Friday, September 28, 2012

Actively Waiting

My life group is studying the book of James over these next few weeks and I am so excited.  I love the material, I love the women in our group, and I look forward to the time each week.  This week, we all had an opportunity to share some updates on our lives before diving into our material.  When the time came around for me to share, I wanted to just give a quick - "I'm good" - and move along.  I often do that...convince myself there is nothing really to share but then my mouth opens and the words seem to pour out.  So, I proceeded to gush and share some things that are going on in my heart and mind.  It certainly did not come out "right" or eloquent as I would have liked.  (Before you get too excited, I promise it's nothing "juicy").  I was having one of those moments where a thought had escalated somehow into a full blown issue.  Fixation on anything small will carry me away.  I should know better.

So here it is...I'm a follower of Christ, a wife, and a mom. The list looks pretty short on paper, but when unpacked, consists of anything and everything that fills the 24 hours given to me during a day.  My fixation on this list comes from not really knowing what these roles are suppose to look like right now.  
(You gals out there exhausted from being up all night with little ones are probably thinking, really? you are complaining?) I promise this is not meant to sound like I am clueless about the demands different stages in life bring.  My time does look very different from the way it has in the past. I'm not bored, I'm not sad, I'm certainly not complaining and I'm not desperate to fill the time to the max...but I am contemplative.  When I find myself with a bit of down time, I do wonder what God has in store for me.  Better said...I wonder what growth and life lessons lie ahead.  Some of this is prompted by the individuals God has surrounded me with who are doing some phenomenal things for God.  I wish I could tell you that it comes easy for me not to compare myself to the amazing people using their gifts, but it's actually not. And I don't always know what prompts this feeling - Is is God preparing me for something or is it my insecurity and performance driven nature that wonders if I'm "doing" enough? Comparison is usually an unfruitful game to play, but, is there a time when it can motivate and prompt an individual in a healthy direction?  

Waiting is not my strong suit. Nothing in me likes to wait on God to reveal His plan on His schedule. When I think He might be prompting me towards something or I have a longing, I want all the details now. (I proceed to act like my kids when they want to get my attention by annoyingly tapping me on the shoulder.)  But God doesn't always work that way does He? Come to think of it, He has never worked that way with me. So here I am waiting and learning that this "idle time" has a purpose, too.  Our church has been going throught the book of I Corinthians.  On Sunday, we specifically looked at how the body functions together and how each part carries value and importance.  Even better said, each of us as individuals has gifts to offer one another and ultimately God's kingdom.  (I Cor 12:12-26).  As I pondered the message, I noticed a perspective shift taking place.  My gaze seemed to be less focussed on what I was lacking and more on what only God had designed me to do.  So what was I waiting for?  Couldn't I just use these gifts now regardless of what else I thought lingered out there for me to be doing?  Absolutely!  And then the next day came, and my insecurity got to me again...Ugh. Sometimes keeping perspective is the hardest part in the waiting.  So I pick myself back up again, go back to His Word, and remind myself for the 99th time to stop trying to skip the process that might actually turn out to be the most important part of it all.

Scripture has a way of shaking us up, doesn't it?  It does not apologize or leave blanks for us to fill in when we need a way to justify what it is we are struggling through in the moment.  My dear friend shared some great perspective on looking at specific verses we seem to know.  You know the ones. The verses we are quick to quote (or in my case piece together at times.)  We might have said them or read them a hundred times and left out just enough to miss out on maybe the most crucial part of the text.  How many times I have read James 1:5-8 "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (here's where I usually stop...but please read on...) But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do."

Ouch!  Like I said, no apology and no fill in the blanks for how I would like it to read.  How many times I read and follow the first part, the asking part, but then go right back to my business of trying to make something happen on my own as a result of my disbelief? This time though, what if I asked with boldness, with belief, with trust that He will answer. It may seem obvious to you but I am so stubborn.  And I need to acknowledge this yucky heart that wants it done my way at times.  How about you?  What do you need clarity on and where do you find yourself waiting?  Will you wait actively with me?  Will you continue to pray for wisdom, ask for direction, believe He is going to provide the answer?  And maybe we will get so lost in the process of waiting, that we will forget we were ever waiting at all.


  1. I love when you write! Thanks for sharing where you really are. ;)

  2. Great Job, Michele. I can't wait for your next post. You have many gifts and this is one of them. Thanks for keeping it real.