Don’t you just love waiting seasons?
If you’ve been here very long, you know how very much I love waiting. Just love it.
Like a toothache.
The thing is, this life is full of waiting. Whether we’re waiting for good news, or we’re waiting with uncertainty of what the future holds.
The wait is where growth begins. When we’re waiting for a health test result, we get to choose how we wait. Will we wait with anxiousness? Or will we wait in trust?
What makes waiting so difficult?
Recently, I walked through a health scare. In the midst of undergoing tests to see what was going on, I found myself trembling at the very thought of the worst-case scenario. I clutched tight my desire to be around to watch my boys grow up, graduate from high school and college, and to meet their one-day wives and someday children.
In my mind I know God’s plans are always perfect, and they’re always the best. But as my thoughts circled around the possible outcomes of the tests, my pulse sped up every time my mind mulled over the unknowns. I wanted things to go my way.
But I had no control.
Over the course of days, God confronted me with uncomfortable questions that came down to, “Jeanne, do you trust Me?”
Umm, no? That may have been my initial answer.
Lessons Learned in Waiting Seasons
God was patient as He helped me align my desires with what I know about His character. The truth is, regardless of how those test results turned out, God was still present, and He would be present with Hubs and the boys, even if the worst-case situation became reality.
As my heart aligned with the truth that God is good—that His plans for me are the best plans even if they are hard—worry lost its grip.
Was I still in waiting mode? Yes.
But I got to choose how I waited. I came to the place where I could wait with trust. Because I know God’s character, I didn’t have to allow fear to rule my thoughts.
Truths About When We Have to Wait
Waiting seasons are in-your-face reminders that we have no control in the situation. One thing God’s taught me over the past few years is my desire to control springs from both the fear of the unknown and a lack of trust in my Father’s plan.Choices: 4 Tips for How to Walk Through Waiting Seasons Well—Waiting seasons are in-your-face reminders that we have no control in the situation. #tellhisstory #waitingseasons Click To Tweet
Waiting seasons are an invitation to trust God with the future. Even when the future may hold painful possibilities, our Father is good. And He is trustworthy.
Are you like me? It’s so easy to jump to the worst-case scenarios when we don’t know something. And when we find ourselves waiting for answers that simply need more time, it’s easy to get worked up and worried out.Choices: 4 Tips for How to Walk Through Waiting Seasons Well—And when we find ourselves waiting for answers that simply need more time, it’s easy to get worked up and worried out #tellhisstory #waitingseasons Click To Tweet
We don’t have to give fear the upper hand in our waiting seasons. Instead, we must choose to fix our eyes on God. Spending time in His word and in prayer are essential in forcing fear’s grip on our hearts to loosen.
I love this verse. When we wait for God to work rather than trying to manipulate circumstances in our lives, we can wait in hope. Because we trust God is working, we don’t have to stress ourselves out trying to force things to happen.
What Helps Us Get Through Those Beyond-Our-Control Waiting Seasons
- Nurture the right mindset. Our mindset will determine how well we walk through waiting times. When we choose to focus on God’s character, the waiting can be less anxiety-inducing.
- Bring our uncertainties, our fears, and what-if’s to God. He’s big enough to handle them and to help us navigate them.
- Choose to trust God, no matter what the uncertainty looks like.
- When thoughts begin to loop around the situation that’s tempting us to worry, we need to re-direct our thoughts to the truths found in God’s word.
Eventually all my test results came in. The thing that threw me into an anxious waiting place had resolved itself.
Even if those tests had unveiled my worst nightmare, I knew that I knew God was holding me. He was watching over my family.
When we’re in a place of trusting Him, we’re enabled to wait well. But only if we lift open hands to Him rather than clutched fists.
What about you? What lessons have you learned in an anxiety-inducing time? What is one way you saw God show up in a waiting season?
You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!Click here to enter
Sign up for monthly notes filled with encouragement, updates, and glimpses of how God shows up in each day. Receive free encouragement resources!
I’ve learned the most important part of living happens in the wait of a prayer sent out. When my doctor’s discovered my husband had critical aortic stenosis due to a two leaf heart valve – and needed a new heart valve – followed by the discovery is a cancerous nodule in his lung during pre-testing for valve replacement, that walk of faith required keeping my eyes on God and off fear, on His “All is Well” (2 Kings 4:26) promise. That walk feels like it stretches our souls taut – but God call us to relax in Him. It certainly requires vigilance! Praising God for a good report for you and your family. I am so glad our Father doesn’t leave us to wait alone!
