I watched the kids swim while I sat in my wheelchair behind the glass in the lounge area waiting…
The kids had wheeled me into the recreation center and then proceeded to dart to the pool area like it was Disneyland, squealing with delight at the prospect of swimming for FUN on a SCHOOL night for my son’s 9th birthday. I just had to be there with my precious boy on his birthday. I needed to be a part of this, of something other than lamenting my pain and my restrictions at home. I’ve been stuck in a leg cast for eight weeks, and today was the day of liberation from that cast…only to find a new heavier brace on my leg to lug around for another month. As my leg throbbed from the transitional pull and push into something new and harsh and heavy, I found once again, that dreaded word.
I had to pee. I always have to pee. This is not a good thing when you are unable to use one leg. It means all kinds of trouble. It implies the ever-present need must be met often…and the met part is not easy. I was stuck in my wheelchair waiting, while the kids were soaked in the flow of water and joy.
My husband had dropped us all off, and went on his way downtown to work on a property for a few hours. I sat and watched my kids have a glorious time together in the pool, thinking how wonderful it was they were enjoying each other so beautifully- a celebration of siblings on such a significant day. Oh, how I loved to see this. I felt my foot and ankle throbbing, so I kept pulling it up on the ledge of the window, with hopes to alleviate the pain. No such luck. I was hoping my husband would show up soon, so he could wheel me down the hallway and help me into the bathroom.
By the time he got there and I filled him in on the fun they’d been having, the pool was closing and it was time to go. He left me once again, to go get the kids and supervise the showers and changing-
While I waited some more.
When we finally arrived home to have our cookie cake and wrap up the day, I sighed and murmured-
“I have been waiting to go to the bathroom all night.”
I hoisted myself onto the scooter and slowly clunked my way hitting doorways and hallway walls to get to the bathroom.
As I passed my chlorine soaked birthday boy, he said,
“Mom, you’re really getting good at waiting.”
And it hit me.
I have been challenged in countless ways during this season of healing, and yet the greatest obstacle of all has been the waiting.
Waiting, waiting, waiting…
Waiting to heal. Waiting to sleep. Waiting to eat. Waiting to clean. Waiting to pee. Waiting to bathe. Waiting for laundry. Waiting for rides. Waiting to be an active mother again, and a true participant in life. Waiting for the pain to stop along with this excruciating dependence for everything. Waiting for things I cannot control…
So much waiting.
And apparently, I have gotten better at it.
I kept thinking about what my sweet boy said to me, and I began to follow the waiting trail back for weeks, then months, then years. I traced the waiting through dreams holding their breath, and love’s lingering hope. I recounted the many times I waited to hear back from music studios, job interviews, applications, submissions, schools, insurance settlements, doctors, lab tests and diagnoses. I think about those longer waits, lasting years. Those seasons of wondering and hoping for what’s to come, time periods of wishing things would change, days upon days of searching for the right man, the right home, the right medicine to make my daughter well.
I thought about parenting my two kids and how every single day is about waiting: leading and waiting, watching and waiting, teaching and waiting, hoping and praying anxiously that they ‘arrive’ where I want them to be- both figuratively and literally. Waiting through all those long gaps of time they are away from me, praying they are okay. Waiting for one stage to be over and a new one to begin. Waiting for them to poop, to get their shoes on, to respond when I call them, and get their chores done.
Apparently, SO much of my life lives in waiting.
And I am betting yours does too.
It ain’t easy, is it? I know.
Waiting is a part of our every day, down to the detailed grit of over-crowded stores, traffic delays, phone calls on hold, school pick up lines and loading those apps.
I wonder how much time I have spent waiting in my 48 years of living. I wonder if I did anything worthwhile with all that time.
I’m hoping I did.
Because if I just ruminated on ‘what ifs’ or ‘when wills’ or ‘come ONs’… I’m not sure I can say that I have had a productive waiting career.
I’m thinking I wasted a lot of time stewing on those very things.
But waiting can be where our greatest growth occurs.
Think about it.
I realize that time in the stuck: wondering, questioning, worrying, wishing, hoping, may actually bring new strength we never knew we had. That angst and anticipation, that frustration and surrendering, that ongoing challenge of acceptance and peace in the *now* can surely result in something great-
Like endurance, perseverance, maturity, wisdom, and learning the art of being fulfilled without being full or filled. It can teach us how to trust in God’s will, and not ours. It can plunge us deep into surrender and reveal to us a new layer of fortification, sanctification, and even transformation.
