When I’ve been waiting for something for a really long time, I sometimes reach a point where I don’t think I can wait one more second.
I felt this way near the end of our wait to adopt our older daughter Lilly. We had already experienced three challenging years of infertility, followed by about 20 months of waiting for our international adoption to be completed.
We knew some people who had sent their paperwork to China around the same time we had sent ours, and we were all expecting to get our referrals near the end of July.
I had done OK with the wait thus far—managing my expectations and holding fast to my belief that God was in control—but by the time that summer rolled around, I was tired. I was stressed and irritable and sick of the whole thing.
I desperately needed to get away somewhere, and I remember begging Randy to plan what I called a “whisk” weekend for us. I didn’t want to know anything about it until he showed up at home on Friday afternoon and whisked me away to some relaxing resort for the weekend.
At one point, I got really mad at him because it didn’t seem like he was doing anything about my request. He actually did have something all planned and reservations made, but then his much-loved grandmother died and we had to cancel our plans and go to North Dakota for the funeral instead.
The whole time we were in North Dakota, I kept waiting for the phone call that said we had gotten our referral, but it never came. When we returned home and discovered that the other families had gotten theirs that month but we had not, I couldn’t take it anymore.
I just knew our papers were gathering dust on top of some grungy filing cabinet in some bureaucrat’s office in China, completely forgotten by everyone.
I remember letting loose in my prayer journal, basically having a fit on God about the whole situation.
In today’s teenage-girl vernacular, I was so done.
It might sound counter-intuitive, but my little tirade actually calmed me down and brought me back to the conclusion that God was still in control. It helped reassure me that we would eventually get our baby, even though I remained convinced that it was taking WAY too long.
The thing is, God made me, so he knows my physical weaknesses. He understands my limitations and my finite comprehension of what’s going on around me and in me.
He knew how I felt when we didn’t get our adoption referral that July and I started to despair that I would NEVER become a mother. He knows how you feel when you don’t think you can take another minute of waiting for whatever it is you’re waiting for.
When we have fits on God—our longsuffering and patient heavenly Father—I don’t think it frustrates Him like the tantrum of a child might frustrate a human parent. As Psalm 103:14 says, He “knows how we are formed and remembers that we are dust.”
He gets it, in other words.
And in His grace and mercy, He has compassion on us when the waiting room gets to be almost more than we think we can stand.
If you’re there now this Advent season, don’t be afraid to tell God exactly how you feel. Dump out all your emotions on paper (or in Microsoft Word, if that works better for you). Let it all out in a prayer to Him, and see what happens.
If you’re anything like me, the worries, the fears, the bad feelings will eventually subside. Your spirit will settle down and your faith will grow stronger. And when you’re done, you’ll get up and do the very thing you said you couldn’t do—continue waiting.
P.S. Linking up this week with Kelly Balarie at Purposeful Faith, Jennifer Dukes Lee at #TellHisStory, Holley Gerth at Coffee for Your Heart, Crystal Storms at #HeartEncouragementThursday, Crystal Twaddell at FreshMarketFriday and Dawn Klinge at Grace & Truth.