We wait in line. We wait in traffic. We wait to grow up. We wait to expire. We wait for our children to grow up. We wait for the perfect job. We wait for vacation. We wait for Friday. We wait for our dreams to materialize.
We are ALWAYS waiting for something.
I am the first to admit that waiting and patience is not my biggest virtue. As a matter of fact, I must admit I am probably more impatient than most. Patience is something I constantly admonish my children to have but I don’t always model that myself.
Sometimes we think that if we say the right thing, do the right thing or push a little harder things will happen faster.
My advocacy for families and children has opened up many doors. I had the privilege to experience the adventure of a lifetime and travel to Africa. Ethiopia and her people have had my heart and passion for many years. After deciding to go, waiting for the trip was excruciating. I wanted to go now. When the time finally came it was surreal. I spent one week in Ethiopia and one week in Ghana, West Africa. I was there to observe and advocate for Family Preservation and new Foster Care programs that Bethany Christian Services is introducing in these developing countries. I also had the privilege to conduct trainings for social workers, orphanage staff, and other NGO’s (non-governmental organizations) in each country.
I met families that were kept together and thriving because of Bethany’s Family Preservation and Empowerment programs. There were families that we visited that had defied cultural norms and decided to foster children unrelated to them or their tribes. It really was a life changing experience to be surrounded by this beautiful culture, amazing people and witnessing all of these success stories. A dream come true.
I journaled every day to capture every moment. Before leaving, I knew my reason for going was much deeper than my advocacy and trainings. My husband and I have felt for quite some time that we are in some way connected to Ethiopia on a bigger scale but don’t quite know how or why. I’d hoped to get a light bulb moment at some point during my trip. I didn’t.
I returned home with amazing stories and ready to advocate and raise funds for these programs that are changing families lives. I returned home to wait. Wait for an answer from God on what is next. Where do I go from here? What is this undeniable connection that we cannot shake?
So what do we do when we wait?
God’s Word tells us to let patience have it’s perfect work. The Word also tells us that they that wait upon the Lord, renew their strength and will mount up with wings as eagles. So the advice I give my children is the very advice I must model before them. We will not always know what, when, where, why, and how God is going to do what He is going to do. It may feel like waiting is passive which is difficult for this “get’er done” kinda gal.
However, according to the scriptures it is not passive at all.
Waiting is God’s way of lining up all circumstances, parties involved, and resources to accomplish His perfect will in the situation while developing our trust and reliance on Him.
Isn’t He brilliant?
So the next time you find yourself waiting for something to happen and wondering what in the world God is doing, rest assured that things are lining up and your cooperation during that time can either make or break what He is trying to do.
I have found that this experience has taught me about parenting in many ways. When I tell my children to be patient, it is because I understand the big picture and how everything works together. This is much like God. In order to teach my children this virtue they must see it working in me.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
What are you waiting for? Are you trusting God while you wait?
By Karla Marie Williams
Wife to Tom
Mom of 6
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Speaker, Writer, and Advocate for Children in Need of Forever Families