But it can be wrapped around other hard barbed wire that makes it sting, instead of sustain.
Bitterness, comparison, jealousy, discouragement, defeat, despair, frustration, anger, hopelessness…
Been there. And if you must wait long… It’s. Tough. To. Take.
Perhaps practice makes perfect. If we really dig in and open our eyes to discover the opportunities while we wait, maybe we can look back once we’re done waiting, and see the glaring possibility that the waiting was meant to be- for something.
Though there are bridges that seem to endlessly take us nowhere… we may in fact realize that the bridge itself is our training ground that isn’t measured by the miles across, but by the strength of it’s architecture.
The bridge itself can be quite beautiful, if we build it and deliberately design its presence. It could actually be exquisite. Maybe even better than what we dreamed was on the other side. Within endurance and perseverance, we can discover extraordinary life lessons.
All I can say for sure is that I’ve gotten ‘better at waiting’.
Instead of declaring, “It was worth the wait!” We were able to claim,
“It was a worthy wait.”
Darla Halyk says
I love this so so so much, yes, a worthy wait. <3 to you my friend, you inspire me.
Love to you too, my friend! It means the world to me that this inspires you, Darla. I’m SO glad. <3 What you write inspires ME as well... How could it NOT?
Kelly L McKenzie says
It was a worthy wait! I SO love this. Such a positive spin on the eternal, inevitable and never ending art of waiting. Brilliant, Chris. I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent waiting. Now that I am relieved of the art of having to wait – with my two at college across the country – I find that I miss it. Wait. What?
Ha! Love that Kelly! Yeah… I think I will miss it too, when my kids are gone. Some waiting we go through, and we just don’t realize- that was where the good stuff happened. 🙂
Janine Huldie says
Aw, definitely worth the wait in the end and just so glad you are feeling better, Chris now!! Hugs and have a wonderful weekend now, too! 🙂
HUGS right back to you Janine! 🙂
Hi Chris! I remember reading this when you were in the midst of it all…and boy, could I relate or what??
I’m walking again too, and I thank God with my celebratory exercise. You know when else I’m thankful? Showering! And then being able to turn in the shower too. Such small things, but so meaningful.
I don’t think there’s ever been a time in my life when I wasn’t waiting for something. (Especially to pee!) In a way, it’s a great gift to live in expectation, believing there will be a change. There will be light. That might be the gift buried in the bottom of the expanse of waiting.
There’s got to be light. I do to much of this waiting stuff for it to be meaningless!
CEIL!!! My surgery sista!!!! LOLOL!! I just love that we journeyed through this together, my friend! I swear every single time I go up the stairs in my house I relive those days. I am SO grateful to use my legs!!
God doesn’t count anything as meaningless, right? Yeah. Every moment He created for something. 🙂
Thank you for this reminder of all the waiting we do in life, and you surely have had your tests with health, broken leg, and waiting on your calling..and of course the everyday waiting we do..in fact our lives really are infused with waiting..I never realized until I read your blog just how much waiting we do!! Love how you make your waiting life into a prayer!!!
It’s really incredible when we realize just how much time we do spend waiting, isn’t it? I’ve had several of those seasons… and Lord knows I am the most IMPATIENT person EVER. I think He considers me the ‘difficult child’ at times in these waiting seasons! LOL 🙂 He keeps trying to teach me though. I’m *slowly* learning.
I was just thinking a few weeks ago how much better I am getting at waiting. In my case, it was waiting for supplies to arrive in the mail so that I could dive into metalsmithing at home (so not quite the same urgency as the waiting you were experiencing in this store). I realized as I saw in the package tracking that it wasn’t going to come quite as quickly as I had hoped, I realized I had already waited this long to do it, a few more days truly wasn’t going to make a difference.
And I think as you become older and have lived more life, you realize with so many things just that — that in the long run extra time waiting usually really isn’t that much. And it truly usually is a worth wait!
I love that Bev. Just love it! I think you are SO right. The longer we live, the less waiting trips us up. We finally have a bigger perspective on things… those little glitches aren’t worth the stress. 🙂
I’m so bad at waiting. It’s been a dreadful week of it – for waiting for health news for two close, close, close family members. All seems fine but I’ve been waiting.
