Tabitha Deller and I connected a few years ago at a Proverbs 31 writers conference, She Speaks. I adored her immediately as she sat across from me at a group icebreaker speaking passionately of her Called Bible Study. Her heart for women and the Bible merged to show her love of Christ and her bubbly personality make everyone want to spend more time with her. I know you’ll love her practical and spirited encouragement here.
Waiting. None of us like to do it and yet all of us are called to do it at some point in time and likely many different times throughout our lives. Waiting is waiting on the horizon for all of us whether we’ve done it before, we’ve done it well, or like most of us, we’d really rather not do it at all! But not only is waiting inevitable, it’s actually pretty incredible. I’d love to tell you why I’ve come to that conclusion. I didn’t always appreciate the gift of waiting, and God definitely had to shift my perspective in order to view it as just that…a gift.
My prayer for you as you read the words that follow is that your heart would be opened as well to the amazing gift of waiting and the sweet rewards a season of waiting well brings your way.
Let’s face it. Waiting is hard. Sometimes it’s lonely. Almost always it is accompanied by a gamut of emotions, and unfortunately, more often than not, those emotions are negative, stress inducing, and can actually make us question our sanity. In our “instant gratification” culture, waiting on anything is rather unpopular, but I have discovered (or more accurately, I have experienced), waiting on the Lord is worth every second, minute, hour, day, week, month, and year of the process.
I started a journey with the Lord several years ago when He prompted me, through a devotional, to focus in on one word for the year. A few years ago, when my word was “obedient,” I finally took a step of faith, initiated by that obedience, and began walking out something God had been nudging me to do for years. It was a daunting task, something I felt inadequate and unqualified to do, but with God’s help, I accomplished it one month prior to the year ending.
The following year, I prayed, just as I had the previous year, for God to lead me to that “one word” He wanted to use in my life to direct and guide the decisions I made, prayers I prayed, and life I lived. He moved in my heart to adopt the word, “brave” — a perfect word to follow my year of obedience! My year of bravery led me down pioneering paths of enormous steps of faith in pursuing things out of my comfort zone. It was a seemingly natural “next step” after my year of obedience to continue the pursuit of this thing bigger than myself that required the hand of a supernatural God to propel it forward.
In similar fashion, the following year, I began praying yet again for that “one word” God had for me in the year ahead. I pressed in and prayed. I threw out suggestions that fit my mentality of accomplishment and victory. What about joy, passion, cultivate, harvest, or flourish? All seemed like perfect candidates given this forward momentum I felt. So, much to my chagrin, when God continued to drop the word “wait” in my heart, I wrestled, questioned, and tried desperately to weasel my way out of waiting.
My arguments included rationalizing better options. I’d pray over words that I thought were more suitable for me — ones that would be more proactive, results driven, and continue this journey of forward progress. Waiting seemed so inactive to me. I was overcome with fear that all progress I had made would be completely null and void, set backs would ensue, and momentum would morph into motionlessness if I chose to adopt this word for my year ahead. But when God prompts, He doesn’t give up easily. He loves us so much, knows us intimately, and aligns our heart with what is best for accomplishing His plan and purpose for us. Hadn’t I learned by now? His ways are higher than my ways (Isaiah 55:8). In His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). In my heart, I could plan my course, but God would direct my steps (Proverbs 16:9).
I finally quit the fight, and surrendered to Him. Every time I’d ask for another word, I’d read WAIT in His Word, hear it in a song, see it in a book, or see it in bold letters somewhere (true story)! He was not letting this one go. He wanted me to own this word for the year ahead, plant it in my heart, and water it with His Word daily until is resonated so deeply in my spirit that it changed the way I lived!
He gently reminded me through prayer and His Word that waiting was far from inactive. Waiting on Him was the surest way of God ordained, perfectly timed and orchestrated action. Webster defines “wait” this way: to stay in a place until an expected event happens, until someone arrives, until it is your turn to do something, etc; to remain in a state in which you expect or hope that something will happen soon.
He changed my perspective. Waiting is expectant. Waiting implies something is about to happen. God calls us to wait so that He can act.
When I finally surrendered my agenda and the words I thought best fit the season I was in and embraced the gift of waiting He knew was best for me, He dropped the sweetest acronym in my heart. W – watch, A – anticipate, I – invest, and T – trust. I then actively pursued everything He had for me in the WAIT. I was on a mission to dig deep into His Word and chase after the encouragement and profound meaning He wanted me to find and experience. As I daily lived out this new word, I discovered that waiting was not lonely when I was waiting on Him. He waits with me, comforts me, and encourages me. The best is yet to come. I can’t settle for less than His best, and His best in that season of my life was to simply WAIT on Him.
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I wait for your words. My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may meditate on your word.” Psalm 119:147-148
Tabitha Deller is a wife, mom, teacher, and writer. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband,Steve, and their four sons, Joshua, Caleb, Nathan, and Isaac. She loves words — written or spoken and is passionate about God’s Word and the life changing truths found in it. She loves reading it, writing about it, and challenging others to do the same. She has authored and taught Bible Studies for large groups, small groups, and online groups. She also loves encouraging ladies of all ages and life stages through speaking at events and retreats. You can follow Tabitha at www.tabithadeller.com, Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
About Tabitha’s book/Bible study, “Called”
Called is not about chasing. It’s about following. It’s not about going. It’s about staying. It’s not about us. It’s about Him. It’s not a “how to.” It’s “who through.” It doesn’t say, “I can do this.” It says, “He’ll get me through this.” It’s not about shining bright. It’s about reflecting His light. It’s not about aiming to please. It’s about pleasing the King. When these six little verbs (need, be, see, know, grow, and sow) take root in our heart, that’s when we are able to start living set apart. They are stepping stones into the places God is calling each of us. Unique paths paved by the same six words. This Bible study is for the woman wanting more but tired of dream chasing and fear facing only to discover she’s still rat racing. King Solomon in Ecclesiastes mentions this chasing after the wind, but in John, King Jesus reminds us that it is all about abiding in Him. Called simplifies our role and magnifies His role in purposeful living. You can purchase your copy of Called here.