Flashback with me to the 1990s: New Kids on the Block and Best Friend necklaces were the raddest thing on the planet. The latter of those was imperative for survival as a fifth grade girl. No worries for me, I wore my half of a Best Friend necklace proudly to school, sitting next to, and spending time with my favorite friend whenever we could. Until…
I woke up, put on my favorite pair of hot pink leggings, gray sweatshirt, Keds, and bounced into the fifth grade class rockin’ the cutest side-pony you’ve ever seen and took my regular seat next to my favorite friend. I was fully prepared to embark in our daily routine of lunch swapsies and matching up our respective halves of the Best Friend necklace. Imagine my shock to see that she was already matching her half up with someone else! How could this be? We spent hours at the mall shopping for those necklaces. I rushed over to sort out the confusion and the truth spilled that she had indeed chosen a new bestie over the weekend. I was left alone with a sad little half of a necklace – an enscripted “BE FRI” with no “ST ENDS” to be found.
I assure you, it is not ok to cry in the middle of the 5th grade classroom when you are a 10 year old girl.
Tragedy in the fifth grade. Surely this was the end for me. I managed to survive the remainder of the school day, though I’m not sure how. I rushed to the car in pickup line and burst into hot, angry tears. As my mom tried to console me she said, “It’s ok, honey. You still have lots of friends. You’ll find someone else to share a necklace with.” Oh, but I won’t. I couldn’t. I was convinced I’d be best friendless for ever and ever. It was later that evening when she tucked me in she said, “Maybe this girl isn’t your very best friend after all. I’m sure that God would not leave you friendless. You have lots of friends and you aren’t alone. Maybe you’ll meet your ‘best friend’ in college.”
College? Was she crazy? At 10, college seemed like an eternity away. Clearly I should just start shopping for a new one right away! How could I possibly wait until then for a BFF? Thus began my first season of waiting.
It wasn’t until high school, a new round of best friends, and a new season of waiting that I found what would become my “life verse” in Proverbs.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Trust. Easier said than done. I can listen, I can heed, I can even submit (mostly) but trust. That is hard work, friends. I don’t know about you, but I ride the struggle bus when it comes to full trust in just about everything. Dictionary.com defines it like this:
trust (noun): 1. reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence. 2. confident expectation of something; hope. 3. confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received; credit.
Wait. Uh, bor-ing. Even as a grown up I don’t want to wait for much. “Patience is a virtue,” they say. I say, patience is a big old pain in the bootie. Yet, God teaches it to me over and over again.
Have you ever been in a season of waiting?
We spend a lot of time anticipating wise words from the Lord. Seeking answers, praying prayers, and being still. Well, we try anyway. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God could just leave a little sticky note on the mirror with some direction? Maybe not the whole plan, though that would be great too, but a note of encouragement or direction. Ah…one can hope.
In college, I put my love of office supplies to good use by encouraging her roommates (who are now some of those best friends I waited for) with notes and messages. Sticky notes became “my thing”, something others came to expect I might leave one behind on their desk or car, tucked away in a book or Bible, fun to find later when encouragement was needed. I hoped this would bless her friends and coworkers in an unexpected way. But I longed for God to leave a note for me. I wanted desperately to follow His will for my life, but I didn’t know what that was or where to look.
I prayed God would leave a sticky note when it came to important life decisions – choose that major, date this boy, take that job. Each time disappointed and frustrated and that God had forgotten me. I found she spent a good part of life faking my way through the wait. Patience may be a virtue, but not one that I had mastered. So I began to dig and seek guidance from the Father whose master plan was already in progress.
Guess what I found?
When I opened my eyes and my heart to a Creator that speaks in unexpected ways I found His “sticky notes” for me.
In Scripture, in a message at church, in a conversation with a wise friend, in a quote from a book, the lyric from a song. I started to write the words on a sticky note of my own. Sometimes I tucked the treasure in my Bible, sometimes I plastered on the mirror as a reminder of His character. James 1:5 practically jumped off the pages at me screaming, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Then I am pretty sure I heard God say, “Open your eyes, dummy. It’s been here the whole time.” Ok, He probably didn’t call me a dummy.
So weather you are a woman, a girl, a mom, a wife, a grandma, a widow, a friend, a loaner, in college, in high school, career chasing, or relaxing in retirement, I hope you’ll follow along the Waiting for Sticky Notes blog series we’ve launched today as some of my writer-friends share their own “sticky note” stories. I pray you are encouraged and find a sticky note message of your own to carry you through a season of wait for the day or for the year.
Waiting with you, Misty