1) Waiting on a job change
My season of waiting started at the beginning of this year. My company was struggling financially. We started seeing some changes: cuts in benefits, attrition, spending freezes.
I began praying to God asking what I should do. He told me to wait until the fall.
At first, it was easy to wait: I enjoy my job, love my company, and have a fantastic manager. As the year progressed and worse announcements were made, doubt grew and I started looking for new jobs.
Though logically, seeking a new job seemed like the right choice, I felt uneasy. It went beyond dissatisfaction with the available jobs or frustration when I was outright rejected for jobs I was qualified for; something was unsettling me.
After (finally) really listening to God, I realized I just needed to trust Him and wait. I stopped applying for jobs and turned down interviews. The logical part of me was panicking, but I knew this was the right thing to do.
Just a few days after I declined an interview at another company, my company made a huge announcement: almost half the employees at our location would lose their job by the end of 2018.
I sat in my desk in complete shock. Why would God let this happen? Would I lose my job? Would I need to beg for that interview I had just declined? I knew I should pray, but my mind was racing so all I could do was look up at my cubicle wall where I had prayer cards hanging.
The first one I saw was the Divine Mercy. Jesus, I (begrudgingly) trust in you.
During the discussion about my future with the company, I was informed that I’d be getting transferred to another position at the same location. It was an area I had interned in. I had been working on a project there already. The work was interesting, and if I was being totally honest, my skills are probably better aligned with that role. Things were better than fine: I was thrilled about this new opportunity (though I’m sad to leave my team).
I learned that in times of waiting, I need to trust God.
I realized that maybe the most logical answer isn’t the right one.
I realized that maybe the most logical answer isn’t the right one.
And most importantly, I realized that even my impatient waiting and attempts to take my own path aren’t powerful enough to derail God’s plan.
2) Waiting on morning sickness
It was during my third day of morning sickness that it hit me—I didn’t know when it was going to end. The first few days, I had gotten through the crippling nausea by reminding myself that I’ve had the stomach flu before, and I’ve gotten through that, so I will be able to get through this, too.
But this was different. This could last another week, another month, or even past my first trimester.
I felt helpless and inadequate. Things that I used to do without even thinking—getting dressed, sitting in class, cooking a simple dinner—were now impossible tasks. My sympathetic husband picked up my abandoned responsibilities with love, but I grieved the loss of my identity as capable and confident wife. I was no longer the strong and adept woman I considered myself to be.
I grieved the loss of my identity as capable and confident wife. I was no longer the strong and adept woman I considered myself to be.
So, I tried to fix it. I bought expensive morning sickness tea, I experimented with eating different foods before I went to bed at night, and I read a lot of message boards.
About two weeks in, I realized that this was not something I was going to be able to fix. This was my current state in life. And finally, with that acceptance, I was able to give it over to God. I begged Him for the strength to be able to get out of bed in the morning. And on those mornings when even that was not going to happen, I told the Lord that I trusted Him, and I knew that He would give me the strength to do what He asked of me. I repeated my new mantra—with hope comes endurance—over and over again while curled up in the fetal position.
Rebelling against waiting for an illness (whether pregnancy-induced or otherwise) to pass will only create more anguish.
In the words of Pope Benedict XVI,
For when we rebel against it, this is not only because it is painful or because it is hard to be still and alone: we rebel against it because there are so many important things we ought to be doing and because illness seems meaningless. But it is not in the least meaningless! . . . It can be a moment in our life that belongs to God, a time when we are open to him and thus learn to rediscover our own selves.” (emphasis added).
3) Waiting on a guy
I am not what anyone would call a patient person. I have a go-getter attitude and I am competent to a fault - I know what I want and I go after it. Done.
That isn’t working so well right now. There is this man (isn’t there always a man?) who makes me smile. In so many ways he is the most incredible person I have ever met, and I can’t help but think that I want to spend the rest of my life getting to know him.
Simple, isn’t it? I see it, I want it, I go after it. Except this isn’t an ‘it’ - this is a ‘him’, and I tried that before and we got hurt by it. By the Grace of God he is back in my life again, but in what capacity remains unclear.
There is a part of me, a very large part, that wants to push. Push him to tell me what our time together means to him. Push him to decide one way or another how he wants me in his life. However, we need time and healing before we can really have those conversations. I feel like I’m waiting for something I’m not sure will happen, which makes me very scared.
I feel like I’m waiting for something I’m not sure will happen, which makes me very scared.
Patience, love, and charity. That’s how I’ve chosen to approach this. That, and an openness about how I’m feeling, and where my head's at. But always communicated with those three things, and simply enjoying my time spent with this wonderful, wonderful man. The rest is trusting in God, and his plan and his timing. Knowing that no matter what happens this mental and emotional exercise will reap rewards beyond my imagination because I am doing my best and trusting in Him to take care of the rest.
4) Waiting on a Kidney Stone
I always feared this place, unable to help myself, unable to push hard through my day and down my list.
With a 6-millimeter kidney stone unhurriedly crushing its way through my system, life slowed to a helpless waiting game. The toxins that my body couldn’t filter seemed to settle in my head as negative, self-defeating thoughts.
Without health insurance, I couldn’t even get an appointment at the specialty outpatient clinic that regularly blows up kidney stones for people with more generous employer coverage.
And yet, as life involuntarily slowed, I realized I could play catch with my kids while sitting. They couldn’t care less if they ate the same thing for every meal. They loved to be read book after silly book. When we crept along on shorter walks than usual, they could stop to play in the dirt, roll up every poor roly poly on the sidewalk, and pick up every rock different than the last.
