I am currently surrounded by an outdoor patio set, inside (thank you, Hurricane Matthew). Chairs stacked on top of themselves. About 15 bags of kids clothing waiting to be donated. Boxes. Some full, some awaiting their contents. When hurricane prep and moving collide! Chaos.
I am so thankful for this chaos. I have been waiting for this chaos.
We’ve sold our home. After 3 months on the market and nearly 100 showings (I’m not even kidding.), our home is under contract. If everything goes accordingly, we’ll be moving next week.
As much as I can’t stand clutter and mess and chaos, I am so thankful for this (exhausting) season.
We bought this house out of foreclosure and it needed a lot of work. We knew that it was a good investment and that it would help us reach some of our goals (specifically being able to afford to live in town). We knew God’s hand was in it. I remember exactly where we were when we finally decided to move forward with the purchase. We were in our car, getting gas. Brad said, “I think God is giving us this house. This is the right one.” We had been searching for nearly 8 months and it was a big decision. But we knew God was directing us.
As soon as we closed on the sale, we began fixing and repairing. It’s been a huge investment of finances, time, physical and emotional energy. So when we finally had everything ready and placed it on the market, we were confident that it would sell right away. Because God was directing us.
I know that He was. I know that He is.
But that was hard to remember when I was preparing for showing after showing. We went all out for those showings.
Cleaning. Candles lit. Everything in place. Lights on. Air turned down. Music on. Dog and family out.
We had a spot around the corner where we could wait it out. When we would see the prospective buyers pull out of the driveway, we knew we could return home.
That spot and I have many memories:
Books read. Music listened to. Phone calls made. Nearly running out of gas in the car. Actually running out of engine air conditioning coolant. Overheating the car. Whiney kids. Whiney dog. Whiney mom. Sitting without a car in the rain. Hungry kids. Hungry mom. Too much fast food. Too much Dunkin Donuts. Getting the cops called on me (seriously!).
So THIS was God’s plan? The (oftentimes torturous) waiting.
It was reminiscent of other times of waiting.
2 years of waiting for Brad to propose, after God had spoken clearly to me about our future together.
This wasn’t the first time we’ve waited for a house to sell (although by far the most showings).
We’ve waited for a pregnancy. We desired Brooke, our fourth born, for nearly a year before she came to be…we had never really had to wait before and we didn’t have to again for Micah.
We’ve waited for paychecks. Living paycheck to paycheck and desperately waiting for the deposit to come through. Praying for provision for each and every day.
There have been other times–waiting for healing, for restoration of friendships, for sin desires to dissipate, for forgiveness, for opportunities, for God to speak.
It’s easiest to doubt in these seasons. To wonder where God is. To doubt His goodness and His plan. To doubt myself. To doubt Brad. To cry out for deliverance.
If I’m completely honest, it’s easiest for me to hold God at an arms length during these seasons. I can verge on the edge of anger, discontentment, discouragement, despair, depression.
This season has been different. As I’ve been waiting for a house to sell, I have been waiting for more. I still am. Waiting for more in me. Waiting for me to become more like Jesus.
This isn’t a passive-I-can’t-do-anything-about-it waiting. It is an active waiting. As I would rather be doing, waiting is about being.
The being is the doing.
What is being? It’s learning to be still. To quiet my wrestling. To grow the parts of me that remain hushed in busyness.
The waiting allows me to replace my to-do list with God’s. His to-do list is much different than mine.
God’s to-do list is the fruit of the Spirit: Unconditional love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindheartedness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self Control. (Galations 5:22-23)
It is during the waiting that we must slow down. It forces us to recognize those areas we may lack.
When I am waiting in carline at my children’s school…what is my reaction when someone cuts the line? Does it reflect Jesus?
When I am waiting for the deposit to clear in my bank account…what is the condition of my heart? Am I at peace?
As I waited for the doctor’s prognosis…was I joyful?
When I am waiting for an apology…am I displaying unconditional love? Patience?
When I am waiting for Micah to find his lost shoe for the bazillionth time this week…am I showing gentleness and self control?
God’s timing is perfect and every single detail is in His hand. So do I trust that He is at work when I am not seeing movement around me? It’s during these times that He desires movement within me.
No time is ever wasted with Him. He has a plan for every moment. The challenge is to surrender our moments to His and let Him do His work–whether in circumstances or in soul.