Just as we have spring, summer, winter and autumn calendar seasons and each with its own peculiarity, so also we have the season of waiting. Besides the fact that it’s characterized by challenges and uncertainties, it’s also a season designed to reposition us for greater success in life. Written by Mandy Hale and originally posted on relevantmagazine.com
As Winter Storm Jonas rocked much of the country a couple of weeks ago, I found myself trapped inside my apartment for a few days due to the condition of the roads. I should add that I live in middle Tennessee, where any real amount of snow is a rarity—we treat it as an apocalyptic event when it actually occurs.
We run to the grocery store, we cancel school (sometimes before a single flake falls), and we seem to forget entirely how to drive. It’s like everything we ever learned about driving shoots right out of our heads and we’re left skidding around like a child’s first bike ride without training wheels.
So when the snow began to fall … and fall … and fall some more, I decided I wasn’t going anywhere. I was going to stay put. Wait it out. Enjoy a few days of trapped, hibernating quietly. And for a while, the beauty of the snow and the coziness of my warm apartment had me waiting in sheer bliss. Hot cocoa was made. Netflix binges were had. I got some work done that might have gone neglected otherwise. I took bubble baths. Had a chat with God. Read a book. I was snug as a bug in a rug.
Then hour 11 or 12 of waiting out the storm arrived, and I found myself going stir crazy. This waiting stuff was not for the faint of heart. I wanted to see people. I was craving Chick-fil-A. My apartment no longer felt cozy and warm, but stifling and claustrophobic. I needed to drive and move and talk and act I couldn’t wait one more minute!
WAITING OF ANY KIND SERVES A PURPOSE. IT ISN’T JUST TIME WASTED.
But then God reminded me of the irony of my situation. I just wrote a book that speaks to the heart of waiting—waiting for love, waiting for marriage, waiting for children, waiting for an answer, or a diploma, or for God—and as He always manages to do, He showed me that the whole “waiting out the storm” thing wasn’t that much different than waiting for anything else. Waiting of any kind serves a purpose. It isn’t just time wasted.
Here are three things to remember when you find yourself in your own season of waiting.
#1. Waiting Isn’t Punishment
It’s often preparation. Or even protection. I wasn’t ready to drive on the icy, snowy, dangerous roads—and the roads weren’t ready for me—and God knew that.
For me to get impatient and frustrated and stubbornly venture out into the ice and snow anyway might have resulted in any level of chaos or catastrophe. I could have caused an accident. Or I could have gotten myself stuck somewhere that wasn’t nearly as pleasant to wait out the storm as my apartment was.
I wasn’t prepared to drive in hazardous road conditions, so waiting for those conditions out rather than taking matters into my own hands spared me, and possibly others, unnecessary heartache, trouble, and inconvenience. (Which waiting of any kind is always designed to do.)
#2. The Waiting Won’t Last Forever
A few days after the storm, the weather warmed up to the mid-50s, and the sun shone so brightly it was almost impossible to imagine that just days before, snow had covered the roadways and put life on hold for so many people.
WHATEVER YOU’RE WAITING FOR IN THIS MOMENT, EMBRACE IT. DON’T FIGHT AND STRUGGLE AGAINST IT. DON’T DENY IT. DON’T DESPAIR.
Here’s the thing: No matter how long the wait, there will be a resolution. You might not be able to see it now. You might not see anything whatsoever happening on the surface to prove that your season of waiting has an expiration date. But it always does. Sometimes you just have to be still and know He is God and that in His perfect time and His perfect way, the answer will come. The snow will melt. The waiting will end.
#3. You Don’t Just Have to Idly Sit Around Doing Nothing
You can wait and live at the same time. During my snowy wait, I went out and took a walk and snapped pictures and enjoyed the beautiful sights and sounds of complete peace. That’s what snow does to the world—blankets it in beautiful silence and peace. And that’s what a season of waiting does for your life, too: silences the struggle and the striving and cultivates peace and trust and contentment in this moment.
On day two of my wait, my parents came and picked me up and we met up with my sister and brother-in-law and nieces and went sledding—my first time ever to go sledding. We made wonderful, lifelong memories right there in the midst of the waiting. Memories that wouldn’t have happened had we not been forced to hit the time-out button on “normal” life and just trust the beauty of now.
So whatever you’re waiting for in this moment, embrace it. Don’t fight and struggle against it. Don’t deny it. Don’t despair. Trust that in the meantime—in the not knowing, in the “not yet,” in the becoming—there is great joy and purpose and hope. Embrace the beautiful uncertainty of your season of waiting, knowing that somehow, someday. someway, an answer is on its way.