Maryleigh, it’s surprising how God reveals more serious problems thorugh “less serious” health issues. Years ago, my father-in-law had a minor heart attack. In the process of diagnosing and treating him, the doctors discovered an aortic aneurysm that would have taken his life, left undiscovered. I’m so sorry your husband is dealing with these serious isseus. You’re right, though. Keeping our eyes on God in the uncertain waiting times, and inclining our hearts toward Him in prayer can give us His peace in the waiting. And yes, thank goodness we don’t ever have to wait alone!
waiting is where the growth is–so true!!
Thanks, Kathy! I’m thankful God always encourages growth. 🙂
An excellent post about waiting, Jeanne! Sometimes we get the relief of that “all is well” outcome, but at other times, we get the “what we had feared” outcome. Either way our sovereign God works all of this together for our good. This is the greatest relief and the reality that causes our growth in trust of our God and Savior.
You’re so right, Melinda. When we enter a waiting season, only God knows the outcome. Our role is to trust Him, whatever comes. I’m so thankful He is always with us, regardless of the outcome.
Aw, Jeanne … I’m so glad you’ve written about this. Waiting in hope, as you have described it so beautifully, is infinitely better than the alternative. I’m happy that everything turned out OK, but also thankful for all that God taught you through the process. Hugs, friend.
Lois, I agree. Waiting in hope is so much better. Thanks for your kind words. And yes, God does have ways of teaching us in the waiting times, doesn’t He?
I pray for good health for you and for you to feel God’s loving arms around you. I certainly understand because I don’t like the waiting time. Thanks for sharing.
Awww, thanks for those prayers, Yvonne. They are much appreciated. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by!
Ha, I too love waiting seasons like I love a toothache. I always want them to be done ASAP! But some of my best growing has been done in such a waiting season. 🙂
Grinning, Jessica. 🙂 I’m like you . . . some of my best growing has happened in the waiting seasons.
You are speaking straight to me as I struggle with trusting God with something. Thank you for this.
Lauren, it can be hard to trust God with things. I’m saying a prayer for you. 🙂
I’m thankful your issue resolved itself, Jeanne. Those time do test our faith and teach us how to trust. Blessings!
Deb, thank you. yes, those times do indeed test our faith and teach us how to trust. 🙂
I can relate to your experience, Jeanne. A health scare followed by a barrage of tests. It all worked out, but before it did, I had to get to the point of knowing that however it worked out, I trusted the One to whom I belonged!
I’m sorry you walked through that uncertain time, Ava. It seems like sometimes the Lord allows us to undergo the tests so we can choose to trust Him, no matter what. I’m so glad God brought you to that place of trust and that everything worked out in your situation!
Like many others who have commented here, my mind tends to go to the worst case scenarios. And I agree, it is so hard to let go of control even though we know we can trust God. I think God can teach us a lot through times of waiting and uncertainty but they are definitely not easy lessons to learn, and it is definitely a choice to keep trusting. I’m glad your tests came back ok.
Lesley, it seems like sometimes we need to turn our thoughts away from “worst-case” and toward God. My thoughts tend to loop on the unknowns, but I’m working to turn them to the Father sooner than I used to. I’m thankful the Lord is faithful and patient with us, especially when we face uncertainties.
Oh, Jeanne. I needed to read this. I am a worrier. I know in my heart that God is good and He knows best. I only see a limited part of the entire picture, but He has full knowledge. I also know that God is good. Always. I need reminders to let go. I don’t need to be in control of EVERYTHING. God is in control.
I am so glad your issues all resolved themselves. God knows what it is like to be human, to have fear, and to think of the worst-case first.
Laurie, I’m so blessed that God used these words. Life is a little more peaceful when we don’t fight with God for control in our lives, isn’t it? Thanks for the well wishes. I’m so thankful God is faithful, and that He knows what we experience when we walk through difficult seasons.
Jeanne, so difficult. I’ve walked through hard things many, many times and I’ve had to put feet to my faith but it doesn’t make it easy.
I think God continues to grow our faith by allowing us to have to choose to trust Him in uncertain times. You’re right, it’s NOT easy. 🙂
It comes down to trusting his truth and what He says, doesn’t it. Keeping our eyes on him, despite our doubt and worries. “As my heart aligned with the truth that God is good—that His plans for me are the best plans even if they are hard—worry lost its grip.” Oh so true. Glad your tests came back fine.
Jeanne, a beautiful post from the heart. It is never easy to wait, walking through the “unknowns” and “what ifs”. But in those unknowns & what ifs is where intimacy with Christ is nurtured, because when He is all we have, we find He is all we need. He becomes more precious & dear to us. Such great tips for navigating the tough waiting times, thank you!!
Donna, you’re right. It is in those “unknowns” and “what ifs” that God draws us into deeper intimacy with Him. When we remember this truth and walk closely with Him, we’ll be able to know Him better. I love your thoughts here, Donna. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!
Facing down the nightmare
that’s growing worse each day,
I don’t find I really care,
for I shall be OK.
