Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving: Why I'm Thankful for Waiting

Thanksgiving is one of those heart-check holidays. It makes you step back and take inventory of your thoughts, what you are truly thankful for. It usually forces me to come face-to-face with the juxtaposition of what I have and what I want, especially this year because I've spent a good chunk of time fixated on what I want.

The reality is I'm in a season of waiting for what I want. And waiting in our culture is seen as a negative. No one wants to have to wait for anything, that's why things like instant downloads and overnight shipping exist. Because we crave instant gratification and want things to come quickly and easily. But let me just put this out there: waiting isn't bad.

This year, I'm thankful for waiting. I'm thankful that I am being forced to wait because it isn't my choice, but through that, I am beginning to see the good in waiting.

I'm thankful for waiting because it gives me an opportunity to put my hopes and desires in God's hands, committing them to Him and not myself. I'm thankful for waiting because I can look with expectancy to how God will answer, how He will act, what He will do. I'm thankful for waiting because it produces the lasting joy of endurance as opposed to the temporary happiness of instant gratification. I'm thankful for waiting because at the end, I will give God the glory and not myself. Waiting forces me to realize that I can't accomplish this on my own, nothing good comes from me.

It's true that the best things in life are worth waiting for. I had to wait 12 years to become a sister, a long and lonely road on which I was mostly impatient before giving up hope. I didn't look with expectancy to God, I just assumed over time that the answer was no and I decided to stop hoping. I missed an opportunity to look to God's timing, glorifying Him for His plan and provision of a little brother.

I waited more years than I thought I wanted to before getting married. The longing to be in a relationship drove me to take matters into my own hands rather than waiting on God's plan for my love life. I wasted the years I could have grown in my relationship with God on numerous dates and dead-end relationships. I chose to ignore opportunities to look for God's plan and grew impatient in the journey. A time that was filled with frustration could have instead been filled with patient waiting for a story only God could write.

I don't want impatience and a fear of waiting to dictate my life or my choices. The reality is that waiting will always happen, but it doesn't have to be seen as something bad or burdensome. In the waiting we are also becoming, becoming who we are going to be in the next stage of life, when this waiting is done.

In singleness we are transforming into who we will be in marriage, a journey that can be filled with expectation, excitement, and once in a lifetime experiences. In growing families, we are adjusting to become the best sibling, the best parent or grandparent we can be for the new person who will join our unit. In other stages and areas of life, we are maturing, expanding, always becoming someone different, and hopefully, someone better.

For once in my life I want to take time to appreciate the process of waiting. I want to find peace in the midst of the uncertainty, joy in the hardship, and grace in the disappointment. And so this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the opportunity to wait. What are you thankful for?

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