Refresher: When You're Weary in the Waiting

Photo by  Diana Simumpande  on  Unsplash

Have you ever grown weary of waiting as you anticipate a breakthrough, opportunity or a long-awaited answer to your prayer request?

You wonder where God is amid your waiting or why He’s taking so long. You’re ready for Him to show up and meet you where you are because you believe something more is waiting for you. Something beyond mundane, everyday living. You’re ready for God to blow your door of opportunity off the hinges so you can walk through to something greater on the other side.

You stand on a word. You pray. You give your angst to God. You rest.

And nothing happens.

Doubt creeps in, presenting itself as the voice of reason. It tells you, 'maybe this isn’t meant for you. Maybe this waiting season means no.'

But even when the whispers of doubt turn into screams, something continues to burn deep down inside of you. Your purpose fuels you. It tells you not to let go on days when you're ready to give up. It reminds you to hold on to your dream, no matter how long it takes. 

It confirms you can’t let your dream die in the waiting season.

So, you keep waiting.


In the Waiting 

We’ve all been here. Many of us find ourselves in the waiting during different phases throughout our life. Sometimes, God gives us the green light and everything comes together in beautiful ways we never imagined, while other times He closes a door that's not meant for us. There's no second-guessing or questioning. We have a concrete answer.

And then there's that season when it feels like we're just waiting, and God is moving in sloooow motion. People around us get confirmation and all kinds of answers, but we're still waiting like, ‘hello. Remember me?’ 

The struggle during the waiting season is real. I find myself trying to stay afloat and maintain my faith while silencing my doubts and the voices that tell me what I "can't" do or what "won't" happen. Some days are easier than others. I see the vision, and I just want to get there. I don't want to wait. I want things to happen now. 

The waiting season can be an uncomfortable place. During this time, many become discouraged, weary, frustrated, disappointed and angry (I’ve experienced all of the above). But on the other side of our frustration, the waiting phase can also be a time of growth as we learn how to trust the process and lean on God for direction. When we endure the waiting, we come out stronger and more resilient. We are a better person to handle what He has in store for us.

God doesn’t hold back our blessings because we’re undeserving. He doesn’t make us wait to watch us squirm or to make us miserable. Although I can see a vision of where I want to go, God’s plan for my life may look completely different from what I currently envision. Our vision is often limited and places us into a box based on what we perceive as our best talents and strengths. But God sees gifts in us that we haven’t even tapped into yet. Our undiscovered potential can lead us into new territory we never considered. And He prepares us for those moments in the waiting.


How Much Longer, God?


Throwback: Reflections on the Waiting
Two days after I graduated from college, my family packed up our home and moved to Charlotte while I stayed behind to pursue job opportunities in Chicago. I came up with a plan to give myself one year to find a job in my field, and if nothing came of my job search, I'd join them in North Carolina when the year was up.

That was a challenging year for me. I bunked with one of my best friends over the summer, and when our lease ended, I moved in with another friend and slept on her couch. I felt kind of homeless after a few months. I worked at the county health department in mental health. Although I enjoyed talking to the patients, I went to school for journalism, so I felt unfulfilled doing admin work in the mental health department.

Time marched on. Job interviews came few and far between. One day I landed a job interview for an editing position. I truly thought I nailed it, until I got the dreaded "sorry, but you ain't it" email. My temp job at the health department ended and I landed a job transfer I wasn't enthused about. The year was winding down, and absolutely nothing happened despite my prayers and long talks with God. I still slept on the couch. Job prospects dried up. All signs indicated my time in Chicago was up. I gave it my best, and I truly missed my family. I was over it and figured it was time to make moves.

Almost one year after I graduated, I received a phone call from the same company that turned me down months before. She asked if I was still interested in the editing position. I landed another interview, and this time I got the job! The commute was far, but I found an apartment listed at an extremely discounted rate. Turns out the discount was an accident, but they gave it to me for the low rental price. Everything started coming together. The wait in this particular season of my life was over, and I was so appreciative and grateful.

Little by Little

Even though God can give us every desire in our heart in the upcoming year, that doesn’t mean He will do it all at once. There are times He moves suddenly, and then there are moments He takes his time. God moves at a speed that always works in our favor. Whenever and however He moves, it’s always for our benefit. 

When the children of Israel were in the wilderness after being delivered from slavery, God told them:

I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.
— Exodus 23:27-30, NIV


God made a promise to the children of Israel, but He also made it clear that He would take His time for their sake – "little by little." He recognized the threats and problems they would encounter if He drove out their enemies in a short time span, so He took them through a slow process. He needed to build them up gradually because He knew what they could endure in that moment. He would not set them up to fail.

We don’t always see the threats God protects us from when we’re in the waiting. He had to prepare the Israelites “little by little” until they could take possession of the land. When we think God is moving too slow, He’s working things out to make sure we are prepared to take possession of everything He’s promised and prepared for us. God is intentional and strategic. We may feel our time is now, but He knows we still need to grow in a certain area before He can take us to the next level.

Refresher note:

We don’t shower newborns or toddlers with gifts intended for a preteen because they lack the maturity to take care of the gift, making it dangerous to give them a gift beyond their age range. We can’t expect God to place us at risk by giving us things prematurely just because we are tired of the waiting process. 


Doing Our Part

God never told the Israelites to have a seat or to stop working. He promised to prepare the way for them, but they still had to take possession. He will go ahead of us and open up doors, but it's up to us to do the work so we can walk through them.

Remember to pull your weight during the wait! 

We must still do our part in the waiting. It can be difficult when it feels like your efforts aren't going anywhere, but don't let your frustrations during the wait take away your will to keep going. Still apply for positions that will help you build your dream career, keep writing and submitting stories and scripts when you get rejections, and pursue your creative endeavors even when you're waiting to land an opportunity. God is still working and getting us ready for our next "yes" even when all signs appear to lead to a dead end. 

It can feel like we’ve been waiting long enough. I know how hard that is. During the past year, I've learned that the waiting period is not a time to get complacent or lazy. I wasn't pulling my weight during the wait yet still expecting things to magically happen. I realized the waiting season is a time for me to keep going even when I'm tired of waiting and I just want to arrive. I have to be willing to work hard so that I'm ready for the path God is preparing for me. When I reflect on my previous waiting seasons, I'm glad a door didn’t open when I wanted it to because I wasn't ready. My waiting was necessary. 

God's best is to set us up for success. He's working things out little by little behind the scenes. He’s shaping our character into the person He needs us to be for His purpose. He’s preparing us to receive our promises. Sometimes, He moves like a gust of wind that suddenly propels us forward in our journey. Other times, He moves like a slow breeze, refreshing us with hope when we're tired of the wait. Nudging us along to keep going. Reminding us of better things to come. 


Refresher Highlights

God moves at a speed that's always works in our favor. He's working things out behind-the-scenes even when the waiting season feels long. He goes before us to prepare the way, but we still must do our part. Waiting is uncomfortable but we can trust God through our frustrations. Pull your weight during the wait. The waiting season is a time to reflect and grow. It's not a place to let your dreams die.