Caravan Sonnet: Hurt and Hope in the Waiting

9/25/15

Hurt and Hope 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 and can feel like we are navigating walking a tightrope over a very deep chasm. Waiting is the difficult anguish of acknowledging my deepest longing and desire is being unfulfilled at present and wrestling with the bewilderment of what seems to be unanswered prayer and God's silence. 
This past February I shared a post that described this delicate tightrope and challenged myself and my readers to have courage in the waiting and to rest in WHO God is despite the silence of unanswered prayer. Despite the emotions that come with different circumstances, especially the ones that lead us to begin to believe that God is at work and our heart-wrenching prayers are finally being answered. I still definitely believe everything that I wrote in February, but in these past few months I have actually struggled through my own writing from so few months ago. 
Let's be honest: this summer has not been the easiest at all. It has been filled with extreme nausea and vertigo that has made it even difficult to sit up in bed, extreme pain due to the different drugs that are coursing through my body and leave me with a million side effects, and extreme fatigue that makes even talking very difficult. While there have been huge moments of rejoicing that I have shared on social media, there has also been a deep hurt that settled into a little corner of my heart. A deep hurt so tender that even as I write this tears are silently slipping down my cheeks. A deep hurt that has brought me to the feet of Jesus again and again, asking: "Lord, do you see? Lord, how long must this go on? Lord, what about my deepest desires (to be healed, to be married, to be a mama) that I have been praying for years for? How Long Lord, How Long?"
In the midst of my broken and hurt heart I have had more opportunities than ever this summer to share about the love of Jesus and 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. The reality I discovered is that many people allow their hurt to develop into bitterness. Several months ago I came across a quote that pierced my heart with its truth, love, and grace:

"Interestingly enough, the most asked question in the whole Bible (from Genesis to Revelation) is "How Long, O Lord, How Long?" And the most repeated command from God is, "Do not fear" or "Do not be afraid". The people of God consistently cry out for relief, and the God of love bids us to trust Him."
Friends, this is what I am finding in this wilderness of waiting- I continue to cry out to the Lord asking "How Long?" and he repeatedly commands me to trust Him, to not be afraid, and not to fear. At first I thought that this didn't pertain to me. Honestly, I thought, "wait a second, I am not afraid, I simply am waiting for my prayers to be answered". And then it struck my heart so hard as I realized if I wasn't afraid, I would not be feeling that tender hurt. I might feel sad that my timing is different than the Lord's, but if I am truthfully honest with myself- I wouldn't be feeling hurt. I might be in deep anquish at this season of waiting, but I wouldn't be afraid. 
I think that sometimes we view fear and being afraid as something that we are just scared of, but in terms of waiting I am finding the fear is more that what I am most longing for will never happen. The things that I have been praying for for over two decades won't come true. What if what I am most longing for and praying for never happens? What if the way that my prayers are answered are not what I am hoping? What if the test results continue to be poor? What if I never get married or become a mama? What if... and the questions go on and on. 

I don't know about you but I am not finding that there are specific answers to these questions that the Lord is giving, except for the continuous, "do not be afraid",  "trust me", "do not fear". And I am learning that this is enough for today. 
I don't have a perfect answer for tomorrow, but I do have one for today. I do believe that the Lord is going to answer all of my prayers, my bitter weeping (as he did with Hannah in I Samuel), my heartbroken silent prayers. I do believe that He promises to give us the desires of our hearts and I do believe that He promises to show His goodness in the land of the living. I also believe that the God of love is tenderly calling me to trust HIM for how long that this season and this waiting period lasts. I do believe that this God of love wipes away my fears of the future and of unanswered prayers and grants abundant grace and strength to face the minutes and hours of deep hurt and fear.  
Instead of running away and becoming bitter, I find that by brokenly placing this season in His hands I am not rewarded with a pat on the back but am tenderly engulfed in His love, His promises, and HIS mercies that are new every morning. He has never forsaken those whom He loves, and this beautiful God of love answers my questions of "How Long?" with continuous grace and a bid to trust Him and rest in Who He is. 

Hold on sweet friends to this God of love as you are waiting. Place your broken and hurting hearts in the One who loves us more than life. He will meet us in the future, but He will meet also meet us today. 

5 comments:

  1. This post is beautiful. The photos drew me in first but as I read the words I had many "ah-ha" moments as I nodded along with the points you made. Thank you for a Friday dose of inspiration! :)

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    1. Awww thank you so much! I am so thankful that this post was encouraging to you!!! Thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing with me- it truly encouraged my heart!

      Blessings,
      Rebecca :)

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  2. I just read this over on Caroline's blog. Thank-you for sharing!

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  3. Oh girl, I feel you. I've had to do my own fair share of waiting in the past couple of months, albeit in a slightly different context. The anticipation, the uncertainty is the worst, isn't it?

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