Oh don't mind me, just getting blown over by a storm here!
Does anyone like waiting? I’m going to assume nobody yelled, ‘YES!’ after reading that question. My answer is most definitely NO!
According to a Timex survey, Americans wait an average of:
32 minutes whenever they visit a doctor
28 minutes in security lines whenever they travel
21 minutes for a significant other to get ready to go out (Kyle says this number should be higher)
13 hours annually waiting on hold for a customer service (this might be Comcast alone)
38 hours each year waiting in traffic, and those living in big cities wait in traffic more than 50 hours annually
That is A LOT of waiting! I’m still trying to figure out how to honor the Lord while I wait in traffic.
Our focus this week is: how can we honor the Lord during a season of waiting?
Last week, I shared a story about losing my job, which was one of the best things to ever happen to me. The waiting period between losing my job and starting a new job was just over three months. I don’t have all of the answers to waiting well, but I’m going to share the lessons God taught me in my season of waiting.
When you’re in a season of waiting:
1. Remember God’s faithfulness
A verse that continued to stick out to me during unemployment was 1 Corinthians 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
People love to throw out scripture when someone is down, right? Someone read this verse to me after I lost my job and I wanted to strangle them. I love Jesus, but I did not want to hear this verse! However, when the initial sting of job loss faded away, I felt ready to embrace the truth of the words in 1 Corinthians.
I believe with all of my heart if God doesn’t bless me with one more thing on earth, He has already given me more than enough. Unemployment taught me how truly generous our Father is. He has been faithful for our entire lives, and we can believe He will show up for our futures!
During the downs of unemployment, I had to pick myself up and choose to believe God’s best was coming even though I felt like I was sitting in His worst. Remember what He has blessed you with in the past, and know He has more on the way for your future!
2. Read the Bible
I know, this sounds like a “churchy” answer, but hear me out! The Bible is FULL of encouragement. The God who Jesus followed is the same God we get to follow today. He never changes! Man – that brings me so much encouragement, especially with how much our world changes daily. When circumstances feel uneasy, with no hope in sight, know God isn’t shaken even when you are. He doesn’t judge you for feeling scared. You’re his kid, and He will take care of you.
Waiting seasons can feel like an eternity! If you take time to focus on Jesus, I think you’ll find your season of waiting is an opportunity to grow and glorify him.
3. Surround yourself with authentic encouragers
I’m not talking about the rah-rah people who only say, “You are AWESOME! You’ll be A-OK in no time!” and move on. I’m talking about the people who speak truth and love into your life. The people who believe in Jesus and in you. The people who walk through the pain of waiting WITH you.
People love to be encouraged, and encouragers love TO encourage. Say that ten times fast. Find the consistent, authentic encouragers in your life and spend time with them when you're in a stormy waiting season. Encouragers find joy in lifting you up! You don’t have to go through tough seasons alone, especially when God specifically created people to help you through! It's their gift - let them use it. Allow yourself to be known and encouraged because you’re worth it.
4. Cling to hope
After about two months of the job search grind, I came home one day feeling completely crushed. My situation felt hopeless. I felt like a failure. I climbed into my bed and started ugly crying.
Where are you, God? Why haven’t you helped me yet? I need you and you aren’t showing up.
I learned in the moments of complete, and utter heartache, Jesus was right there all along. He knew the plan all along. He had me in his hands all along. In my doubt, I had to remind myself that hope and joy are a choice. I could choose to sit in my dark room, ugly crying, or I could choose to get on my knees and pray to a God who is full of hope. It’s a lot easier to sit in sadness than to fight for joy.
I had to make an effort every single day of unemployment to wake up, choose hope, and trust God is who He says He is. We serve a God who is with us in our waiting! He brought me into a stormy season of waiting, and I had to know and believe He could carry me out. Choose to believe in hope.
So, good news, I found a new job three months later! I started the new job with a deeper faith, refreshed outlook and thankful heart. I don’t know if I would have grown as much in my faith if it wasn’t for the months of unemployment.
Now, roughly 7 years later, I’m still talking about that time I got fired. At a time of defeat, God saw victory. At a time of uncertainty, God saw a plan. At a time of hopelessness, God saw more hope than I could imagine. He sees these things for you too.
1 Corinthians 2:9, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Have a great week!
ALSO! Next week is going to be extra special because I'm handing the blog over to one of my dear friends. You're in for a treat!
How can you honor the Lord in your season of waiting?
What are past blessings you can cling to in order to have hope for your future?
Who are your authentic encouragers?