I originally intended to give this topic to someone else. Because I didn’t want to do it. Because I take zero joy in waiting.

I might be one of the most impatient people in the world.

People I work with at my elementary school think I’m incredibly patient because of the way I work with the students that are in my care, but of course I’m patient with them. I have all the patience in the world for people who have special needs, such as autism and down syndrome.

But everyday humans… y’all need to get it together most of the time because I hate waiting around for you. Kinda kidding. And absolutely sorry not sorry.

I live my life on a 28 day cycle (plus or minus five days).  For the last two years, James and I have been desperately trying to get pregnant. Due to “unexplained infertility,” we have been unsuccessful thus far. But everyday of those 28 days, I am waiting for them to end so that I can know whether or not it worked this time around.

During those 28 days, I get poked, prodded, medicated, and injected. I have a whole bunch of different tests, medications, and doctors visits. Being infertile is incredibly time consuming and expensive.

And all I want is a baby. But I am terrible at waiting for it to happen for us.

I am SO blessed to be married to James because he is incredibly supportive of everything we are doing. I have not felt alone in this for even a moment, and even though it is completely my fault we can’t get pregnant, he has never made me feel like it’s my fault or that it’s more my responsibility than his. We are in this together 100%. He has given me my FSH injections twice now because he loves me and he’s an EMT (and shoving a needle in my own stomach makes me cringe). This whole process has, strangely, in some ways brought us closer together. We are conquering this problem together.

Other than that wonderful gift, I really am taking ZERO joy in this process. I mean, I couldn’t put on pants today because my stomach is so bloated from the medications. I weigh less than I did a week ago, yet I cannot wear the pants that were loose on me a week ago.

So every 28 days, I end up sad, distraught, and disappointed.

How do you find joy in that?

Or for work stuff. The last six months have been ridiculous and I feel like I’m in a constant hold pattern, waiting to be allowed to take the next step towards my dreams. All the while that Twenty One Pilots lyric keeps playing in the back of my head. “What if my dream does not happen? Would I just change what I’ve told my friends?” That’s honestly and truly how I feel. So I’m here, trying to make the best of it, and enjoying myself for the most part. But waiting to become a teacher is really, really hard for me.

I guess, what I’m trying to say and doing so poorly, is that waiting is hard. Whether you’re waiting for over an hour in a doctors office lobby or waiting for a phone call, waiting is really, really difficult. And I do not do it well. I’m the gal who would scold Jesus for taking too long to come heal my brother, only to be Jesus juked and watch him rise from his tomb.

So how can I be better? How can I take JOY in waiting for things and people?

There is a crazy story in Genesis about a guy named Jacob and his sister wives, Leah and Rachel. Remember, this is Jacob. THE JACOB. The guy who God calls Israel. The guy who fathers the 12 sons who become the leaders of the 12 tribes of Israel. This guy is kind of a big deal. In Genesis 29, after Jacob has run away from home because he stole his older brother’s inheritance from their dying father and he’s afraid his brother will kill him (yeah… already a crazy story), he goes to work for his Uncle Laban as a sheep herder (Genesis LOVES stories about rich dudes who end up herding sheep in the desert). He meets Uncle Laban’s youngest daughter, Rachel (aka his cousin), and falls in love immediately. Jacob works out a deal with Laban to work for seven years for free as long as he gets to marry Rachel at the end of it. Now, this is strange, because Rachel has an older sister, Leah, who should be married off first according to the customs of the time. But Laban agrees and Jacob works for seven years.

After seven years, Jacob lays this sweet marriage proposal on the table:

“Jacob said to Laban, ‘The time has come. Give me my wife so that I may sleep with her.’”

And we all give a big, collective “awwww” for that one.

Laban is totally cool with that line though, and he calls everyone in the town to come witness the wedding, which included standing outside the house where the bride and groom made their marriage “official” and only began the party after the sheets were presented. WHAT. Laban is sneaky AF though and gives LEAH to Jacob to sleep with. IDK if it’s super dark or Jacob is hammered, but he wakes up the next morning next to Leah, his new wife, and he is not having it.

When Jacob confronts him, Laban basically just says “Sorry, you can’t have Rachel before Leah is married. You can have Rachel as your wife, as long as you work for me for another 7 years.” AND HE DOES IT. After 14 years, he marries Rachel. The story says that the years “seemed like a few days because he loved her.”

Jacob took joy in his work because he knew that in the end, he would get what he wanted. He knew that eventually, even through the bump in the middle, he would have his bride.

I know, poor Leah, but we’re not going to focus on that right now cause I can go OFF on that part of the story.

When we take joy in the work we are doing in the midst of our waiting, we are able to gain a greater appreciation for our goals. When we have to wait longer than anticipated , we tend to cherish and take care of that thing more than others might. People tend to treasure the things they have to wait for.

And waiting is changing me. Waiting is helping me to realize who and what is truly important to me in my life. Waiting is shaping my soul and preparing my heart for what will eventually come. Waiting has the ability to smooth out the rough edges of our lives and shape us into who we will eventually become.

God is excited for our destinations, of course, but God is also excited to journey there with us, to show us things along the way, and to shape us to be the people we need to be once we reach our journey’s end. It is so important that we enjoy the process, no matter how tedious it can be, how stressed out you might get, or how frustrated you are with your pants.

There is always joy to be experienced in the waiting.

Here are some lyrics from my favorite Mumford and Sons song:

So break my step
And relent
You forgave and I won’t forget
Know what we’ve seen
And him with less
Now in some way
Shake the excess

‘Cause I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

Now I’ll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart
So take my flesh
And fix my eyes
A tethered mind free from the lies

And I’ll kneel down
Wait for now
I’ll kneel down
Know my ground

Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow

‘Cause I will wait, I will wait for you

UPDATE:
While trying to find a photo for this blog post, my internet stopped running efficiently. I got angry, and then I decided that it was okay, because I am incredibly privileged to HAVE internet and sometimes waiting on a page to load isn’t the worst thing that can happen to me.

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