Life is really all about waiting.
When you’re a little kid you wait to grow up. Upon growing up you wait to get married. After waiting to get married you wait for the right moment to have a baby until you realize that there is no perfect juncture to adding a new life to two . It just happens and you go forth into the adventure dumber than you realize.
Once the baby comes along you’re waiting for rolling over, coos, and giggles. You can’t wait for baby to sit up or crawl, or whatever milestone you’re expecting. It’s all so exciting to think about, and then suddenly it’s happening. The milestones have been met and baby is moving on and you’re waiting to see what’s next.
Exhaustion is a fiend that hunts you, each day bringing a round of waiting. Waiting to not be tired, waiting to take a shower, go to the bathroom, brush your teeth. Waiting for snacks, for meals, for lunch, in line at the bank and the grocery and the library. Waiting for your kid to sleep through the night (the cruelest lie the world ever told!), waiting for a schedule to kick in, and for someone to tell you that you’re doing things right. In all of that waiting the world keeps spinning and you find yourself in love with the craziness of it all, even while secretly wishing it all away.
You potty train, spending countless minutes and hours waiting for the kid to do what they’re supposed to do on their little potty. Books are read, dances and songs invented, and modesty is lost during downtime in and outside of the powder room.
Even after potty training happens you’re still on watch outside of bathrooms everywhere you go. One kid is scared of falling in, another one doesn’t want their tushy to touch the seat and learns to go while you dangle them by the armpits over public toilets. All this time spent in bathrooms triggers your need to pee so it becomes a family affair, with your kids all piled in the stall with you announcing to strangers about the color of your underwear or size of your bum.
You may even make friends in the restroom.
The kids get older and the waiting is different, but still waiting. Tying shoes, riding bikes, reading books all happen with us parents lingering in the background, coaxing the kids along, encouraging them on their journey of learning to do stuff they need to know how to do.
You wait and you wait and you wait…and then suddenly comes around. The kids are big and doing life on their own.
Piano lessons, play days with friends, overnights (or almost overnights), classes; you bide your time during all of the activities that kids get to enjoy. You get your things done (or nap in the car) while they’re getting their other things done away from you.
You are less and less of the equation in their lives – still there, but different.
“Nothing,” becomes the standard response when you ask them what they did, because you are a little less welcome in their world as they discover who they are away from you. And because sometimes they literally don’t remember what they did.
Maybe some really hard things come your way, things you weren’t on the lookout for. These things might be hardest because you’re watching while life happens to your kid. It’s one thing for you to be in the belly of the whale but entirely new and dreadful thing to be a bystander while your kid struggles in the dark. It may even dawn on you that it’s not your hand they need and you turn your prayers in another direction.
Then suddenly comes around and that kid is just fine,and soaring and you’re onto the next one getting them through their own personal pit.
You find yourself able to think more and more about yourself during the time in between. You may even discover that you’re on standby for your adult life, too, You may wake up at night with the feeling like you left the oven on, that there’s something you’ve forgotten. Perhaps your nerves are shot because do they know about present perfect tense and algebra and who the minor and major prophets are? Do they? You may start to wonder just what the heck life is all about and if you can make it and how you’re going to get these half grown people of yours the rest of the way there AND JUST WHERE IS THERE?
Where will they end up?
Then God will remind you through whispers and sunshine-filled days, and rainy days, too, that he’s got this and that your job is in the waiting, and that he will do the work.
…but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
Where they end up is where you wait on the Lord – you trust in him to get them there because not everything is your job. Sure, you can worry about not doing everything right, about not filling them up with everything that they’ll need to get through life unscathed but that’s not the point, is it?
Life wouldn’t be life without skinned knees, broken hearts, and massive failures, and God wouldn’t be God if he couldn’t handle it.
He’s got this. Really.
Water to wine, fishes and loaves – something called the Universe… from nothing.
So let him handle it, and while you wait teach your heart to trust him. He is good, so good, and faithful. So faithful.
His promises are true.
Whatever you find yourself waiting on, and I’m preaching to myself here, trust that its going to turn out. Jobs, kids, husbands, wives, presidents, school, peace…wait, and find your strength renewed. No need to be weary or faint, or to consider running away from home, because you were created for this life, the one that you’re living right now.
Be brave in the waiting, friends…
because when suddenly comes around it’s going to be AMAZING.
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