Why is waiting so hard sometimes?
When it came to having kids, that whole “I’m not getting any younger” phrase popped into my mind more often than I’d like to admit. I’m thirty-five years old (thirty-six later this month…woot woot!), and ever since Brittany and I got married in 2010 I told her that I was ready for kids whenever she felt ready. No pressure, right?!
Five years of marriage later, it wasn’t happening for us on our timeline and it started rocking our world. Brittany was convinced it was “her fault” even though we would eventually learn she was misdiagnosed by a doctor. Regardless, our struggle to get pregnant took an emotional, physical and spiritual toll on us.
In Brittany’s recent blog post, she wrote that “Surrendering a desire is one of the hardest things we can do because we’re admitting that God’s plans for us are better than our own.”
I started thinking about what it looks like for us to “surrender” something to God, and I realized that sometimes even Christians get it wrong.
Over the past several months, Brittany and I tried to remind each other that God is in control and things would happen in His time, but if we’re going to be brutally honest, there were moments where we questioned if He really wanted to give us the desires of our hearts. There were moments when we felt hopeless and wanted to “give up” on waiting. There were moments where we simply felt defeated.
When it comes to surrender, there is no greater example than what Jesus did for us on the cross. But in the most important story in the history of creation, there were three days in between Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Three very dark and hopeless days that we rarely talk about.
Can you imagine how the followers of Jesus must have felt? Do you think they had moments where they were waiting for a miracle but felt hopeless at the same time? Did they have moments where they felt defeated?
The Bible doesn’t tell us exactly why Jesus waited three days, but the fact is that He did so knowing that others’ faith would be challenged. Thankfully, we know the story didn’t end there. Jesus rose from the grave and was (and still is) victorious over sin and death.
How is it, then, that we as followers of Jesus still allow hopelessness to creep in?
I think the answer is simple: we’re not Jesus. Jesus was perfect. We are not. Our attempts to surrender our burdens can quickly give way to anxiety, fear, doubt and hopelessness, especially when waiting is involved. To put it simply, as long as we live in a world where sin exists, the line between surrender and defeat is often blurred.
Brittany and I are so excited for the miracle God is giving us with this child. We know that He answered our prayers, but we also have several friends who are crying out to God and wondering how much longer they will have to wait for a baby, a relationship, a job, etc. These friends are in a valley in their lives, and at times they feel defeated. While everyone’s story and struggles are different, our story of infertility is still fresh in my mind and my heart is heavy for others who are waiting for the Lord to move.
The past week or so I have been asking God to help me discern between that blurry line of surrender and defeat, and I recently came across two passages in the Bible that struck a chord in my heart.
John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world,” and in Philippians 1:6, Paul said, “…I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”
God’s word tells us that when we’re facing a struggle and waiting on God, He is not only with us, but He is perfecting us. Isn’t that a beautiful thing to know that God cares about us so much that He is constantly working on us to make us a better version of ourselves? We may not always see it clearly, but when we put our faith in the Lord we can rest assured that He is with us and perfecting us even at this very minute.
The battle that Christians often refer to is not just between good and evil, but it’s also between surrender and defeat. As I grow older, I’m becoming more aware of the hurt, disappointment, discouragement and desperation others are feeling in our world and my heart aches when I think about the opportunities I missed to point others to Jesus. My pride, ignorance and selfishness sometimes creep in and gets in the way of the work God wants to do in me, but I also know that I serve a God who is perfecting me for the moment when our Savior returns.
Knowing that truth gives me great hope, even when the waiting is hard.
Here’s a time lapse video we shot while in Breckenridge, Colorado around the time we got pregnant.