I remember sitting in the farmhouse dining room, eyes fixed on the whiteboard. That rectangle on the wall illustrated not only subjects such as math or english, but also truths from God’s Word. Often part of our school morning routine involved reading from the Psalms or Proverbs. And the woman who birthed us into the world would try to help us see beyond the world we lived in, tried to train and equip us with God’s truth.
While I’m certain there’s lots I didn’t retain, I do remember my mother’s words on these two matters, something she drilled into us over and over again:
The best thing you can do in life is to remain open and teachable. And the hardest thing you’ll face is waiting.
My young mind would agree. There were things I eagerly anticipated and looked forward to, days that seemed as if they’d never come! As with most children, birthdays and Christmas were at the top of my list. And there was the opening day of fishing season, waiting for my cat to have kittens, for the plums to ripen so I could use my little legs to climb the tree and gobble up the juicy fruits without the acid hurting my teeth.
I don’t know when I began growing up, but suddenly, I was waiting for bigger things, things that involved work to accomplish the desired result. Training a horse until it was trustworthy, pursuing music until I could play well, easily, beautifully; working to fill the college bank account, praying and waiting for God to become more real in my personal life.
And then it was college, a time of learning and growing in my relationship with my heavenly Father, trying to decide my mission and direction in life, then graduation and a job that evolved into a full-time position. Each step required waiting in some form or another. There were unknowns, learning to ride the wave of life as it often flows, filled with times of waiting, waiting for the next door to open, the next step to unfold. Sometimes exciting, sometimes frustrating, I began to better understand exactly what my mom meant. It wasn’t always easy to wait.
But I had yet another level to learn of!
When sickness hit, I learned to wait in a new way. With a body that was crumbling a bit more each month, panic set in. Waking to the morning light with hands and feet that didn’t function properly was earth-shattering. I wanted answers and I wanted (even felt as if I needed) them NOW! I was doing all I could on my end. Doctors, natropaths, research, lifestyle changes, praying and stretching my hands out for anything anywhere that I could take hold of, all for nothing it seemed.
Waiting for the expected holds anticipation. Waiting while working toward a goal takes determination. How we wait when things are beyond our control is revealing.
Revealing, because regardless of whether or not we previously knew it, what we truly value most will come to the light. During that period of helpless waiting, little mattered other than relationships with those I loved and my personal connection with my heavenly Father. Goals and ambitions, experiences and successes I thought I wanted, slipped into the background. Nothing else mattered except what would last for forever.
“Yes mother, sometimes it is difficult to wait. I’m still waiting, but this time not necessarily for goals, dreams and ambitions to be fulfilled. I’m waiting for that day when I can be with my Father, with Jesus, to finally have my broken world and body made aright because of His presence, to sense the completeness of love and life that must be in His presence. I’m waiting with much anticipation and hope.”