What Do I Do While I Wait?
By Lynn Dove
For several weeks now, many of my friends and my “fans” on Facebook have asked me the same question over and over again, “When is the book coming out?….and what are you doing while you’re waiting?”
I think the hardest thing for me to do…EVER…is wait. I am not the “waiting” kind! I want things to happen yesterday, meaning I don’t have much patience or stamina to wait for anything, ever!
I learned I had this problem with waiting, especially around Christmas time and birthdays. I could not wait for Christmas or my birthday to arrive. It was my thinking and anticipating about all the great presents I would get that probably threw me over the edge. I just couldn’t wait to open all those gifts and start playing with all my new stuff.
One year, I must have been six or seven years old, curiosity finally got the better of me. My parents had put me to bed and then went downstairs into the basement to wrap my presents for Christmas. They did not know it, but a few months previously, my parents had inadvertently allowed me to discover a hidden secret in my room when they had moved my dresser to make room for a new bed. The heat register, that had once been hidden under my dresser, was now visible if I crawled under my new bed. The ‘secret’ was that it wasn’t really a heat register, it was just a hole that looked straight down from my room into the basement below. Crawling under my bed I had a clear view of our ping pong table that was being used as my parent’s wrapping paper production line. While they talked and wrapped up all the toys for my brother and me, they had no idea that I was peering down through that little hole in the floor and watching every move they made.
I was as excited as I could be knowing the great gifts I would get at Christmas, and it took everything in me to not blurt out that I knew what I was getting for Christmas. However as the weeks dragged on until the big day, I discovered something else. I was not as excited about Christmas as I had been before I knew what I was getting. There was something about the anticipation of waiting that I had not counted on. I knew exactly what I would get at Christmas and I didn’t look forward to the day with the excitement I had in previous years. There was no surprise element! In fact, the more I knew what I was getting, the more disappointed I was. It wasn’t that I didn’t like the toys, I did…my parents had got me almost all the things on my ‘wish list’, but I was still disappointed. The whole fun of the day I had ruined for myself by not waiting.
I have often thought about how often God has asked me to wait, to be patient, to not run ahead of Him so I might miss out on what He wants to do in my life. The fun is anticipatingly waiting on Him! I’m a break neck speed type of a gal. I like the fact I can cook supper in five minutes in my microwave, or I can message a friend around the world using my cell phone or Facebook. I don’t like to wait but lately God is challenging me to slow down, be patient and enjoy my time in…waiting.
So what am I doing while I’m waiting? Well, sometimes I don’t ‘DO’ anything. There is a time to be busy but there are also times to be still. I have enjoyed having some time to appreciate stillness! I have also enjoyed this time anticipating what it will be like to be a published author…again! Some days I am absolutely terrified, and other times I am so excited I can hardly breathe! As I wait, I also write! I blog, I continue working on other novel projects including a more autobiographical book about my journey with breast cancer. With that particular project I have spent some time processing some of the things about my childhood that formed my character initially before Christ came into my life. I know as I write about my cancer journey, I will have to process some more things and I know that sometimes I may have to spend a few days prayerfully meditating on some aspects of that before I commit the memory to paper. I have waited years to write that book, and I realize now that God doesn’t want me to rush the process…He wants me to wait until He can teach me some more very valuable lessons that will take time to process so I may fully understand.
I am learning the value of waiting.
Lynn Dove is a Christ-follower, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, a teacher and an author. Her blog, “Journey Thoughts” was the 2011 Winner of a Canadian Christian Writing Award, and she recently launched a new blog for authors about authors called “Word Salt”.