5 ways to wait for something to happen

When is something finally going to happen?

When will I get the job I want, meet the man I’m waiting for, have the kids I want, be recognized for the work I’ve done, make the money I need, pursue the passion I have, lose the weight I don’t want …?

Life can become an endless expanse of waiting for the next big thing. Maybe the first big thing. You are waiting for your heart’s desire to materialize.

Maybe you’ve been waiting for a long time. I talked about this at a conference this past weekend in two workshops with about a hundred ladies. The context was leadership development and pursuing calling. But really, the applications work for anything you’re longing for, anything you’re pursuing.

It’s like being pregnant (pardon the comparison, if that’s what you’re waiting for)–stay with me, because this blog is not about being pregnant. Pregnancy–symbolically or realistically– is anticipation, discomfort, fear of the unknown, hope, worry, expectation. It’s growing bigger and bigger while we wait for the big event. Which terrifies you.

These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.

Romans 8:24-25 (MSG)

It’s easy to forget that the waiting is a crucial time for any calling or pursuit. Waiting is when growth happens. It’s when you gain perspective, when you analyze and consider new angles. Waiting is when we learn to appreciate, love sacrificially, and work hard.

It’s when we pray.

Without anguished and agonized anticipation, nobody would ever ask God for anything or wait for his answer. There is no calling or passion without waiting. No success. No growth. No obedience or faith.

Here are 5 ways to wait for that big thing to happen—

  1. Trace the story of God’s work in your life. If you take the time to notice your shaping influences, interests, talents, mistakes, opportunities, heartaches, passions, etc., you might see how God is weaving together a life that will make a difference. God uses everything in your life to accomplish something that only you can do. You are created to do something profoundly unique.
  2. Beware of not waiting well. Red flags of depression, lack of creativity, cynicism, criticism, over-working, lack of space, low expectations, discontentment, and anxiety reveal your resistance to waiting. These show that you’re putting pressure on yourself in areas that are beyond your control.
  3. Conquer your fear. We are all afraid of things we have to do. The best way to overcome them is just to do them. Do whatever scares you. (For me, it’s technology. I hate it. But it’s a necessary evil.) Being afraid provides you a place to enlist the help of people smarter and braver than you who can deconstruct the thing that scares you. Usually, we’re afraid of something simply because we don’t understand it or we misunderstand it.
  4. Develop yourself. Waiting gives you an opportunity to hone your craft, network, help others, broaden your knowledge, and be creative. Use the time to expand your abilities. Keep moving forward in your craft, even while you wait for circumstances to change. Become an expert at what you love to do.
  5. Give yourself space for creativity and inspiration. Instead of experiencing your version of “artist’s block,” utilize your time to create new things and try new ideas. Creativity occurs when you give yourself space to breathe. Enjoy nature, museums, computation, entrepreneurship, travel, sports, art—whatever makes you come alive. This space will inspire creative thinking and action. You will find the momentum and ideas to propel you into new territory. You won’t just sit around and wait for something to happen to you.

(Spoiler alert: it won’t.) Creative people make things happen.

Creativity is God’s image in you. To be uncreative is to blur the image of God.

Sue Schlesman

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