When the Wait Feels Long
One of the hardest things in life is waiting. We groan when we see long lines at restaurants, theme parks, or the grocery store. But even worse than standing in line is waking up day after day, still waiting for that one thing we thought would have happened by now. A job. A boyfriend. A book deal.
Some things we have to wait for a long time. The wait can get excruciating. Even as Christians, we trust the Lord in our words and even in our prayers, but our hearts still ache and our minds still wonder if He’ll ever give us this thing we’re waiting on, hoping for.
Today, we hear from inspiring YA author Chawna Schroeder on her long wait for publication and the way only God can change our circumstances.
Not For Ever
My wait for publication felt never ending.
I knew it would take a while. I’d done my research as a sixteen-year-old and discovered the average time for publication was between five and ten years. So even allowing time to learn the craft, I figured that publishing a novel by twenty-five was reasonable.
So I studied, wrote, took classes, attended conferences, submitted, entered contests, and did everything I was told. My early twenties passed. Then my mid-twenties. Then my late twenties. No published book.
I fumed and fussed at God. Argued and bargained and pleaded. Questioned if I should be doing something else. It didn’t make any difference. My marching orders didn’t change. By the time I reached my thirties, I had pushed my ability as far as I knew how, and I was convinced I was on a dead-end road to nowhere.
Then through a chain of events too complex to detail here, in a way that God alone could orchestrate, an email showed up unexpectedly. A publisher was reviewing my manuscript, and in just over year I was holding my “never going to happen” debut novel.
We all encounter dark days, impossible circumstances, and problems which seem unending. But we do not yet live in eternity. What is now will not always be. Moreover, there is a God who does the impossible and can change circumstances in a blink.
So hang on and wait for God. Today is not for ever.
- Chawna Schroeder, YA author
Waiting Is a Mercy
Thank you, Chawna! It’s always inspiring to hear from others who have stepped out of a long season of waiting. It gives the rest of us hope!
Let’s take a moment to discuss what Christians do during a long wait.
Like Chawna admitted, we often beg and plead and argue with God. We pray. We try to put our patient pants on, but we get tired of wearing them and eventually just toss them aside and pout. That’s who we are. That’s human.
But like Chawna also said, the wait is not eternal, because we are not yet in eternity. This is the real key to our hope, and I don’t want you to miss this.
We will not all get what we are waiting for here on earth. But we can rest assured knowing that we will not wait forever. Either the wait will end when we receive what we’ve been hoping for, and we’ll rejoice, or our lives will change and we won’t want that one thing anymore.
Consider this: the thing you are waiting for, could God have a purpose in not letting it happen? Could God’s plan really be better than the one you’ve created in your mind? Take some time to really think about this. Do you trust that what God will do in your life is better than what you would do for yourself if you could change your circumstances?
In times of waiting, our faith is tested. We are pushed into places and mindsets we never wanted to experience. We are forced to examine the depth of our trust in God and the height of our own idols. This makes waiting a form of mercy.
Did you catch that?
Waiting is a form of mercy. It may not feel like it, but if you are forced to talk to God more, to seek Him more, to cling to Him more, that is mercy. If you discover that the thing you are waiting on is taking too much mental space, perhaps God is showing you an idol. Or maybe He’s just giving you an opportunity to grow your faith, to grow the joy you will experience later on for having had to wait.
So, if you’re in a season of waiting (and believe me, I’ve been there several times), consider the ways in which God is growing your faith. Consider the goodness of God even in the wait. Consider that He may be changing you or your circumstances so that the thing you are waiting for may not end up being the thing you need. But continue to ask, continue to try. God knows you so much better than anyone else. He knows what you want and what you need. He is good. Trust Him, and expect Him to do something extraordinary, even if that means changing you so that your desires shift.
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