• Carolyn Norton

Are you Waiting Well?

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

A diagnosis. A baby. A spouse. A job. A promotion. Test results. Your top college choice. A sorority bid. A winfall. To be freed from something or someone. Your citizenship. An offer. Your welfare check. Healing. To die. To live.

We are all waiting on something.

For me, it’s several things, but mostly I’ve been waiting to be a wife and mother…for years now. For you, it may be something else. Regardless of what that is, waiting is hard and no fun! And it’s easy to feel like we are in it all alone, like sheep without a Shepherd. Whether it’s waiting for something as small as a meal to finish cooking or as life-changing as a cancer diagnosis, we all know that “a watched pot never boils”. Waiting requires the patience of Job. How we wait and what we do with our time though is the key.

In November of 2017 I went to a women’s event at my church (Passion City) called The Grove. I loved going to these each month, but this particular night I didn’t want to go. That weekend I had some minor health concerns that made me realize my dreams of becoming a mom may not happen, and I jumped to conclusions and started to grieve that. I was distraught. I felt abandoned by God. I was all alone and figured no one would understand. Yet, that Monday, I felt God urging me to go to the Grove. I’m so glad I did.

Lisa Harper spoke that night. I had heard of Lisa, followed her on Instagram and knew she was an amazing author and speaker, but I had no idea how much her story would resonate with me. She started talking about how she had dreamed of being a wife and mother from a young age- and in that order. Wow- me too. I could so relate. She talked about being single in her 40’s and how her longing of being a mom was some days even stronger than her longing to be a wife. Hmmm. I’ve felt that way too! She talked about feeling like God had forgotten about her because she never imagined that she’d be single THAT LONG. Yep, I hear ya sister. Me too. She said it felt like all of her friends were moving ahead with their stories playing out beautifully, while she was just “stuck”. This middle-aged woman who had been in 13 weddings by age 35 could TOTALLY relate!

Then, she told us about God leading her to adopt a little girl in Haiti (Missy) who changed her whole world. Wait, hold up. Now I can’t relate. It’s supposed to be- girl finds husband and THEN they have kids, right? My mind starts to go to all kinds of places. How could that ever be me? I can barely afford to live on my own- much less raise a child as a single woman. Lisa starts to talk about how God’s plan isn’t always how we imagined- in fact, it’s often NOT how we imagined. But through her adoption with Missy, she realized that maybe her story was unique and different for a reason and “for such a time as this”. And she began to look at her own story as beautiful, even appreciating that it was quite different from most peoples’, and that God loved her that much to entrust her with this beautiful child being raised in this non-traditional way. Wow. I’ve never looked at my own life that way. God what are you trying to teach me?

As she closed, Lisa challenged the audience with this question- “What are we doing with our time while we’re waiting? Are we waiting WELL?” This hit me hard. If I was being honest, I was NOT waiting well. I was not turning to God every chance I got or glorifying Him in the waiting. Instead, I was often consumed with things of this world- TV, my phone, social media. I wasn’t even working out much or following the life plan I had worked hard on the year before. I even found myself staying at work late to avoid going home to an empty house. I felt like I was downstream without a paddle, and so did many of my single friends.

I’d like to tell you that, as I sit here almost two years later, I’ve finally learned how to wait well. Life is good. I’m rocking this singleness thing. I’m not sitting here waiting for Mr. Right, but I have total faith that he’s still coming and so are the kids I’ve longed for. I’m in God’s word every day, soaking in all of the truth He has spoken over my life, and I have found total peace and purpose in the waiting.

But I would be lying.

Instead, I still struggle, almost daily. I have come to realize that loneliness can consume you if you let it. It’s truly an epidemic- and not just for singles. I’m well aware that I have friends who are lonely in an unhappy marriage or lonely in other ways. I am certainly not alone. Am I an expert on waiting well? No, but I sure am an expert on WAITING. And my guess is that many of you feel that way too. It’s because of this that I wanted to start this blog.

Though I am not waiting well right now, that is my goal. I want to be patient in the waiting and lean into my heavenly Father every day, trusting in His plan for my life, whatever that may be, traditional or not. While I don’t understand why He’s had me in this season for so long, I will find purpose in it, and maybe it’s here, as I write these words and say them out loud. My hope is that we can encourage each other through it. Lord knows, I need you on this journey with me.

What are YOU waiting for and how can I be praying for you?

“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)

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