Ya know, it’s super easy to praise God when things are going exactly as planned in our lives, isn’t it? When the health reports are great, the grades are good, and the relationships are happy, it’s SO easy to say “Yeah, God – I know You’re working here.”
What happens when things don’t go as planned, though?
Are we still singing the same praises we were when things were good?
It’s a lot harder.
Believe me – I know.
Aaron and I have entered into a new phase in our marriage. Up to now, it’s been SO easy for us to say, “Everything is (or will be) perfect in His timing” (Ecc. 3:11).
This season has been a tough one. A good one – but a tough one.
In August 2018, we had Thomas – This time was indescribably Good.
We were still living in our one-bedroom apartment – Things were hard.
We found out we had permission to move into a rental house – We were SO, SO excited.
We found out we were pregnant with Joyce Anne – Again, we were SO, SO excited.
We found out we had to move out of our rental house kind of quickly – This wasn’t so good.
We moved into my parents’ basement – Okay, this was pretty hard.
We’re still living in my parents’ basement, and we’re so close to having Joyce Anne – This is even harder.
Now, let me clarify some things for you:
Our rental house was a family agreement – we had an extremely good deal that was affordable for us. Rent in our county is outrageous. If it weren’t for this arrangement, we would not have been able to move into a house at all, so we were incredibly grateful. When we heard we had to move out, let’s just say life became a little more difficult. Aaron and I were not at fault for this situation, but there was absolutely nothing to be done.
Of course, we immediately started looking for other arrangements, but the effort we put into looking was futile. We had no choice but to move in with my parents.
Please don’t mistake the struggles I’m having for me being ungrateful. We are incredibly blessed that my parents have a basement apartment with two bedrooms that we can stay in until we find something else, but put yourself in our shoes for just a minute. At this point in our lives, we’ve been married and completely self-sufficient for almost three years. We have our first baby, and we just found out that our second baby is on the way.
It’s not the best time for me to call my parents and say, “We have nowhere else to go.”
Again, I am SO thankful for my parents and how helpful they’ve been, but it’s been hard to say the least.
Part of the reason it’s been hard – I’m not gonna lie – is a pride thing.
I don’t want to admit that we are currently in the living situation that we are. It’s hard, and most of the time, when people find out, they assume the worst about me and Aaron. In this case, there was nothing we could have done, so the judgement is hard to take.
Now, here’s the deal.
Despite our situation – God is consistently showing me that He still on His throne, that His plan remains sovereign, that He is still in control, and that He is good.
Waiting is hard, friends.
It’s especially hard when we have absolutely no control over what the result of the waiting is. In this case, Aaron and I are waiting on God to show us what our next step is going to be for our family, for our careers, for our living situation – for our life in general.
God has left the door of opportunity wide open for us. We have no ties (other than relationships and family) that are holding us where we are, and I truly believe this is how He wants it to be.
Even though waiting is hard, it’s worth it – and there’s PLENTY of learning to be done in this season.
The future is scary, period, but there’s beauty in the fact that we – as believers – can find peace in God’s plan and His promises.
Psalm 130:5 says, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope.”
In this season of waiting, my hope is not in my circumstances, other people, myself, or even in the plans I have for my family’s life. My hope is resting in God and who He says He is.
Believe me, I know this is one of those – easier said than done – situations, but it’s true.
Scripture tells me that God is going to provide my needs – not my wants, and He has a plan that he will fulfill in His time – not my time.
I’ve had to make some changes in order to gain this perspective.
I had to learn to pray a completely different prayer.
When we first entered into this “in between” time, I was praying a simple prayer.
In a nutshell, my prayer was this:
God, please open another door.
Show us the way you want us to go so we can move in that direction.
We need you to move now.
See how impatient that sounds?
I was demanding that God move when – clearly – my prayer needed to be this:
God, what do You want me to do in this season of waiting?
Walk with us through this time.
Help us to find contentment in You.
Please, have Your way, in Your time, in our lives, and make Your will known.
It’s a complete change in tone.
I’m no longer praying that God will move right this second.
Instead, I’m praying about how I can grow in this season of waiting.
I’m praying that God will have His way in His time.
I’m praying that God will teach us to be content in Him.
God is not oblivious to the struggles I face or the hard times I have. He knows how hard waiting is. This tells me that there is growth that needs to happen in this period.
I’m learning to consider this period of waiting to be a gift. Even though it’s incredibly uncomfortable and painful at times, God has allowed this time to happen so that I can slow down and receive what He wants me to receive.
It’s an intentional, daily decision to consider this time a gift.
When my feet hit the floor in the morning, I audibly say, “Thank you for giving me time to experience You in a new way.”
This alone helps me to have a whole new perspective on the situation my family is in.
It’s hard to receive gifts sometimes – especially when it’s one that is completely unfamiliar. That doesn’t change the fact that a period of waiting is a gift and should be viewed in this way.
God is slowly teaching me that He can do some of His best work in a season of waiting.
It’s in this time where I’m in His presence – still, quiet, and poured out – that He is working in ways I could never imagine.
It’s in this time of waiting that I have a chance to get to know God’s heart in a way that I didn’t know Him before.
“Seasons of waiting are designed to prepare you, stretch your faith, and get you ready for everything that’s coming next.”