Waiting Room

The waiting room is not fun to sit in.  

The seats are uncomfortable. 

It's awkward.

It's boring.

I get distracted by whatever is on the TV… or the stories about celebrities in the magazines on the tables next to the chairs... or I just escape through my iPhone...

And eventually I get angry and restless because I’m tired of waiting.

I’m so ready for the door to be open and my name to be called. I’m ready to move on. 

I’m not alone…

***

I wrote this journal entry a few years ago about life in the waiting room.

I know myself and many others are there again. 

November 2013

It occurred to me recently that so many of us spend our lives waiting for something.

a degree
a spouse
a promotion
a home
a child
confidence
courage
waiting for someone to change…

I have been there.

Thinking, “I will be happy when…”

The last year of our lives has been the toughest year I have ever experienced. Our family took a beating. A very long and drawn out beating…from many different sides. I had no other role except to hold everyone together. To reach down deep and draw out strength from the Lord to preserve the family we had left. 

We lost our home, our church, and a lot of friends.

But we found something better. 

We found God so sufficient. So faithful.  So kind. So loving. And SO NEAR.

It was life in the waiting room but I didn’t even know what I was waiting for. 

Other than for GOD TO MOVE. 

In BIG and MIGHTY ways. And in small and delicate ways. In all of us.

That’s when He showed me... 

…there’s a dance floor in the waiting room.

Oh I promise you there is.  

It’s behind all the magazines… the TV and your iPhone. Silence it.

In the most painful and darkest moments of my life, The Lord Jesus Christ reached out His hands to me and asked me to dance. It wasn’t a time I felt like dancing. I wanted to weep and wail and MOURN. 

And He let me. 

In His arms… on the dance floor… as He showed me beauty and intimacy with Him that I could never have imagined. 

He showed me trust. 

He showed me grace. Not the Sunday school answer “grace.” 

Not cheap grace. 

GRACE from God in the midst of the waiting that I was SO DESPERATE FOR. 

I needed to be desperate to see the need.

Grace was the gift I had to unwrap daily to keep. moving. forward. 

Following His steps. Following HIS lead. He loved me enough not to allow me to lead. He didn’t need my ideas or creativity. He wanted me to know His love. To find REST in His love. To pour it into the most painful crevices of my soul where I was tempted to store hate and offenses and accusations.

He showed me that my prayer of a heart of “forgiveness and total surrender” was enough. Nothing else was needed. No eloquence. No fancy theology. 

He wanted me walking free from bitterness and totally and completely surrendered to His waltz (our waltz?!?) on HIS dance floor.  He wrote the music, He led the band, He choreographed every moment.

I had to remove some bystanders. I gave out yellow cards and red cards to clear the floor. Some stood on the outside of the floor, mocking me and taunting me to leave the dance floor. 

They shouted, “It’s not a time to DANCE!” “Get busy!” “Fix this!” “You don’t deserve that!” “FIGHT”

God said no. Dance. With Me. Trust me. Listen to ME. I will fight for you. 

One more step. NOT TWO SHEA. Just one. Strength for today.

Bright hope for tomorrow.

There’s a moment in our grief and pain and fear where we get to choose to listen to Him and hear Him call our names. To realize the God of all creation wants to dance with us.

In the waiting room.

I don’t have the answers yet but I am loving the dance.

I have learned to hear God speak. I have learned to see Him work. I have learned to SHUT UP. I have learned to LISTEN.  I have learned to SPEAK and to stand my ground. I have learned to trust. I have learned confidence in who He has made me. I have learned humility because just when I think “I have learned…” He reminds me… “I’m not finished teaching.”

I’m not finished learning.

And we aren’t finished dancing.

We get to do this for eternity. It’s an eternal waltz and the grand finale is in heaven with Him forever. 

That perspective puts the waiting season in it’s place… and puts our eyes locked on His waiting for Him to move. So we can follow. 

***

June 2016

This morning on my daily calendar was a quote by Maya Angelou. “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” 

 
 

I love that. 

I’ve found myself back in the waiting room. Waiting for God to move. 

Big time. 

I am so desperate for Him to move on my behalf. And this quote, by Maya Angelou, just pointed me right back to the truth that we must sing while we wait. Not because we have answers, but because we have a reason to SING. 

We have a song in the waiting room. 

A song of hope, of faith. 

A proclamation that says 

WE BELIEVE. WE TRUST. 

It's an exercise of our faith to sing in the waiting room. We choose to get up and sing as we wait. 

For answers. Direction. Fulfillment of promises. Hope. 

We choose to get up and sing. 

Or lay down and sing. 

Or get on our knees and sing. 

These are all postures of worship and faith as long as our heads and hearts and hands are turned toward Him - the One who holds the hope and dispensed it according to our need. 

We sing while we wait because we trust our future to the God who never fails us.

I don't want to miss the chance to sing while I'm dancing in the waiting room. Because I may not have answers. But He has put a song in my heart. And He sings over me. 

I'm joining Him.