On Waiting

I live as though I control my circumstances.

I moved to Denver, Colorado firmly intending to return to the Midwest with a master’s diploma in-hand. A few months before finishing my degree, my husband and I discussed our desire to plant our roots in the Midwest—raising our family close to our parents, being near for family birthdays and celebrations, and enjoying my nana before she is called home to heaven. Upon sharing our hopes with our parents, our hearts were filled with joy and anticipation. I finished my studies last March, and since then, my husband and I have actively sought to return to the land of great lakes and family—applying for jobs, praying for wisdom and guidance, and asking for input from our community.  Yet, nearly a year later, Denver remains our home.

Image representing fog and the feeling of waiting on God

Although my mouth confesses that God is sovereign and good, that He reigns over the living world and everything that transpires within it, the past year of (impatiently) waiting for God to act has exposed my heart’s stalwart belief of being in control. If I work hard enough, apply to enough job postings, or talk to the right people, I can shift the nature of our hopes to lived reality. When the job opportunities are not available, when the calls for phone interviews do not come, or when a networking attempt proves fruitless, my heart exposes its ego-centered belief, brimming with frustration and confusion. I confess to you: the last year has felt murky and vague, and I have doubted God’s providence and sovereignty over my life.

As the Spirit of God has moved in my heart, bringing to light this doubt and self-reliance, and turning my heart towards God, the Spirit has filled space that was vacated by my self-reliance with truth.

Image of waiting on God to act, tress disappearing in fog on Kenosha Pass.

God is Faithful.

Let’s start in Genesis. God first spoke His promise of a child to 75-year-old Abraham in Genesis 12, telling him that He would make Abraham great and bless him so that Abraham would bless others. God affirms this promise in Genesis 15. Yet, one chapter later, Sarah advises her husband to lay with her maidservant, Hagar: “Behold now, the Lord has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” Abraham listens to his wife’s advice, and Ishmael is born, a son, although not by Sarah. In Genesis 17, God iterates His covenant again, explicitly telling Abraham:

“I will bless [Sarah], and moreover, I will giver you a son by her…” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed to himself, “Shall a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?” And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before you!” God said, “No, but Sarah your wife shall bear you a son…”

Abraham asks God “what about Ishmael?” and God replies, “No, Isaac is coming.” Finally, in Genesis 21, God manifests His power and glory by doing the seemingly impossible and gives a centenarian and his wife a son.

Abraham and Sarah waited for God to fulfill His promise for twenty-five years. They questioned God, sought to resolve their childless state with Ishmael, and twenty-five years after the initial promise, God gave them Isaac.

As I pondered what it would be like to wait for twenty-five years (that’s almost as long as my short life!), I realized that Alex and I have waited for about a year. This year has been difficult for our souls. We have doubted the dreams we believe are good and God-given. Our uncertainty regarding our future has impacted our ability to form new relationships in Denver. Yet, God is faithful. He has delivered on His most important promise with Christ, and what He has promised to us—an eternal home in heaven—is certain. Whether we live in Denver for the rest of our lives or God opens the opportunity for us to live closer to our families, God is faithful to His promises and will sustain us.

When my heart and mind are aligned with the truth of God’s faithfulness, and the Spirit causes my heart to believe, God brings rest and hope. His rest gives me hope to wait on Him to act, and when I am resting in God and His faithfulness, my heart joyfully confesses

I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! 

Ps. 27:13-14