As my husband helped me through this, I experienced love in a whole new way. He waited with me for pain to subside, even though he couldn't do anything. After I sent him to bed, he would stay awake and wait with me some more. Not being alone is second only to morphine in pain management.
I experienced love in a whole new way.
It's always been a struggle for me to start each morning with solitude and prayer. I’m easily distracted by breakfasts to prepare, laundry to fold, dishes to put away. But this unmoving kidney stone stalled out my morning routine too, and all I could handle was sitting in my rocking chair reading scripture.
One day on my way home from work -- a paper-shuffling desk job that I could still accomplish with a kidney stone, thankfully -- I stopped by an intimate chapel. I asked Jesus for whatever nugget of wisdom He wanted me to learn from this season of weakness.
Surely, if I can just memorize His lesson, I’ll be healed. Then I can leave this chapel and return to life, full-speed-ahead!
But instead of sudden healing, I felt his words on my heart: "Charlene, I will help you be weak."
I felt his words on my heart: "Charlene, I will help you be weak."
I don't like being weak, or slow, or having a short to-do list. I like being a working woman on the go, my life in my hand, and everything under control.
Somewhere along the way, I had forgotten my littleness. And yet, in this unwanted waiting, I found it again.
For those too tired, too weak, and too little, the arms of Jesus are an elevator to heaven. - St. Therese of Lisieux
5) Waiting on God
Lately I haven’t been able to feel God.
I actually got very frustrated with that in Adoration a few months ago - I kept angrily telling Him I wasn’t going anywhere until I felt His presence. That led to me spending 4 hours in Adoration with no sense of Him.
Like I said, very frustrating.
I was talking to my Pastoral Associate about this experience the week after and he suggested contemplative prayer. Ten minutes, every day, just sitting with Jesus. It sounded like torture, but I committed to it. He also suggested some reading materials to help me on this journey.
I am creating space for Him.
That was about 2 months ago, and it’s HARD. Its also easy in some ways - soothing and rewarding. I feel centered afterwards. But I still haven’t felt God. The point is, however, that I am creating space for Him. I am setting up a time and a place and I sit there and I wait for Him to come. That’s what one of the books said contemplative prayer was about - it was about waiting for God, and committing to sitting and waiting and being open to God’s timing. How appropriate, for someone who has very little patience in life.
So, I wait, and I clear my mind of all the swirls and knots that make up my thoughts and I focus on Him and I wait for Him. In that waiting, I find quiet and peace and knowledge that He will come eventually. I simply have to keep waiting.
6) Waiting on healing
Watching a member of my family suffer from and battle addiction, I can only pray and wait.
Pray that she will be delivered from the slavery of addiction.
Pray that, if and when she breaks free, she will have the strength to rebuild her life.
Wait for the day when she is healed.
I am waiting for something that may never come this side of Heaven. Waiting on something that does not depend on me. Waiting for something that I cannot accomplish. Waiting for something that is truly good - a person’s freedom from addiction. Waiting for something I once took for granted.
I am waiting for something that may never come this side of Heaven.
I am also waiting for something that I may not recognize when, and if, it does arrive. It can be exceptionally difficult to know - really know - when someone has overcome an addiction for good.
In this season of waiting, I am reminded of how God’s people waited for the Messiah.
They waited for Him while living in a fallen world. They waited for Someone who is Goodness Himself. The vast majority of His people waited for something not promised to arrive before their time on Earth ended. And for those who were alive when He came, some did not recognize that God had at last brought them what they waited for - His Son, their Savior.
Witnessing my family member live as a slave to addiction, and waiting for her healing, I have learned in an all-too-real way that this world is not our final home. I have seen the effect of our fallen world, and only a minute portion at that. In my heart of hearts, I know that we are meant for more, that we were created for union with God, and that all else will fall infinitely short. And I know these things in a way that I would not, be it not for this particular kind of waiting I find myself in.
I have learned in an all-too-real way that this world is not our final home.
Waiting for her healing, salvation history reminds me that God is always working for the good of those who love Him. I am reminded of the covenants God made with His people, of everything He set in motion (even as His people showed their fallen natures) that lead up to His Son’s entrance into the world. Is not the Old Testament the most beautiful account iof Providence at work?
I often fail to understand why I must wait for something so good to arrive. As I wait, however, I remember that I am in good company and that, by the grace of God, our waiting does not go to waste. He uses it to expand our hearts, purify our desires, increase our gratitude, and remind us of our longing for Him.
Waiting on a job change - Kate Hendrick is a FemCatholic Contributor. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and works full-time as a process engineer. Though Kate is a “cradle Catholic” she didn’t fully embrace the Catholic faith until mid-college. She discusses the challenges she and other young adults face as they try to live authentically Catholic lives on her blog Stumbling Toward Sainthood. You can also find her on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Waiting on morning sickness - Maria Lyon is a FemCatholic Contributor. She is wife to Will and in her final year of law school at the University of Wisconsin. She enjoys struggling through contemplative prayer, eating apples, and watching Netflix.
Waiting on a guy - this author would like to remain anonymous.
Waiting on a Kidney Stone - Charlene Bader is a FemCatholic Contributor. She writes about family life, current events, Catholicism, and social justice at Sunrise Breaking. She’s worked in the arts, administration, and education, as a full-time working mom, part-time working mom, work-from-home mom, and homeschooling mom. She’s currently a full-time stay-at-home-mom of five kids in Conroe, TX. She is changing the world one diaper at a time.
Waiting on God - this author would like to remain anonymous.
Waiting on healing - this author would like to remain anonymous.