Jennifer Andes is great writer and a good friend of mine. We connected through the writer’s conference – She Speaks a few years ago and formed a great friendship and accountability relationship. I am sure you will love her encouragement in any season of waiting you might be feeling.
Right Where He Wants You
I’m not a patient person. I’m the one who scopes out the shortest lines at the grocery store. The person who starts pacing at 12:45 when the cable guy said he’d be there between 11-2. Waiting is hard for any normal person, but couple seasons of wait for an impatient woman? Not pretty.
My first real, memorable moment with God came in 2014. I grew up attending church, but never really knew Jesus. Later in life I determined to throw myself into this whole Christianity thing. A series of events tripped me up and had me face planting at the feet of Jesus. Through tear-stained eyes, I surrendered my life to him and promised to follow him. I bartered this in exchange for peace in the midst of the hardest situation I’d faced to that point. INSTANTLY, peace washed over me. One short but heartfelt prayer to God, and I felt His presence in the next second.
This is how it must be for Christians! Waiting isn’t hard with God on your side, I naively thought.
Another season of waiting came upon us within a year. A general sense of unease came over my husband and me. We couldn’t pinpoint a cause, but a gentle undercurrent of uncertainty began to flow in our hearts. I started to pray. I knew without a doubt God would answer us, quickly. But weeks turned into months, and the uneasy feeling remained.
I didn’t understand. God so graciously answered me before with peace. Even though we had to wait for a few months to know an outcome, I knew God was with us because I felt His presence so clearly. His peace erased my anxiety at doctor’s appointments. I confidently told my doctor that my child would be healthy, regardless of her suspicions. God replaced my fears. Yet now, I wasn’t experiencing any of the peace or confidence I had a year prior. I wondered if I was praying incorrectly, but my prayers were open ended. I wasn’t giving God an ultimatum, but rather asking Him to lead us in the direction He wanted us to go. I prayed for Him to open doors if it was His will. Doors remained closed, but we didn’t feel peace about it.
I questioned God’s presence in the silence. I fought the temptation to believe God abandoned us. I thought the “good” Christians always felt God’s presence. They received answers quickly. I questioned my previous moment of surrender to God. I doubted my faith when God was quiet. I believed I had not reached the level of spiritual maturity for God to instantly reveal Himself at the snap of my fingers.
It might seem silly, but these were my real thoughts during this season of waiting. God, though. He cared about these thoughts I battled. He sent us a sticky note response . . . almost literally! My husband had a stack of small papers that employees used to write work-related suggestions. As he was going through them one day, he came across a paper that had written, “Remember, God is in control and you are right where He wants you.” He texted me this note and I praised God right then and there. It was the reminder we needed in a season of uncertainty and waiting.
I now understand God isn’t surprised by my situation or location. He foresaw every crossroad I would encounter before He breathed air in my lungs. God isn’t going to answer our prayers when we want. He answers them in His perfect time. In the silence we need to trust that He is present and He is working all things out for our good (Romans 8:28).
It’s been nearly five years since my husband texted me the “sticky note” from God. We moved from West Virginia to Ohio to South Carolina. We have experienced the loss of loved ones. We have made friends and lost touch with friends. Looking back, I see lessons from God sprinkled along our journey.
I don’t know with certainty that we have reached our final destination, but I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are exactly where God wants us to be.
Wherever you are in the wait, hold tight to this truth. The exact place you are right now is where God needs you to be. It may not make sense. It may be hard. But I pray for the peace of God to overwhelm you in the wait, and I pray you would trust that His ways are better than yours (Isaiah 55:8-9).