Caravan Sonnet: courage and questions in the waiting

2/23/15

courage and questions in the waiting

Waiting is the hardest anguish isn't it? Waiting on the Lord to answer prayers that you have prayed months and years and sometimes decades to see come to fruition is something that is hard to adequately express in words the emotions that can be felt. Waiting is the difficult anguish of acknowledging my deepest longing and desire is being unfulfilled at present and wrestling with the bewilderment of unanswered prayer. 
Walking in the wilderness of waiting can be like walking on a tightrope of emotions can't it? Through certain circumstances we begin to believe that God is at work at our prayers and are being answered, only to have the circumstance fall apart. One day we receive the call that finally, after two rounds of IVF, it looks like a baby will finally be a reality, only to discover that it has failed again. In one moment we can begin to believe that "perfect" job that we have been praying for is opening up, only later to find that the promotion went to someone else. In one month it appears that love has come to stay as you are being pursued by a man who might be "the one" to only discover silence in the coming months. 
No matter the situation or circumstance, the roller coaster of emotions that accompanies the journey of waiting touches deeply to the core the heart of all who are walking it. I have encountered so many people who grow bitter during this period of life. Bitter that they waited for dreams to come true only to have them dashed. Bitter to discover that God didn't answer prayers in the way that they had dreamed or imagined was possible.

I am learning that waiting requires a tenacity of spirit and faith like nothing else. In their book, "Captivating", John and Staci Eldridge have a beautiful quote regarding the subject of waiting: "Living in true beauty can require much waiting, much time, much tenacity of spirit. We must constantly direct our gazes toward the face of God, even in the presence of longing and sorrow. It is in the waiting that our hearts are enlarged. The waiting does not diminish us... God does not always rescue us out of a painful season. He is after something so much more than our happiness. Much more substantive than our health. He is restoring us and growing us in an eternal weight of glory."
After my last Notes from the Porch update I received an email that caused me to pause and really consider this subject in greater depth. A young woman asked, "I saw that you shared that you saw the Lord give you an answer regarding the reason that you were not approved for disability. My question though is that if God could share that with you, why is He not answering your other prayers and desires? The prayers for healing, for a husband and to be a mama? I don't mean to insult or discourage you but I have found that it is the unanswered prayers that have attacked my faith. Instead of being "carried by the Lord" as you have mentioned often on the blog, I instead have discovered that I have been left alone and abandoned in the waiting." My heart broke for this young woman who has endured so much heartache and who in the wilderness of waiting lost her hope. 

I didn't and don't have a perfect answer. I get it. I really do. I see so many situations that are so sorrowful that my heart breaks for the way that the Lord has chosen to answer is with silence. Instead of miracles abounding there are situations that appear that the Lord has forgotten those who suffer. From friends who are dealing with shattered marriages to children with advanced stages of Cancer, to infertility, to singleness to job loss, to health issues, to deaths of a loved one...life seems incredibly difficult a lot of the time. Where is God in the unanswered prayers? Why does His silence reign when I long for Him to shout down encouragement from Heaven in the form of answered prayers?
But I also see something else. As I look to the Lord and meditate on His word I see Him. See it is in the unanswered prayers that I am learning that God is in each day. It is the unanswered prayers that I am seeing that God is truly in the waiting. It is in the unanswered prayers that I come face to face with who I am and who God is. What if I worshiped a god who granted every single request at the drop of a hat? Would I need a god like that? Or would I only be making this "god" into who I wanted him to be instead of letting him be god? Would I love this god more because he answered all of the things I asked for in the time frame that I wanted? 

And if the answer to that last question is "yes" then I have to face myself and ask what I am looking for truly out of my relationship with Christ. Do I only want someone who answers my requests and gives me everything I want? 

Like it or not, unanswered prayers and the Lord's silence forces me to confront these questions. And if I am brave enough I will face these questions with courage. I might not like what they say about me *smiles*, but the truth is still before me. And the truth, as scripture states, does set us free. Free, to except the hard realities, and free to accept and choose the joy that comes with worshiping and loving a God who is not my own creation, but who is GOD.
As I surrender these questions and my hopes and dreams the Lord grants me the strength and courage to face the day before be with hope, joy, and courage. God is in the waiting friends. He has promised that He will answer and that is enough for today. We don't need a certain place, a certain circumstance to change, or a way to "escape" when things don't happen in a way that we expected or want them to. Instead our courage in the waiting comes from running to the only one who fills our deepest need. Find courage in HIS word, HIS promises, and HIS loving-kindness. 

Several years ago there was a song by John Waller that became quite popular in the movie "Fireproof" entitled, "I'm Waiting". I have loved these words and have been so encouraged by them over the years. I hope and pray it gives you a boost of courage for the waiting friend. Hold on to hope, HE is good and HE will not abandon us.

"I'm waiting, I'm waiting on You Lord
And I am hopeful, I'm waiting on You Lord
Though it is painful, but patiently I will wait
And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience

While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint
I'll be running the race even while I wait

I'm waiting, I'm waiting on You Lord
And I am peaceful, I'm waiting on You Lord
Though it's not easy no, but faithfully I will wait
Yes, I will wait

And I will move ahead bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint
I'll be running the race even while I wait

I will move ahead bold and confident
I'll be taking every step in obedience, yeah
While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint
And I will serve You while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting"

PS- In September I wrote a follow up to this post entitled, Hurt and Hope in the Waiting which you can find HERE.

