Waiting.

When push comes to shove, a lot of our life is spent waiting. Waiting for the next step. Waiting for the next breakthrough. Waiting for answers.

Waiting isn’t the easiest action. In fact, it seems like the opposite of action; we feel helpless and out of control. We want God to intervene in our situation–the sooner the better. I know my deepest desire is to depend on something–someone–greater than myself; yet, when I am put in the situation of having to wait, I long to have control over the situation.

My earliest experience with having to wait was when I ordered my first CD online. I wanted that Scott Krippayne CD so badly. My 3rd grade self could not process the idea that shipping took multiple days, and I had to wait on UPS to do their job so I could listen to my new tunes. I checked the mail frequently to no avail. Yet, after those 5-7 business days, my package came. I appreciated my CD all the more because it had taken time to arrive.

Flash forward to today, I deal with waiting–but on a greater scale. The past few months I’ve been waiting for God to give me insight about what He wants for my future. I’ve been exploring the options, applying to schools, and praying about what God has for me. With just a few months left until I have to make my final decision about a college, I know that as I keep waiting for God to show me, waiting is required of me. I’ve come to the point in my life where I really want God’s will, whatever that takes. I know my own plans will not serve to satisfy either myself or the Kingdom of God in the way His plan will. Therefore, I choose to wait for God to open doors for me to show me where He wants me.

It’s in these periods of waiting where worship and serving God really make the difference. If we can worship God while we’re waiting, we show Him that we will follow Him no matter what His plan, no matter what the cost.

I’m reminded of a Bible verse I’ve heard since I was a young child:

Isaiah 40:31
“But those who wait on 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 faint.”

Remembering.

March 28. 6 years ago. Not exactly a date I enjoy remembering. There was a lot of pain, a lot of heartache, a lot I didn’t understand. But there was a purpose–a deep purpose I did not understand as I sat on my living room couch that night crying into my blanket. I wanted an answer, but the answer was, “You’ll see.”

It’s not the wish of every 12-year-old that their life be suddenly turned upside down by tragedy, by the loss of their big sister. However, this happened to me. And I had to deal with the grief of it–sorting through the memories with her, knowing I wouldn’t have any new ones to make with her on earth. I had to somehow develop beyond my young mind, to process the hugeness and reality of such a situation. I had to grow up quicker and experience emotions I had never felt before. I had to rely on others–their comforting hugs and prayers helped me more than I could ever imagine. I had to fully rely on God. I needed Him to help me sleep at night, to deal with the reality in the morning that what had happened was not just a dream.

Looking back, it truly is amazing how true the emotions still are for me. Yes, time has passed, and I miss her so much. But somehow, the sting is gone. There’s no more raw pain. The pink stuffed animal elephant “Winks” she gave me before she left for Rockford is a lot more worn than he was years ago; the stuffing is almost gone, and he’s barely even pink. I still feel her hugs, a little more faintly than before. I can still imagine her voice, but it’s a little more faded. While this is normal I suppose, it makes me miss her even more. This year, I turned 18. This is the age I remember her at the most. It’s just interesting, to wonder sometimes if I think the same things she thought at this age–and then to read some of the words she’s written and realize we are on the same wavelength.

I miss her smile, but I know she is always smiling in Heaven. And I know she’s not that far away from me. And I know God has a purpose for her life even though she isn’t here on the earth. Her passion for people has definitely not been lost, and people have been touched by her life even to this day. I know her heart for missions still lives on, and her concerns for the world have truly made me think about what I want to do to help the world.

My whole future career has branched from my experience of dealing with losing her. I want to be a grief counselor–not to continually relive the pain I went through, but to help those who are currently dealing with fresh pain. I find that when I comfort others, God comforts me even more. He patiently whispers His purpose into my ear each time I give a counseling word to those who ask me how they can live another day with their grief. He has made me more compassionate in the past 6 years, more aware of those who are hurting. He has given me a heart that longs to feel what others are feeling.

I look back at that girl who was sitting on the couch 6 years ago, this very day–and I long to tell her to wait and see God’s purpose unfold. There is beauty from the most difficult experiences. God is faithful, and He will never forsake you. He will branch you out beyond what you could imagine, if only you open yourself up–even if that means exposing some of the deepest hurts.

There is purpose.

Winter Retreat 2012.

I truly went into Winter Retreat this past weekend with little to no expectations. I found myself bogged down with homework, college planning, and ultimate busyness. Too much busyness. God knew that He needed to still my heart this weekend. And He did just that. He calmed my fears, my worries, my uncertainties. Sure, I may not be exactly certain about where He is going to place me for the college years; but I am certain about His purpose for me, His everyday calling. He wants me (and all of us) to seek Him with all we have everyday of our lives. He wants to fill us up so He can pour us out–our lives a sweet fragrance to those around us. God requires faith of us, and our faith is stretched and increased by our obedience to Him. He stretches our faith as we open up to opportunities He presents us with every day if we are open to them. He increases our faith as we witness the small things He does through us that result in greater and greater things. He longs for us to exercise our spiritual gifts along with the body of Christ, to be a unified being–reaching out to the lost and being aware of the many needs around us. He wants us to forge ahead, not dwelling on past defeats; rather, He calls us to victory right now. As we plead His blood over our day every morning, He will protect, guide, and keep us in His will. As we ask Him to be His hands and His feet, He will flow through us. As we eliminate distractions, He shows us His perfect, unfading light that trumps all earthly pleasures. He longs for us and wants us more than we could ever imagine.

…Just some thoughts and things I’ve learned this weekend.

Chosen.

1 Peter 2:9b-10

“…for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests,<sup class="footnote" value="[f]”> a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. ‘Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.<sup class="footnote" value="[g]”>'”

<sup class="footnote" value="[g]”> God can use our testimonies–what He has done through us–in order to show His goodness to others. We are His–royal, important, beautiful.