When we were in the process of adopting Joseph, we finally got word that his in-country court date was set for July. I stared at the calendar and time eked by. I rearranged books in the nursery and resorted tot-sized toys.
I made up my mind. My mama heart couldn't wait any longer. I hammered out some emails and prayed for positive responses. Because I was booking myself a one-way ticket for June -- a month before our scheduled time.
If patience is a virtue, I'm cut from an un-virtuous cloth.
It's a reoccurring theme in my life -- know what I want, and don't waste time in the meanwhile. Because life is short, right?
I've seen it played out time and time again -- people spending time passively waiting for things to happen to them. And what are they left with? Not much of anything. Not much living, anyway.
I've been able to jumpstart many things in my life. Education and career goals, family hopes and dreams.
But fortitude and passion are weaknesses, too. Positive attributes can easily become corrupted. Desire for control manifests in ugly ways. Control is a deceitful and cunning lie that's just so easy to believe.
I'm waiting for so much right now -- and there's nothing I can do to control any of it. Waiting is hard and that's why I don't like it.
Waiting is for the weak.
To acknowledge this is to admit my weaknesses, to acknowledge my human condition, to defer to something bigger than myself.
I can't fully grasp God's overarching love if I rely solely on my strength. When I do this, I use the Holy Spirit more as a booster, less as an engine.
Throughout scripture, we see an overarching narrative of waiting. Waiting for captives to be set free, waiting for a Messiah, waiting for the coming King.
We are weak in our wait, and it's in those seasons where we cling to God's sovereignty and goodness, seeking and seeing grace revealed in the quiet unknown. He is a good, good Father, and he desires humility, not hustle.
I'm experiencing my own season of wait right now. Waiting for spoken and unspoken prayer to become reality. I'm aware of my propensity to take the reigns, but it's painfully clear I'm waiting for things to happen that are mightily out of my grasp.
In these times, I have to trust that God actually does see me. That he actually does care for the big and little parts of my heart. That he created me for a purpose and that he knows me better than I even know myself.
Advent is a time on the Holy calendar where Christians across the globe spend time waiting, anticipating.
Without the wait, we can't fathom the glory.
A thrill of hope, a weary world rejoices.
Waiting can certainly be passive -- or it can be an active, holy experience.
"Celebrating Advent means being able to wait. Waiting in an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It was to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespectful hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them.
Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting -- that is, of hopefully doing without -- will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment." (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, God is in the Manger)
To my friends who are "hopefully doing without" -- you are seen. I may not know your wait, but we have a loving, all-powerful God who does. He so intimately knows what your heart aches for because he entered the brokenness of the world and experienced it.
Waiting isn't easy for me, but I'm learning waiting is for the weak, and that's good.