When You Can’t Bear to Wait Another Minute

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.

26 Responses to When You Can’t Bear to Wait Another Minute

  1. Julie Thomas says:

    Thankyou I will try this, I have suffered anxiety on and off for 3 years, I seriously feel enough is enough it upsets me so much and controls my life no matter how hard it try and how much faith I have.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Julie, I’m so sorry that you have been struggling with anxiety for so long. I am praying for you today, that God gives you true peace and relieves your anxiety like only He can do.

  2. Brenda says:

    What a great post, Lois. Love your testimony of faith on your way to motherhood. Thank you for sharing. ((hug)) Merry Christmas!

  3. Lesley says:

    I’m glad that God understands our impatience and that we can be honest with him. I have also found there are times when it is really helpful to let out our frustration and anger to God. Just being honest about it does somehow help us to carry on waiting.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I agree, Lesley. It’s not like God doesn’t already know how we feel, right? Somehow, the act of telling Him ushers in peace like nothing else. Blessings to you as you wait, my friend!

  4. Kristi Woods says:

    Sometimes we simply need a good vent, don’t we? Different situations, but I’m there with you, Lois. Praise God that He neither leaves nor forsakes and knows thoroughly the plans He has for us. Merry Christmas! Visiting via #heartencouragement Thursday.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Hi Kristi! Yes, those vents have a way of altering our perspective, no matter what we’re waiting for. I think have the hardest time waiting when the outcome is unknown, or when the timing of the outcome is unknown. But as you point out, none of that is unknown to God, which is so comforting! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  5. As I read, I was reminded of C.S. Lewis’s thoughts put into the mouth of Screwtape in the form of advice to his apprentice tempter. We humans manage the waiting game up to a point, but then, his advice was to make the “patient” sure that he can’t possibly wait one more minute. I’m sure that Screwtape or one of his protegee’s must be responsible for that phrase, “I’m so done with this!”
    I get to that point myself sometimes, and then I remember Screwtape . . .

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I think you’re right about the origins of “I’m so done with this,” Michele. So much of “The Screwtape Letters” is relevant for today, isn’t it? Especially this part about patience! I need to remember Screwtape too …

  6. Deborah says:

    “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.”
    This is something I find I am continually preaching to myself. Thank you, Lois, for the reminder today that, “He gets it!” Visiting today from Thoughtful Thursday.

  7. I for one am glad He gets me and knows my impatience. His timing is perfect, but I tend to forget that!

  8. Oh Lois — I just love this! Especially where you had a little tirade 🙂 but telling God exactly how you felt actually brought you closer to the realization that he is in fact, very much in control. Nothing escapes his notice!

    Waiting is so difficult yet can be such a faith-enriching experience, if we’re willing to go deeper and mine the rich gems that are buried beneath the tears of our waiting. Love reading your words! xo

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I’m so thankful nothing escapes God’s notice, Valerie, especially because I’m finding so much that does escape mine! Through many waits, I think I’m finally starting to understand that it’s possible to mine those gems you speak of in the midst of the wait, rather than just after it ends. That is an important lesson, at least for very impatient me! Thanks for your kind words, my friend … each one is a blessing!

  9. Linda Stoll says:

    Don’t you just love that we can go to God exactly as we are … and He totally gets it, touches those fearful wounded places, speaks peace.

    Thank you for sharing your waiting room experience, Lois I’ve found some along the way to be most difficult and others a time of reflection, contentment, anticipation.

    Go figure …

    Meanwhile, merry Christmas, friend …

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I think I’ve had a similar experience with different waits, Linda. Sometimes they involve excitement and anticipation, other times dread and exhaustion. I much prefer the easy ones, but I’m finding that the hard ones always seem to result in learning, even though I can’t see it at the time. 🙂 Hugs to you, my friend!

  10. Lisa notes says:

    I have a niece who is in that waiting room now, but she is waiting to get pregnant, phase 1. My prayers are with those of you who have to learn more patience than many of us to get the precious children that God has prepared for you! Blessings to you, Lois.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Lisa, when it comes to conception-related things, the wait is hard, no matter the phase! I’m so glad your niece has an aunt like you who is able to sympathize with and encourage her. I hope you have a joyous Christmas!

  11. Lois, I loved this post. And yes, I’ve been there in that waiting room of infertility/wanna-be-a-mommy, sitting in a chair, but rampaging in my spirit. I love your suggestion to write down that tirade to God. I am so thankful He can handle our strong emotion. More than that, He still loves us in the midst of our ugliness. And I’m like you in that, once I get all those words out, my heart lightens and I sense His strength to continue in the waiting.

    One of the things God keeps reminding me of, regardless of what it is I’m waiting for, is that His timing is perfect.

    Hugs, friend.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      “His timing is perfect.” Amen, Jeanne. I think that’s the biggest lesson I gleaned from our wait for Lilly. We got our referral when our daughter was ready to be matched with a family, no sooner! Three years later, when the same exact thing happened when we were waiting for Molly, it was still frustrating but easier to handle because we had seen God work so beautifully with Lilly. Each time, God knew what He was up to, but of course we didn’t. So yeah, I’m glad He is able to handle our strong emotions too! Many blessings to you and yours this Christmas season!

  12. Trudy says:

    That must have been so hard to see others getting an answer and not you, Lois. How much longer did you have to wait after this? I love that God understands our limitations and our finite comprehension. He is so patient and understanding with our impatience. May you and your family have a Blessed Christmas! Love and hugs!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Trudy, this happened with BOTH our girls, if you can believe it! It was awful the first time, but when we got Lilly and saw how perfect she was for our family, we understood a little better why we had to wait. Then when the same thing happened with Molly’s referral, we remembered how Lilly’s situation turned out and that made it easier. This is why I always encourage people who are waiting to complete an adoption that I believe they will get exactly the right child for their family, exactly when he or she is ready for them. The timing truly is up to God! Hugs and Christmas wishes to you, my friend!

  13. Losing it to God can so help. I appreciate this Lois- and I know what you mean. When we do this, raw and honest before Him, then we can get back up and keep waiting on Him. So glad to see how He has brought you through these times!

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