The waiting really is the hardest part.
You’ve waited for something, haven’t you? For a table, for a text, a tax refund, for a baby, or a diagnosis.
In this moment, I am waiting for something considerably superficial in light of some of the examples above. I’m waiting for the UPS man. I have been waiting ALL DAY. I missed the delivery yesterday and if I miss it again, they will ship the package back to the sender, which simply cannot happen. So I wait. I try to busy myself with work and laundry and writing, but my ear piques every time a truck rumbles by. My hope is by the time this piece is finished, I will have my little package of electronic deliciousness in hand.
For a couple weeks recently, I waited on an email. I was asked to submit an essay to a respected publication and with high hopes, I did. For the next week, I obsessively refreshed my email in search of a reply.
I double checked the email address to make sure I sent it to the right place. Yep, I had it right.
I triple checked the email address.
Maybe my email got lost in their stack of submissions.
Oh well, I guess they didn’t like it.
I suck. Why on earth did I think I had a shot at that?
Freakin’ give up, Laura! They aren’t interested!
Refresh. One last time.
Pep talk: Okay, so that’s just one publication. That’s okay. Didn’t JK Rowling submit her work like 14,000 times before someone saw the genius? Patience, grasshopper.
Who are we kidding? I suck.
Welcome to the crazy that is my inner monologue.
This somewhat inconsequential example reminded me of things we wait for that have far greater weight. We wait for college acceptance letters or job offers. We wait for treatment results or reconciliation of broken friendships. We wait for justice or adoptions or emotional healing. We wait for love, recognition or freedom from our demons.
The waiting fills us with doubt. Will they like me? Do I have what it takes? I’m trying so hard to beat this, but is it working? Am I enough?
I’d like to go on the record to say I HATE these kinds of questions. I hear them in my head and I get sucked into their conniving, mean, STUPID ways of tearing down.
Here’s what I say right now to the voices of doubt and fear: Oh please. That’s all you’ve got? Rude. I’m so over that. You cannot touch me and my resolve. You CANNOT steal the passion and life that fuels my desires and my will to thrive. Phfffft. Lame.
So to you who wait. It is hard. I know. I have waited. I am waiting—for things more important than a package or an email. But I also know there is a plan and a purpose bigger than the tension and longing we feel. I have faith in a God who is good and involved and working. We may not get everything we want in this moment, but the waiting and the work and the longing do not go unnoticed.
Just because there is no sign of life right now doesn’t mean there won’t be. Just because there is no answer doesn’t mean the answer is no. Hold fast and strong to the things you know for sure…the things in the deepest part of you that must happen for you to fulfill your purpose. Do NOT give up on the desires of your heart. Do NOT lose hope. I wait with you and hold space for the things coming we cannot see right now.
PS: Ten minutes ago, the UPS man came, thankyouverymuch.
PPS: Two weeks after my initial email, I did get an response from the publication I submitted to. They want to publish my work. More on that later…