Posts Tagged ‘wondering’

waiting

January 22, 2010

I’m waiting to hear from my boss if I’ll have my job past mid-February. I’ve been a “holiday” hire for two years in a row at Pottery Barn. I adore my job. I absolutely love it! I’m also gaga over the discount, but that’s not the only reason I love working there. My fellow employees are friendly and kind and helpful and genuine. I don’t know if I’ve ever enjoyed a job so much. Of course I don’t face the challenges of being full-time, and there is enough variety of tasks and continual change of scenery from week to week that I never get tired of it. Working in a beautiful space is wonderful. Working with nice people makes the experience over-the-top!

So, I’m waiting, just like I did last year this time. The economy, corporate decisions, percentages – these all play a part in determining if I’ll get to stay on. They were the reasons I wasn’t able to last year. It’s all fine, and I’m good either way, it’s just the waiting and wondering that get old. Just knowing the outcome would be so helpful. I could plan.

It’s kind of like waiting for the fog to lift and the sun to come out again. I can’t remember it not being frosty or foggy! After a week of gray, messy, misty, fog-filled days I’ve nearly begun to believe it’s always been this way and always will be.

This kind of waiting is nothing compared to waiting for a loved one to return from Iraq or Afghanistan. It’s cake compared to waiting for a diagnosis. And perhaps the most brutal of all experiences was waiting and wondering if my living nightmare would ever end.

I’ve endured enormous amounts of waiting in the last five years. Waiting for chemotherapy treatments to be over. Waiting for my body to heal after surgeries. Waiting to feel like myself again. Waiting for my sorrow to subside.

Romans 12:12 says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

The first and last phrases make sense – we can be joyful in hope because hope is a joy-filled thing. We can be faithful in prayer, because it’s do-able. But patient in affliction? Patience when we’re in pain? Patience when we are agonizing over something? Patience is not something that most people have an abundance of, especially in affliction.

When I was fighting the cancer battle, the only thing I had in abundance was time. It’s kind of ironic. Fighting cancer, the predator that could rob me of all my time on earth permanently, was the cause of me having so much time – not doing the things I wanted to be doing, but plenty of it just the same. I had ample time to ponder my predicament. Time to fear and fret. Time to weep. Time to wait in doctors’ offices. Time to rest and heal.

Waiting does not equal patience. We can wait impatiently. We can try to fight waiting but we can’t change the fact that we wait. Sometimes there is no way around a predicament. The only way through is the way of waiting. Waiting patiently in affliction is an art that many never learn. Being joyful in hope and faithful in prayer are the means of learning that art and attaining that goal.

Remember the saying, “If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em!”? That’s the concept I’m talking about. Fighting against waiting is second nature, it’s natural, but it’s also counter-productive. You expend too much energy fighting and fretting and worrying and being angry. That isn’t healthy physically or emotionally or spiritually!

If you have to wait, then work it. Make the most of it. Build anticipation (hope) by finding things to be joyful about. If you can’t pray, ask people to pray for you. I did. When I couldn’t be hopeful, or joyful, I had to depend on the hope of others. Eventually, I began to hope. I spent my time trying to be patient while others spent their time praying for me and hoping. Their faith and hope was contagious.

Impatience breeds anxiety and stress. Patience brings peace.

Fight those battles you can win, definitely. But why fight what you can’t win? You can only win a waiting war by surrendering – patiently.