This afternoon, I sat on the majestic shores of Waimanalo and wrote in my journal (it had been a while). After a few pages, I noticed a common thread woven throughout the day’s entry — I am in a state of “wait and see” in most, if not all, facets of my life. I, then, cracked open a devotional book that had taken me two months to get to and the first words to stare me in the face were those of Pastor Lisa Kai, “WE ARE ENLARGED IN THE WAITING.” The timing was uncanny and the subject matter now had my undivided attention.
I don’t know about you, but I am terrible at waiting. I am a get’er done-planner kinda gal who has been on her own since age 17 and hasn’t had to rely much on others. I always took pride in that but being self-reliant and taking charge of everything in your life has a down side as well. You tend to be a bit more anxious when there are hiccups you cannot control, manage or fix. I feel safe in saying that everyone is a bit controlling and impatient with life, in some capacity. I definitely am. Society has shaped us to be – we want what we want, we are told we deserve what we want and there is no reason to wait on getting those things because they will make us “happy” and who doesn’t deserve to be “happy”?
Unfortunately, we cannot control everything and we cannot have everything whenever we want. I am not just speaking of tangible things you can buy, but things like how a co-worker speaks to you, when or if you are going to get pregnant, if you are ever going to find your dream job or what that dream job is anyways! The list is endless but you get what I mean. We are taught from an early age that if you want something bad enough, you work hard for it, you make it happen, you never quit, you push through no matter what. But the truth is, we don’t always get what we want, no matter how hard try. Some doors need to close for other doors to open. And at other times, some doors need to stay closed until you are readied and prepared enough to open and walk through them.
That is where waiting comes in, during those transitional times in life. It is not a newsflash when I say this: waiting is HARD, really really hard. No one likes waiting, right? It takes patience, faith, trust and letting go. For me, letting go of the steering wheel is a challenge but the process over the last couple of years has been an awakening. The idea of letting go of the steering wheel initially instilled fear in me. “Things won’t get done or they won’t get done right” were thoughts that washed over me. The idea of letting go seemed nonsensical and was bound to cause anxiety because I wouldn’t be in charge of the pace and completion of things that impacted my life and future.
But when I started letting go, I found something unexpected: FREEDOM. I put in the effort, of course, but then let the chips fall how they should, not how I forced them to. The burden was lifted from my shoulders and the stress and anxiety associated with the unknown or with things not going according to my plan disappeared on a large scale. In fact, there was no “plan” to rigidly stick to anymore.
How many times have we forced a situation because we weren’t “quitters” or were pushing through for the sake of pushing through or for the sake of a goal rooted in ego? How often did it ended up being the worst possible thing for us? It has happened to me a lot in the past.
Now, I am not just ok with waiting but I welcome it – there has been a huge heart change in that capacity. I have seen my faith grow tenfold by surrendering and letting go. If we know the future and have all the answers ahead of time, we wouldn’t need faith. But as it turns out, we do not have a crystal ball to see into the future nor do we have super human strengths to control everything that life throws at us. This is not to say that we should not work hard and push through obstacles that present themselves. But, it has behooved me to be still, lean in and listen within that stillness; listen to the dreams planted in my heart and to the voice of discernment telling me whether to wait or take action.
My current season is one of waiting, preparing, growing and enlarging. It was been fruitful thus far and one I embrace in freedom and no longer dread, like I used to. And the waiting season isn’t one of sitting on my laurels. I am proactively preparing for when that voice of discernment says , “GO,the time is now.”
So, the next time you find yourself in the waiting stage or transitioning between chapters, try to faithfully embrace it and view it as preparation for the right time that is just around the bend.
Jaimie is a fire fighter for the Honolulu Fire Department as well as a part-time medevac EMT & Marketing Coordinator. She competes in outrigger canoe paddling and in her spare time, enjoys just about any activity in her happy place -- the ocean or mountains. She also finds fulfillment in consistently giving back to the community.