Learning Patience in a Time of Waiting

Friends, I have a confession to make.  I am probably the world’s most impatient person.  There, I said it.  When I make my mind up about something, I want it to happen nownowNOW.  Not the most flattering or selfless trait, I admit.

And I have found that, especially for people of my generation, the tunnel-mindedness of being impatient runs rampant in a lot of us– probably more than we’d like to admit.  The truth is it’s easy to be impatient because if you think about it, we don’t really have to wait  on many things these days.  Any song, recipe, picture, even person, is available at our fingertips and our discretion so why would I even want to learn patience?

I am learning that while true patience may not be needed very often, when it is needed, it is very important and very, very difficult to master and accept.  It’s hard to wait.  It is especially hard to wait on things you don’t know yet, on questions you not only don’t have the answers to, but you don’t even know when you’ll get the answers.   And the only reason I know this is because I am currently struggling with it in my own life.

To say that I am in a season of waiting in my life right now would be an understatement.  I am waiting, but there are a lot of things I don’t even know that I am waiting for.  The most obvious thing in my life that I am waiting for is a job.  I am in that not-so-sweet spot  in life of having graduated but still looking for a job.  And let me tell you, the pressure. Is.  ON.  From all different facets of my life I am feeling the pressure of finding a job but perhaps the most pressure I feel is that of which is coming from within myself.  I have always been hard on myself and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed in myself for not already having something lined up, despite the fact that it has been completely out of my own control.

In my impatient time of looking for a job I am realizing that I am sacrificing being present in the parts of my life that were important to me before this time of waiting began.  One example of this would be my current job.  Sure, it’s not the job I ever intended to stay in forever, but I have 19 Kindergarteners counting on me to form each day into a block that will be added to the foundation of their educational careers.  That can’t be taken lightly.  In constantly looking ahead (in this case constantly checking my phone and email for interview opportunities), I am forgetting to look right in front of me.

Patience in Wedding Planning

As of right now our wedding day is 4 months, 16 days, 8 hours, 15 minutes, and 3 seconds away (but who’s counting, right?).  It is crunch time.  Deadlines are coming up, invoices are coming due, and I am starting to feel like I am completely out of control and completely unprepared — two things I swore I would never let myself feel during the wedding planning process.

Most of the stress is financial-related, of course, and I am constantly looking for where our next source of income is going to come from.  I’ll be getting a second job (yes, even if I get a full-time, post-graduation job) to try to fill in some of the gaps in our budget in January, so of course my mind is already racing and my fingers are already buzzing as I search the Internet for potential evening and weekend positions.  It’s a tough position to be in to be searching for a job in retail or food service at 23 years old with a Master’s Degree, but if nothing else it keeps you humble.

I digress, in thinking about money and getting another job and getting our invoices paid off, I am missing out on my very favorite time of year — the holidays.  Nothing makes me happier than sitting back wherever I am at this point in December and taking in all the Christmas spirit and warmth that fills our souls as we prepare to spend time with our loved ones, and I admit to you that I have been so stressed, so busy, so impatient that we are now one week away from Christmas and I feel as though I haven’t felt my beloved “Christmas Cheer” even once.

More important than Christmas cheer, though, is that I am forgetting to relish this time as I prepare to become a wife.  This should be a joyous season of waiting as I prepare my heart to pursue a Christ-centered marriage and life with my soon-to-be husband.   Now more than ever I need to focus on making Stephen my priority and looking up from my computer more than just occasionally to see how he’s doing and if I can be helpful to him in any way.   No matter how busy we get, we need to be putting in the effort now to be preparing my marriage for later.  My granddaddy says marriage is like a box.  You can’t take anything out of a box until you’ve put something in it.  In marriage both partners put things into their box (companionship, forgiveness, trust, empathy, and commitment, just to name a few) and both partners take things out (as life gets tough and you run into obstacles as a couple); but if you take more things out of your box than you put into it, your box is empty.  Keeping your box full takes work and a lot of it.  And I need to focus on filling our box now rather than later.

Still there?

So, what can we do?  What will I do?  I will learn patience in this time of waiting.  I will accept that I’m not the one in control of my plan and that my only purpose right now is to be present in my own life.  It is impossible to be content in such a stressful time of life if I am trying to take control of a plan that isn’t mine to change.  The job will come, the wedding will get paid for, and I will get the answers I have been looking for in His time.  To be impatient is to rob yourself of your own joy.  As Brittney Moses so beautifully stated, “In every season it is God’s will that we are matured and equipped for the next.”

So rather than lounging around in my own bitterness and discomfort, I am going to trust that what’s going to come will come, and I am going to do the only true job I have at the moment — I am going to be present in my own life.

And I hope you can too.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sydney