Embracing the Wait
By Kayla Faherty
Mister Rogers must have known a bit about waiting. He wrote a song titled “It’s Hard to Wait.” And it goes like this: “I think it's very very very hard to wait. Especially when you're waiting for something very nice. I think it's very very very hard to wait.” This song has been sung in our house for everything from waiting for dessert to waiting for a special visitor to arrive, from waiting for a birthday party to waiting for a trip to the beach, and everything in between. We sing this song with our daughters and it helps us all remember that waiting is hard sometimes.
We all wait for things to happen, and as we get older the things we are waiting for seem to grow in importance. Whether we’re waiting for an exam, presentation, graduation, interview, vacation, a special visit, an engagement, a wedding, the birth of a child, or any other number of life’s adventures, waiting is hard. Anticipating and preparing for these events seems to take up a good amount of time. Sometimes it can feel like too much time. And what about when the thing you are looking forward to doesn’t seem to be happening? I am writing this from a place you may be familiar with, a “tired of waiting” place.
Mister Rogers also wrote a song titled “Let’s Think of Something to Do.” And in our family we find ourselves singing this song too sometimes. The song encourages us to think of something to do while we’re waiting, and shares how liberating it can be. While it is true that it is hard to wait, each of us gets to choose what we do with our time of waiting. We can allow our waiting to be a time of sadness, worry, and fear. Or we can allow our experiences in waiting to grow our joy, hope, and love.
My husband and I are trying to grow our family, and following two miscarriages, we are still waiting. Each month with its hopes and subsequent disappointments, it would have been easy to become discouraged. The waiting started to feel heavy. I reached a point where the waiting was only a burden until I decided to lay it down in order to take up the freedom of waiting. As a result of this simple decision waiting is becoming a time of growth.
Sure, waiting can be static inactivity if we are stationary and our hearts unmoving and stagnant. And if we are only focusing on the future, on what may or may not happen, we are sure to miss out on what is going on right now, and on the opportunity to grow and change in the midst of waiting. Life happens when we’re waiting. Shifting our perspective from the unknown future to the here and now is all it takes to transform waiting into productivity and conversion.
In the same way that it is good to study for an exam in order to increase our chance of doing well, there are also practical things steps we can take in order to do our best with other areas of life. I can focus on my marriage. I can care for our children. I can work on our financial stability. I can improve my health. I can spend time fostering friendships with women who encourage me. There are so many small steps I can take today to become the woman I want to be tomorrow.
My presence in life is more important than wondering what the future might bring. Sometimes we forget that the most important person is the one I am with right now. The most important thing is whatever I am doing right now. And the most important time is right now. I do not want to allow the future to distract me from the task in front of me. While I can feel the Lord calling me to grow my family, that day is not today. So what is the Lord calling me to do today?
Psalm 27:14 says “Wait for the LORD, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the LORD!” I can have the courage to live in the moment, to be fully present for my family, friends, and important work. I can trust that God holds the future and that He has entrusted the present to me. And that is the turning point. The place where I can embrace the wait.