This isn’t superstition,
no ladder nor black cat,
no tarot premonition,
it’s just, well, life is that
certain thing that God ordained
and is not accidental;
and no professor’s yet explained
(though some get temperamental!)
quite how all this came about,
but as for me, I have no doubt.
Andrew, your poem reminds me that nothing surprises God. He is always in control, always loving us, and especially in the most difficult, most painful seasons, He’s always with us. I’m praying for you, my friend.
Not giving fear the upper hand, as you say, is so important. When anxiousness instead of peace erupts within me, I know I am gripping on for control that I do not have. God’s words teach us how to walk in peace, not in anxiety! But, oh do I still fall into my own ways that I think are better at times! We can sure make life on harder than it needs to be when we rely on ourselves.
Lynn, I’ve come to recognize what anxiety is too, that striving for control over a situation I don’t or can’t have. When we lean into the Lord and trust in His word and character we’ll come to know His peace, won’t we? I do still fall into anxiety too, but I’m becoming better at recognizing it and turning it over to Jesus. I love your thoughts here, friend!
I used to be such a good worrier that I joked that it must be a spiritual gift. And then one day miraculously God delivered me from anxiety & worry!
I grinned at your thoughts about having the “gift of worrying.” 😉 God is so faithful. It’s beautiful to hear that He delivered you from anxiety and worry!
I can relate to this all too well! I tend to jump to the worst possible conclusion. I agree with Michele, it’s about imagination! LOL But God is so faithful with us as we work it out, isn’t He?
Rebecca, you and Michele are right. We need to watch our imaginations, don’t we? 🙂 I’m so thankful for God’s continuing faithfulness as we learn to lean into Him in each of our seasons.
As a reformed control-freak, I have learned through the waiting seasons not to try to force my own outcome — that doesn’t mean I won’t still try, but I recognize my stubbornness a lot sooner. Also, looking to the past and to how God has brought me through previous seasons of suffering, helps propel me forward with trust and faith. This health scare will give you a good foothold when the next fearful or uncertain situation comes along. For me I’ve needed a lot of “practice” in waiting to get to this point. And yes, cling to His truth when your fearful mind wants to cling to the enemies lies.
Bev, I grinned at your self-description. I’m a reformed control freak too. I’m so thankful God helps us trust Him in those seasons when we’d rather control. God still gives me practice in waiting and trusting Him as well. I suspect this will be a lesson I come back to off and on through my life. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom here!
beautiful post! Yes, we have nothing to fear when we know the character of God for ourselves.
So true, Mariel! Knowing God’s character saves us a lot of worry and from falling into fear, doesn’t it?
I’ve had several long waiting seasons in my life where a loved-one’s life hung in the balance. I learned to cling to Jesus instead of clinging to my worries. God gave me a promise when Pedro almost died—he would stand beside me, no matter what happened. I would feel his hand of comfort and strength on my shoulder. And I did. When worry started to get me down, a picture of Jesus with his hand on my shoulder would flash across my vision. I would focus on that scene and take a deep breath. I would feel at peace.
Anita, yes, it’s often the hardest waiting seasons that teach us to cling to Jesus. I love that God still gives us promises today, AND He fulfills them. Thank you for sharing how He met you in your most painful waiting seasons. Your story is an inspiration.
Waiting seasons can be hard. I am thankful for the lessons I learn during those waiting seasons. I’m also thankful God is with me in every season. 🙂
Melissa, some of the deepest lessons I’ve learned have been in the waiting seasons. Not easy, but I always come out of them so thankful for God’s faithfulness to teach me and refine me and help me to understand Him better. I’m with you . . . so thankful God is with us in every season!
It’s hard for us to remember that fear is a choice. Great post, Jeanne!
True, Nancy. Fear can feel overpoweringly real. Thanks for stopping by!
Unfortunately, I share your struggle with staying in the moment while waiting! Our imaginations are fertile ground for the what-ifs, and God hasn’t promised grace for imaginary troubles.
Ahhh, Michele. We seem to have so much in common. 😉 Yes, staying in the moment is so hard, especially when we’re in the middle of trials. I loved what you said about God not promising grace for imaginary troubles. That made me smile.
I have a tendency to jump to the worst possibilities, too. And though I know His grace will be sufficient for whatever He allows, there are still certain paths I’d rather not travel. It encourages me that even Jesus prayed, “Not my will, but thine be done.” But He was willing for His Father’s will, and I need to be, too.
Barbara, what is it about us women that leans us toward the tendency of immediately going toward the worst-case scenarios? That prayer Jesus prayed is also a huge encouragement to me. Thanks for sharing that here. And yes, if Jesus prayed it, it’s okay for us to pray it too. 🙂