to use me. Rather than twiddle my thumbs, I wish I would have taken a more active approach during the way.
While I can’t change my past, here are some things I’m trying to do differently while I wait:
Remember What God Has Done in the Past
I worried a lot during the times of waiting—worried things wouldn’t work out, that I would be alone forever or that God wouldn’t come through.
As my life has unfolded, I see that God’s hand has been in every single step, and that His plans were so much better than I even expected. Now, while I wait, I’m learning to deepen my trust in Him, and to remind myself of His faithfulness. If I could know what He knows–I would choose His plan every single time.
The bottom line is that worry equals a lack of trust in God. Do I really trust Him? I want my mind to say yes, even when my heart says no. If God is God, He can be trusted. I want to move in that direction during my times of waiting.
Deepen Your Prayer Life
Why worry when you can pray? We’ve all heard that one before. But how true is that? Why over-analyze my future, when I have the opportunity to impact my future by calling on the supernatural, most-high God?
God is so big, I want to learn to connect with Him , to communicate with Him, and to spend time with Him while I wait—because no matter the end result, deepening my intimacy with Him will always be worth the wait. I want the waiting to bring me closer to Him, rather than fill me with bitterness and resentment. And it’s my choice which route I will take.
Deal With Your Baggage
I think the period of waiting can be a huge time of healing and growth. For example, during my time as a single, I often felt like I was waiting for nothing. What I didn’t realize is that through that time, God was bringing so much healing to my life, my heart and my perspective. He was working out my sin, refining my heart and fanning the flame of His Spirit inside of my life.
Now that I’m waiting again on something different, I want to ask God to reveal to me the areas of my life that need work and prepare me for what’s to come. I don’t want to waste this time anymore.
I am my own worst enemy when it comes to God working in my life, because I am the only one that limits myself. I don’t always believe I can do it, or that God can do it through me. I don’t always dream big or expect great things.
But I want to see this time of waiting as a time to ask God to take me where He wants me to go—and to believe for big things that I know I can’t accomplish on my own. One of my favorite quotes says, “If you’ve yet to accomplish something in your life that you couldn’t have done without God—then you’ve yet to accomplish something.” I want to trust Him to do everything that I can’t do. I want to dream big.
Spend Time in Worship
This is the part where I have the most regrets. I often worship God when He “blesses” me—failing to realize that He is deserving of my worship no matter what is going on in my life.
We often treat our life with God like a football game, cheering for God when we score or when good things happen. But life isn’t about waiting for the victory—for the marriage, for the job, for the success, for the family—it’s about realizing that over every moment in our lives, He is already victorious.
Right now—through the struggle, through the pain, through the loneliness, through the chaos, through the wait—He has already won, and He’s moving us in that glorious direction. No matter where I am, I want a life that’s marked not by waiting, but by worshiping. He deserves that and so much more.
Whoever you are, and no matter what you’re waiting for, remember that life is about so much more than waiting—it’s about living. Don’t waste your life away in the wait. Instead, ask God to reveal to you how to live your life in a way that honors Him, by taking big risks and dreaming big dreams.
Because life is not just about getting to the final destination, it’s about learning to enjoy the ride.
Debra is a Licensed Professional Counselor, relationship expert, speaker and author of several books, including True Love Dates. Debra is also the creator of the popular relationship advice blog TrueLoveDates.com, reaching millions of people with the message that healthy people make healthy relationships. Connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.