How to Thrive in a Season of Waiting

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I’m a pusher. I’m always looking ahead to the next thing. (I’ve come to realize I’m a lot like Peter in one of my favorite stories, “The Magic Thread,” a short story about a boy who was constantly yearning for what was to come!)

When I was a kid, I wanted to be in middle school. I wanted to be allowed to wear eye shadow. I wanted to be old enough to be in the school’s top jazz band. And then in high school, I kept up that pattern of striving – creating my class schedule (and plan) well in advance, applying early to a good number of schools. In college, I suppose I pushed towards the future even harder. I met with my academic advisor happily, excited to further craft my future plan. I applied for the top programs I could find that pointed me toward my future career. For better or for worse, my then-boyfriend (now husband) was also aware of how badly I wanted to know the future – he knew I wanted to be engaged, how I wanted to apply early for jobs, wanted to have everything lined up in advance. I knew we would get engaged before long, I knew I would eventually find a job, I knew I would have a place to live, I knew we would get married someday, I knew I’d eventually figure out a car situation……I just wanted to know WHEN. And let’s be honest, I wanted the “when” to be ASAP! When would this happen? When would that happen? I wanted so desperately to plot these important events (and even some not-as important ones) on my life’s timeline.

Being a pusher and planner is a mixed bag. On one hand, being such a pusher and planner allows me that sense of being “in control” and ambitious and prepared. On the other hand, it can be exhausting, overwhelming, and it brings out the unpleasant side of my perfectionistic tendencies. Most notably, when I push-push-push blindly towards the future, I often find myself elbowing God out of the picture and not allowing Him to replace the dreams I clench so tightly!

Fast forward to today: As much as I attempted to resist it through planning and overthinking and more planning (eek, old habits die hard!), during this past month, I came to realize that I was in a season of waiting. Not in every area of my life. But in several! There recently have been a lot of changes and big decisions happening at work. And that was only a small fraction of the ways April has been up in the air. Bjorn was all lined up to be a bone marrow donor (that’s why he flew to DC) but things changed and they found another match. There have been several other topics on the home front that he and I have been researching, discussing, and then moving forward on, or in some cases, waiting on.

I am unfortunately a good example of an impatient person. Yes, when it comes to kiddos during the day, I have an incredible amount of grace and patience for a child sounding out the word “map” verrrry slooooowly (I love my students dearly!!), yet as soon as I get home, the what-if’s and nitty gritty problems of this life swirl up around me and I find myself panicking and forgetting how to tread water while I wait. But this past month, well, we did it. I feel like we made a whole slew of important decisions, and had our 3-month quota of serious talks packed into a mere 30 days… At the end of it all, while I don’t really wish to relive the past month (haha), I did find myself learning to cope with this whole waiting thing.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

How to Thrive During a Season of Waiting:

1 // Plan, but then stop planning. Think hard when you need to. Make the list or the phone call or do the research you need to do to get the ball rolling, but then stop thinking about it. Take a break. Go outside. Relax. Have yourself a good old laugh. Do something totally different for a change. It’s not healthy to obsess over the what-if’s.

2 // Cover the situation with prayer. This month, I FINALLY got myself in the habit of waking up earlier on weekdays to read the Bible and pray. Just this simple quiet time built into my schedule has made a big difference in how I approach the day. Take the time to lay your problems before God in the morning; they’re too heavy for you to lug around all day.

3 // Resist what our culture says about waiting. Which is, “You don’t have to wait!” Instant gratification has leaked messily into our daily lives. Our culture tells us that we can buy or get instant results for everything we want right now! Push that aside with Christ’s help if you are finding yourself negatively affected by the instant gratification around you. Sometimes, “right now” is not the plan God has for you.

4 // Do not, do not, do not compare. “Live your own life. Walk your own path. Be your own person. Don’t compare the beginning of your story to someone else’s middle.” There are tons of cliches to cover this, yet we all play the comparison game anyway. We’ve got to crawl out of this pit. You are a different person from that Facebook friend who’s accomplishing all those things – you have different God-given talents, ambitions, dreams, and a unique corner of the world you are privileged to live in. You are meant to be different. Live the life God has called you to live – it’s a lot harder to try to live the life God has called someone else to live. 😉

5 // Let go of the things God whispers “not now” to. Maybe the dream doesn’t need to be destroyed, but just gently set aside until later. Perhaps God is calling you to focus on what you have right in front of you!

6 // Live within the boundaries of today (from April 5 of “Jesus Calling”). We are not meant to wake up in the morning, peer 2 years down the road, get super overwhelmed, and collapse back into bed! God created us to live within 24-hour increments. His grace is enough for you today. Serve Him with all that you are today, and then wake up tomorrow with fresh energy and a heart to accept his grace and strength for the next day. Living moment by moment forces us to daily rely on God!

7 // Accept the strengthening and toning of your character in this season. Make note of the positives you are beginning to see in yourself.

So, friends… Are you finding yourself in a season of waiting right now? How has it been for you? How have you learned and struggled and grown through the wait?



    1. That is so true, Katie!! Thanks for sharing – and for reading along. It’s really hard for me at times to remember God is in control, too. I’m glad this post spoke to you!

    1. Isn’t it, Ashlee? You’re so right! It really is hard (especially #5) but I’m learning just how good it is for me to really trust and let go. Thanks for reading!

    1. Wonderful point, Daisy! We don’t have to wait to thrive – we can learn through the season that we’re in!! Thanks for the reminder!

  1. I’ve read so many posts on “seasons of wait”; it’s great to finally read one about how to deal with them. Thank you! I’m currently in a season of wait, and have been for some time. At times it has been no fun, but during others it has been comforting to know that I don’t have to deal with area right now.

    1. I’m so glad you liked the post and that you found it truly useful!! I understand where you’re coming from – waiting isn’t fun, but once we find others who are also waiting (on whatever it is!) then it really is comforting. I love trying to learn from others in similar positions. Thanks for reading along!

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