I remember your peeing story!
I’ve been walking nearly every day since January. Didn’t know you were having many health problems, but here’s to good answers.
I hope and pray things are okay over there, T! “All seems fine” gives me hope…
Yeah- been really sick for a while now. I don’t write about it – except for that Gluten post. Who wants to read that stuff? 🙂
Lynn J Simpson says
“Though there are bridges that seem to endlessly take us nowhere… we may in fact realize that the bridge itself is our training ground that isn’t measured by the miles across, but by the strength of it’s architecture.” Yes…so true! This is beautiful. We are being refined in our waiting. There is so much hope in that. And happy that you are now enjoying a season of walking, and celebrate with you your past three weeks of health. Your words always speak into me, nourish and teach me. Thank you!
Ah… refined. YES! Thanks so much for your beautiful encouragement, my friend. It means the world to me!
HA! Perfect timing OR WHAT, Kitty? 😀 Thanks so much for sharing this again <3
It SURE IS!!! I’m still ecstatic about the news!!!! (Keep me posted, sweetie!)
Lux G. says
Oh, the topic about waiting is so close to my heart. I think it is for every single person out there or anyone who’s been waiting for something.
What encouragement and inspiration. Thank you so very much, Christine. It is a worthy wait. 🙂
Isn’t it Lux? Who DOESN’T wait? I’m so glad this spoke to you, my friend. It’s really been eye opening for me, every time I’ve experienced a waiting season.
Wendy Munsell says
Beautiful truths here, Christine. Jesus has been showing me that He is there in the waiting just as He is in the times of moving forward into whatever is next. I think that if I could just catch hold of the wonder of His presence in the waiting than my antsy urge to get going would change to a deep appreciation that He in there with me. Maybe the waiting times are the richest times of all…
Yes… I love that Wendy. Those still moments in waiting are truly the ones where we can surely sense His presence. I think sometimes God allows for the HALT to occur in my life, simply to get me all to Himself. lol I’m a difficult child. 🙂
Allie @ The lathckey Mom says
Oh you poor thing. First, I am glad that you are out walking and feeling well. Are you still gluten free? On my cleanse, I am gluten, dait, et all (I now you read my post form last week) and I’m feeling good. But my joints are still achy. I ran last night and my hip stated hurting (hello granny) and I kept running. May have been a mistake, cause it’s really hurting this morning. Perhaps now I will be waiting, too. Waiting for my joints to get with my heart/mind and act like their younger – I’ll settle for 35!
I get it girl!! Aging is HARD. I can’t run anymore… but I walk now and I ache SO bad from it! *Walking*- yes that. lol 🙂 I am totally gluten free. This is the first run I have had without any mess ups. I have really struggled with realizing it is in EVERYTHING and I have accidentally eaten it several times, which I’m guessing is why I kept feeling so crappy. Now, if a GF diet could possibly give us energy and keep our joints from aching… THAT would be perfect! I suppose I am going to settle for 48. Ha!
April McDaniel says
Well said. Very well said and exactly what I’ve begun pondering. What could my wait look like? What has it looked like? What has past waiting blessed me with? What do I want the present wait to result in? I’m going to reflect on that now that I’ve read your sweet article
I love you honey poo poo!! 🙂 You are amazing, strong, incredibly wise, and faithful. I just KNOW God is actively working His plan for you and His timing is perfect.
Kristi Campbell says
I am SO SO glad you shared this again. What if there IS worthiness in the wait? What if your reflections are what the difference is, in the end, of your life, in your kids’ memories. I know they’ll remember that you were at the pool watching them. Oh sweet friend, your words!!!! These particular ones are perfect for me tonight, while I wait, again and seemingly too often…LOVE YOU
And I LOVE YOU, sweets. I’m so grateful for your beautiful response to this one, Kristi. Thank you love. (Hope your wait is for something GOOD to happen, but either way I do pray it will be a worthy wait honey!)
I loved your blog post. Whenever I find myself “waiting” I get super excited. Why? Because I’ve learned when I’m waiting God is working!!! It seems in our walk with God there is more and more so called waiting. But as I grow wiser I now call it resting…
Look at YOU Jennifer! I love that you have that faithful confidence in your seasons of waiting. It’s absolutely true, isn’t it? *Resting*… I just call it *growing*. I don’t rest well. LOL
My Inner Chick says
B e a u t i f u l.
