Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. –Psalm 27:14
I have to be honest. I never would have thought reading Dr. Seuss to my kids would inspire me to write a Christian post, but last night it did. I was reading “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” It is at the top of my list of books I enjoy reading to my children so much so that it was the theme for our daughter’s nursery. It’s inspiring for the road ahead, but also introduces the reality of the trials we will face along the way. I always stumble over one passage though.
“You can get so confused that you’ll start in to race down long wiggled roads at break-necking pace and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space, headed, I fear, toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place…”
Here, I have to disagree. The Waiting Place is certainly not a most useless place. In fact, I believe quite to the contrary. The Waiting Place is a most useful place.
I am intimately knowledgeable of The Waiting Place. I spent six and a half years of my life there. Waiting. Wondering. Hoping. Waiting some more. I wanted more than anything to become a mother. Month after month, I would hope to move on from that space into my dream for my life. Month after month, I was sent back to my chair to wait some more. After six and a half years, a courageous young woman entrusted the life of her son into our care. Finally, I was released to go live out my deepest desire.
The Waiting Place is certainly not a fun spot to find yourself. I always found it sort of ironic that “barren” held a double meaning. In one sense, it described exactly what I was-unable to reproduce. In a second way, it stands for bleak and lifeless. Wandering through those years of my life certainly felt bleak and lifeless. In the midst of it, I questioned God many times of the purpose of holding me in that place. Often, I felt alienated and forgotten.
On the other side, now, I see how God held me in the palm of his hand through that part of my life. I was surrounded with an amazing support system and grew tremendously in my Christian walk.
I started the journey as a twenty-five year old who was in control of her life. I had the perfect job and I was married to my best friend. My spiritual life was active, but I really did not understand what it was to rely on God. Characteristics like patience and hope were also in short supply.
My prayer life was more along the lines of someone asking a genie to grant their wishes than it was a personal connection with my Father. I asked for things like a stronger relationship with God and the virtues that would make me a sound Christian expecting that God would just give them to me. I look back at the start of time in The Waiting Place and see just how immature I was.
God answered my prayers in ways that would force me to grow. I had to learn to relinquish the illusion I had that I was in control of my life. I had to willfully practice patience, hope and trust in order to build my ability to be patient, hopeful and trusting. Instead of praying for my wants and desires, I learned to pray for the strength to accept His will for my life.
For me, The Waiting Place was the most fruitful time in my life. So many of the lessons I learned there have become the building blocks that are the foundation of my life now. It wasn’t just a useful place, but a critical place that created the woman I am today.
If you are currently in the waiting place, know that God has a will for your life that has yet to be revealed. David writes many times in Psalms about waiting on the Lord. Never does he portray it as easy, but as a vital skill to learn.
There is beauty to be found there.
There are lessons to be found there.
There is growth to be found there.
It is anything but “a most useless place.”
As always, if you have questions, ideas or would like to study more please contact me at TheRefreshingWell@gmail.com.