16 comments:

  1. What beautiful pictures! I am always amazed at God's creation.

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    1. Aww thank you so much for your sweet words! I too am so amazed by the beauty of God's creation!! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment!!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)
      p.s. I would have loved to have emailed you back directly but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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    1. Thanks Ladonna! So sweet of you to stop by!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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  3. Waiting can be very difficult. I've been waiting for answers for over five years now, and there have been many times I've questioned God, "Why?" The truth is, He is God, He knows what's best, and it's through this waiting that He is perfecting me. If parents gave their children everything they asked for it would spoil them. It's the same with us. God isn't a genie in a bottle, but a sovereign ruler of all. All I can do is trust Him, because if I didn't, there would be no hope. Through everything I know that God is still good, and I'm so glad I'm not waiting alone! He is with me always, as He is always with you. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us!

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    1. Christie,
      Thank you so much for stopping by and taking time to leave such a thoughtful comment! I completely agree with you that God is "Sovereign". This is definitely a "theme" that I have been thinking and praying through recently very specifically. A song that has spoken to me greatly in this area is from Aaron Keyes, "Sovereign Over Us". I am not sure if you have heard it or not but it might be an encouragement to you as it has been to me! :) I am going to be sharing more about that next week but thought I would mention it! *smiles*

      I am so appreciative of the time that you took to share a little bit of your story. Waiting is very difficult and as the years pass the waiting can be even more intense. Thank you for sharing your story and your heart and being an encouragement today!

      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)
      p.s. I would have loved to have emailed you back directly but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  4. This is so lovely. I am terrible at waiting and I needed this reminder this week. :)

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    1. Daisy,

      Hi lady! Thanks so much for stopping by and for leaving a comment! :) Waiting is SO hard and definitely something (as the post shares) that I am learning and walking through in different ways!! Thanks so much for your sweet comment! SO glad that we can encourage one another in the journey's that the Lord has us on!!

      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

      p.s. I would have loved to have emailed you back directly but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  5. I've been in a season of waiting upon the Lord for years and years now. Though it's hard, I actually find it quite unique and beautiful. I can see how He is growing me and maturing my character. Sometimes we don't get the answers that we want, when we want them. And I'm learning to be ok with that. Sunshine and happy days don't grow our faith nearly as much as sorrow, suffering and waiting upon God. For the record, it's taken me a looooooooong time to adopt this mentality haha! :) Great post, beautiful thoughts!

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    1. Becky,

      Thank you so much for stopping by and for leaving your comment and sharing a little bit of your heart with me! Your comment was such a lovely encouragement on this topic!! I COMPLETELY agree with you that in the waiting season there is something unique and beautiful. I am finding great comfort that so many of the people in the Bible waited for years and decades for things and how the Lord show cased and highlighted that. What an encouragement that is for this season!

      I completely agree with you that it took me a LONG time to adopt this attitude and to be truthful it is something that I still surrender to the Lord often! *smiles* Thank you so much for sharing such a lovely comment and encouraging me today with your story!

      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)
      p.s. I would have loved to have emailed you back directly but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  6. Wow. This is so good! The unanswered prayers are so hard, but like you said perfectly - God remains SO faithful through them!!!!! Thanks for encouraging us friend!

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    1. Aww thank you so much friend!! What an encouragement you always are with your sweet comments!! The unanswered prayers are SO hard... but God is so faithful... every single day... I am in awe of His blessings- and one of them is definitely your sweet friendship!! How you have blessed my life friend!!!

      With love and hugs,
      Rebecca :)

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  7. This is just beautiful -- your words and your photos. I still struggle to understand the purpose of waiting. I struggle to wrap my mind around why God makes some people wait and (seemingly) not others. Why some prayers get answered and others don't. What helps me most is to know that God is good through everything, and part of that goodness comes from the fact that Jesus weeps with us in every hard time. It amazes me that we have a God who understands and feels our pain with us. Thanks for being brave and sharing these tough thoughts so beautifully!

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    1. Brittany,

      THANK YOU so much for your kind and thoughtful comment and your encouragement. I COMPLETELY agree with you that I struggle often (and have to surrender OFTEN) my understanding on the purpose of waiting. It is hard to understand why it seems (like you have so eloquently stated) God answers some people's prayers and others have to wait. I have been finding comfort in the stories from scripture where SO many of the prayers that were prayed were not answered until years and decades later. I am going to be sharing more about this in an upcoming post but it has definitely encouraged me in this journey.

      Thank you so much for your words that encouraged me and were such a blessing!!

      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

      p.s. I would have loved to have emailed you back directly but unfortunately you are a "no reply blogger". I hope to connect with you more in the future!

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  8. Such a beautiful post, Rebecca! <3

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    1. Aww thank you so much Britt!! I am delighted that you stopped by! Thank you so much for taking the time to post such a sweet and encouraging comment!! I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!!
      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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