I so much get this post. Sometimes, I feel like I’ve been “waiting” my entire life.
And when I take a step forward, Jesus is always waiting for me!
Why don’t we/I remember that!??
xxxxxx Are you okay? I’m here if you need to talk.
I’m okay love. I’m better than okay, actually! It’s been a while since I was, which makes everything THAT much more exciting and inspiring! I’m so grateful. 🙂
Those are amazing last words: It was a worthy wait. I hope the next time I am waiting I am more capable of doing it with maturity. This last time, a situation with my car that has been ongoing for over 2 years, I was a hot mess. In the very least it humbled me pretty much daily and made me totally weak and fully rely on God. Which may have been the whole point!
Oh how I know those “depend on God fully” seasons of life! They can be incredibly humbling! Sometimes I am so quick to respond with anger or frustration, and by the end of that challenging time I look back with an entirely new perspective. 🙂 I wonder if you will too.
“A worthy wait.” I LOVE that Chris. There’s a lot of waiting in our daily lives. Sometime it feels like we can’t take it anymore. And then once we see the end of the waiting part, we realize that it was not that bad.
You see Chris, I lived many years waiting for “something” to happen in my life…And then it happened, the pain, the suffering. I never thought the waiting would turn out this way. I learnt a lot about the waiting. Till, some days, we’d like it to stop and yet, you’re so right, it’s during these challenging moments that we get to understand life and ourselves, much better.
Thank you for the insight my friend.
I hate that you had any pain and suffering in your life, sweet Marie. It breaks my heart! I pray you have found hidden miracles in that season of waiting, my friend. Surely our greatest challenges bring about our greatest selves, if we can dig deep to uncover those layers life throws on us. Your heart is so beautiful, I can surely see the beauty revealed from it all. <3
Kenya G. Johnson says
I truly get your message, but I definitley would have peed my pants. Whenever it’s not within my control to go it seems like I have to go even more! “Perhaps practice makes perfect” for sure! Beautiful message on enduring the waiting game and being worthy of it.
I hear ya sister! I swear that pressure is REAL! 🙂 I can’t tell you how many times I honestly thought I was going to pee my pants. *Mind over matter* both for the peeing and for the waiting.
Julie Jo Severson says
Oh Christine, such beautiful insights on waiting. It’s in the waiting that many of us lose our faith and hope. I saw the movie “Miracles From Heaven” a couple days ago, and toward the end, they replayed the small miracles that occurred behind the scenes, during a time when the mom was waiting and losing faith, throughout this family’s difficult ordeal. It was such a powerful reminder to me to keep an eye out for those miracles that sometimes go unnoticed as we wait. A reminder that answers to our prayers don’t usually come in one big gust, but in tiny little ripples that’ll we’ll miss if our heads are stuck in self-pity or resentment. As usual, being here has replenished to go forth, and I pray your day is filled with grace.
I love that so much Julie! I can’t wait to see that movie. I’m so glad you mentioned it! Trusting that there are miracles beneath and beyond our waiting is such a huge part of faith, isn’t it? I love your comment, I always love your comments. <3
Your conclusion reminds me of “it’s not the destination, it’s the journey.” The waiting is the journey, and we can make it whatever we choose. Love not only your words, Chris, but the journey you take to get to the wisdom at the end.
I am so incredibly impatient. What have gotten better at – I hope, I still work at it – is being impatient quietly – without complaint. It’s weird because I come from farmers; I know Good Harvests take time. I know you have to nourish your seeds well – -shine a little sunshine on them, let them soak in goodness. I know THIS. And yet, imma all “hurry up already!!!” LOL
But yes, a worthy wait – that is a much better way to feed what you want to grow. And it’s a pretty sure thing, that what you feed, will grow.
I just LOVE your response Leslie. “I know Good Harvests take time. I know you have to nourish your seeds well – -shine a little sunshine on them, let them soak in goodness. I know THIS. And yet, imma all “hurry up already!!!” LOL”
YES! That is so me too. 🙂
Our society is not conditioned to wait, that is for sure!
As I read this, this verse pops in my head…”Fear not, for I am with you.” Even in the waiting, he is always with us. Go has infinite patience to carry us through.
Amen, my friend. Amen. <3