February 15, 2017
Sitting in the waiting room. Waiting for test results. Waiting to heal. Waiting to find my purpose. Waiting for kids to find shoes.
Waiting, waiting, waiting.
I am not a patient person.
It feels like all I am doing lately, is waiting.
Each stage of my mom’s journey fighting cancer seems like it is made up mostly of waiting. Two more weeks until the next test result. One more week until the next scan. Two months until the next surgery. Four months until radiation.
I am holding my breath, hopping from stone to stone, hoping I can stretch far enough to reach the next one.
I couldn’t tell you the last time my brothers, my parents, and I were together- just us. Considering my oldest brother got married over 20 years ago… it has probably been that long. It’s a wonderful thing to have spouses, and grandchildren, and big family gatherings. But there is also something special in remembering who we were as a family, when it was just the five of us. In those painstaking hours, waiting for her to get out of surgery, we talked. We laughed. We swapped kid stories, work stories. I went to lunch with my two big brothers, just us. I don’t think that has ever happened. Amidst the pain, the uncertainty, God gave us little moments. While waiting for the results of a life-changing event, life happened.
A couple weeks later, I wanted to be with Mom and Dad as they went to more scans, more doctor appointments. While she was getting scans, we waited. I really couldn’t DO anything. I just wanted to be there, be present, be in the background, so that she knew she was supported. She went in for her scan, and Dad and I waited. So, we talked. We talked basketball, and kids, and books, and dreams. In those short couple of hours, I got to just be with them. I thought we were just killing time, nothing big. But, unexpectedly, as some of the best things tend to be, those moments now feel huge. Since I don’t live near them anymore, and don’t see them everyday, those small, everyday type conversations don’t happen that often. Had I not been waiting, had we not been just passing the time, I wouldn’t have had heard those precious morsels from my dad. The ones where he tells me to go for my dreams, and the glimpses he gives me of the extraordinary man he is. In those seemingly insignificant moments, the significant occurred.
For it’s in the little things, where God can move the greatest. We think we are waiting for this big event to transpire, but He’s already working. He’s working in the waiting. Each day when I don’t know what is coming next, I am forced to place my trust in the only thing I know to be true. I place my confidence in the One who is never changing. Little by little, day by day, in this waiting, I am laying it down. It’s all His anyway. She is His. He’s building up my endurance. I am running the race, I am throwing it down- all the things that entangle me.
We wait, in hope that when we reach a certain point, everything will be perfect. But what we aren’t realizing, is all our life is spent waiting. We are waiting to be reunited with our King. If we simply waste the waiting, then, my friends, that is the great tragedy. If we miss all those lessons, what do we have to show? If we avoid the pain, how can we grow?
I have quoted this book before, but I just started re-reading it- this time to my boys. Where the Red Fern Grows is a story about a boy and his hunting dogs. As the story begins, his family is too poor to purchase the dogs. He waits, and longs, and pines for the chance to own his own dogs. Twenty five dollars is the price of one dog. Today that seems like nothing (especially when I think about how much we can drop on the average Lego set). His family can’t afford it, and it takes quite some time for the boy to finally get his dogs. I thought about that, and how instant everything is in the world today. If I want something, I just order it on Amazon. Search, click, done. If I need information, easy. “Mom, just ask your phone” as my boys say. I love that things are so convenient, but, I wonder. How much am I missing, by missing the waiting?
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 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….Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” ~ James 1:2-6, 12
Lord, find me in the waiting.