Tuesday, April 12, 2016

in the waiting

You know what's like, really hard?
I'm the worst at waiting.
If I have to heat something up in the microwave for even thirty seconds I stand there staring at it wishing time would hurry up.
If I'm holding a plank or wall sit for a minute... yeah you already know.
I'm impatient. 

Those are just small examples of how impatient I am when it comes to waiting for something. 
But you know what I'm noticing?
In the waiting, God definitely has something for me to learn. 
Ken and I are in a season of waiting right now.
As some of you may know, Ken was released by the Phillies at the end of Spring Training.
So now, we wait.
We are back in Tennessee.
Baseball is literally always on the TV, and when it's not, episode after episode of Fixer Upper is. 
We are watching some of our dearest friends go through the highest points of their career, while watching others go through their lowest points wishing we could be along side them as they experience these situations- celebrating with some, and weeping with others. 
We are watching innings and innings of baseball games in which just a few months ago Ken was playing in and I was sitting in the stadium seat most likely drinking a glass of wine with the girls.
You know what's odd?
The weirdest part isn't that we aren't there. 
What is odd is that deep down, we know that this season of waiting is actually to our benefit. 
Let me explain why and how we know this to be true, based on how the Lord has been working the past year and a half in our marriage and in Ken's career.

Last year was Ken's first year with an injury. 
Besides getting nailed in the knee in the first game of last season,
(I almost threw up it was so agonizing to watch) 
he battled his first injury- elbow inflammation.
He got put on the DL (disabled list) for a couple weeks.
I remember when he told me, it was so frustrating for him.
To be honest, it was hard to watch. 
No one sees or knows the amount of hours and hard work he puts in, and when he finally makes it to the MLB... this happens. 
Long story short, part of that meant he couldn't travel on the next away series.
Looking back, we are both so incredibly thankful for that multiple week break.
We were able to just breathe, slow time down, and reminisce in thankfulness for the incredible roller coaster we had been on since getting married the off season before. 
In the waiting, it was hard. 
But in the waiting, we actually were provided with an opportunity to rest and enjoy the season of life we were in. Before we knew it, things were crazy again, and we looked back on those couple weeks and realized just how needed they really were.
The "waiting" was a blessing. 

Another example was when Ken got designated from the Rockies. 
If you don't know what that means, it basically means they took him off their roster, to put someone else on it. 
Kind of a hard thing to swallow... okay a really hard thing to swallow. 
*cue tears in the hotel room*
The next three days were a period of waiting.
You see, a team could "claim" Ken if they wanted him, and put him on their roster, but they only had three days to do it. 
When we received the news, we were crushed and really confused.
Again, long story short (I could write a book about these moments right here), we were in waiting. 
Ken had three days off essentially. 
We were six hours away from Scottsdale, we rented a car, and drove to our friends' house (thank God for friends who are like family and always open their home). 
I remember feeling so sad and I think we talked about the why's and how could they's all the way there. We stayed two nights there, and the day we were leaving to head back to the city Ken was supposed to be playing in (triple A team for the Rockies), Ken got a call that the Philadelphia Phillies had claimed him. 
I cried.
(shocker though, right?)
Ken was no longer with the Rockies, but now with the Phillies. 
God allowed that weekend break for us to regather our thoughts, seek Him, REST, and prepare for the people and things He was about to surround us with. 
I couldn't thank God enough for that getaway weekend He blessed us with. 
Although it was a hard waiting period, it was a much needed break before things sped up and got CRAZY (and I mean crazy..but that's for another time!).
The "waiting" was a blessing. 

I write about these two examples, not only to encourage myself with God's previous faithfulness, but to encourage you as well. 

In the waiting, we must not sit around until the thing or event we want to happen just lands in our lap. Rather, we must let the waiting be used to draw closer to God and allow Him to speak to us in the ways we need for what is to come. 
In the waiting, we must be listening to His voice, for if we aren't, we may miss the very reason He chose to bless us with the waiting period we are in. 
In the waiting, we must pray that our desires align with His perfect will for our lives. 
In the waiting, we must take joy and rest in the now.
For me, that looks like trying new recipes, cuddling on the couch with my hubby, and simply soaking in precious moments of rest and no agenda.
Sometimes, in the waiting, we get too caught up in the WANTING-
what we want, what we see is best. 
(Since when has our lives ever been about us?)
We find ourselves scrambling, proclaiming, and shouting prayers of belief for what WE want, which that's good and needed, but what if, 
in the waiting,
God is calling you to be still, be quiet, and ask Him what HE wants?

I think about these verses in Lamentations 3:25-27, The Message version says it like this:

"God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, 
to the woman who diligently seeks.
It's a good thing to quietly hope,
quietly hope for help from God.
It's a good thing when you're young
to stick it out through hard times."

I've found through these times of waiting for what's next, that one minute I'm praying and full of faith, and the next minute I'm crying in sadness that what I want isn't going to happen. 
How human of me. 

In the house we are staying at (again, the Lord works out every detail in the waiting, our loving friends opened their beautiful home to us while they are away for season), there is a sign that I read every morning as I walk to the kitchen to get my coffee (that my hubby faithfully makes every morning for me *swoon*).
The sign reads: 
"Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see."
When I have faith during the waiting, it means trusting in what I don't see God doing.
You see, God is intricately forming and designing and working in ways we cannot see, in order to do something far better than we could ever hope, dream or imagine. 

In the waiting, our souls can sometimes feel like a storm looking for the calm.
That's when it's absolutely crucial to 
take a big step back, a big breath in, and exhale in surrender for the Lord to do what He wills. 
He has always been faithful, He is still faithful, and He will continue to be faithful.
It's who He is.
I'm reminded of Hebrews 3:4, whether we are in a season of success or a season of disappointment:

"For every house is built by someone,
but the builder of all things is God."

He is the builder of everything in our lives.
If we trust that the Lord is truly the builder of our lives, 
if you personally are allowing the Lord to build your life, 
then in the waiting, what in the world are we worried about?