Waiting: 4 Tips to Help in Waiting Times

Psalm 130 Wait copy

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Right now, I’m waiting. For an answer. And it feels like this waiting has been going on for nigh-unto-forever. Really, it’s only been a little over two months, but the days feel long. The thoughts keep questioning. “When will I hear an answer? Will it be the one I hope for?”

Waiting. Is. Hard.

Period.

Waiting for sunshine

When we’re waiting, it’s always for a change in our lives. Have you ever known someone who waits so that everything can stay the same?

Sometimes the change is one we yearn for.

A house to sell.

A child to be born.

Something we’re looking forward to, hoping for. Though these are anticipated changes, they’ re changes that will bring a shift in our normal. We want these kinds of shifts. We think we’re ready for the change.

Snow dust

Sleeping bushes wait for spring

Sometimes, we’re waiting for feedback on a project, for direction on the next step of our journey. The questions range from, “Did I accomplish what was expected? Will he/she like it, or will I have I have to make changes?”

If you’re like me, this kind of waiting can be hard because my thoughts focus on the worst-case scenario.

Other times, the waiting is for a hard change. A diagnosis that could shift our priorities. News on a job-related move. A hard change.

constant is change copy

Someone once said, “The only thing constant in life is change.”

If this is true, then how can we weather the waiting (and the coming change) well? Here are a few thoughts:

  1. Wait actively. Don’t stop all aspects of life because one is on hold. We can still work on other things in our lives. And, when our mind doesn’t have time to think on the unfinished thing, we won’t be as manipulated by the uncertainties that come with waiting. We can be time-users, not time-wasters. We should be intentional with how we spend our time while we wait.
  2. Wait trusting. God knows the plans He has for us. Even when waiting for possibly hard answers, He is already in that place, waiting for us. He promises He will never leave us or forsake us. So we can trust Him to help us in the waiting, as well as in the coming changeWinter shriveled fruit
  3. Wait focused. Not focused on the coming answer, but on Jesus. When we focus on Him, whether we’re waiting with excitement or with dread, we can know His peace.
  4. Wait seeking. In all things, we should seek Him. It’s when we seek Him—through His word, through prayer, through worship, and even through serving—that He can prepare our hearts for the coming step. Whether we anticipate the end of the wait, or we’re afraid, when we seek Him, He walks with us and stabilizes all the uncertainty within our hearts.

white flowers snowy backdrop

As I’m waiting for something that’s beyond my control, I’m doing my best not to focus on either the waiting or the answer. When I find my thoughts too much on the, “If only . . .” I’m learning to turn that into a prayer, asking for God’s patience and His best.

Waiting is never easy, but when our hearts and minds are set on God, the time is never wasted.

What about you? What about waiting is hardest for you? What are you waiting for right now?

Today, I’m linked up with Holly Barrett and Purposeful Faith blog.

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32 thoughts on “Waiting: 4 Tips to Help in Waiting Times

  1. Beautifully said, Jeanne.

    Life has changed some paradigms for me. I not longer worry in the waiting; there is a distinct chance that anything for which I might wait may happen after I’m dead, and so what’s the point?

    Terminal illness makes it MUCH easier to dismiss things, and enjoy the moment. Not that I’d necessarily recommend it, but…

    I’m cool.

    They also serve who stand and wait.

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    • Andrew, you always add a deeper perspective, and I’m so thankful for you and your words. It is interesting that when life’s circumstances press in, it changes our perspective.

      I loved your closing line. There’s such truth there. It reminds me of when David left 200 men behind to protect the belongings while the rest of the army went to attack. Those who stayed behind served well too. I could go on, but it would be a whole new blog post. 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom.

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  2. I also wrote on waiting this week! I love your perspective here. Thank you for sharing your heart and the beautiful tips on how to wait the right way. Visiting from Kelly’s #RaRalinkup Have a great Tuesday!

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  3. Waiting these last three months for my ankle to heal after surgery has caused me to move from impatiently wanting to get back on my feet, to settling into soulful thoughts. I’ve neglected taking time for the inner me and this period of waiting has actually turned out to be a well needed sabbatical from the daily grind. Its helped me focus on what God has and is doing in my life.

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  4. Beautiful words here, Jeanne. I love the advice to wait actively. “And, when our mind doesn’t have time to think on the unfinished thing, we won’t be as manipulated by the uncertainties that come with waiting.” Amen! Thank you for sharing!

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    • Karen, I have this little tendency to worry, to look at the worst-case, and to try to control when my mind isn’t occupied with better things. 🙂 I’m finding that waiting actively is a lifelong lesson for this girl. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by. 🙂

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  5. I love the realism of this post. Yes, we’re all waiting, but as we wait, there are lessons to be learned that will not be learned any other way. So often I want to bypass the process and get right to the end-benefit. Thanks for reminding me that this is NOT how God works. Elisabeth Elliot reminds me that it is human nature to want instant gratification. However, it is God’s nature to do many things very slowly.

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  6. Amen! Waiting is hard and never seems to get easier. I have lived through periods of time that I was waiting but sometimes I wasn’t sure what I was waiting for. I love the reminder that while we are waiting we should not remain stuck. We keep moving ahead even with day to day routines because God is always in the details. Trusting Him and staying focused on Him will lead us to the other side of a waiting period. These are great pointers to see us through and I have learned that sometimes I don’t understand the importance of them until I have made it to the other side.

    Thank you for words that really encouraged me today.

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    • Mary, you share great truths here. I’ve been in those times of not knowing what I’m waiting for. It’s HARD to stay there willingly and with a good attitude. 🙂 Thank goodness God is in the details. You’re so right. When we choose to trust Him and stay focused on Him, we’ll get to the other side of the waiting period. We may get there anyway, but doing so with Him seems to lend peace to our spirits. I’ve been in the place where I did’t understand the importance of waiting until after the fact too. Thank you so much for sharing your insights!

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  7. You are good! Our God is a slow-cooker not a microwave God. He lets all the flavor simmer and come out just right. I like the reminder that when perhaps anxiously waiting for the answer, God’s already in that place waiting for us. Thanks Jeanne!

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    • So true, Mom. God is a slow-cooker. His work is never hurried. Such a contrast to what our culture encourages! I love the analogy of the flavors of our lives simmering and coming out just right. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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  8. I like your point about waiting actively! Often while we wait, there is joy waiting around the corner, new projects, new hopes, new dreams, work to do. It makes for more contentment in the waiting. So much better than pining away because we still haven’t received what we’re waiting for. God’s timing is always perfect. 🙂

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    • So true, Betsy. Often, there is joy waiting for us. I think sometimes we see that when we choose to wait with anticipation. Work does help us stay content in waiting. Isn’t that funny? You’re so right. God’s timing is perfect. 🙂 Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  9. Such great encouragement for waiting, Jeanne. Which is yes, so hard. I love your point on waiting actively. Sometimes we feel like we’ve shifted into a holding pattern and that life is stalled as we wait. But life keeps moving and God keeps doing brand new things. I’ll be praying for you as you wait, friend. God’s timing is perfect and that answer, no matter what it is, will propel you forward into good plans that He’s already prepared for you. xoxo

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    • Tiffany, I’ve definitely felt stalled out in the waiting. It’s such a discouraging place to be. When we look for God in the waiting, seek to become part of what He’s doing, then we can keep moving forward. Thank you for the prayers. I truly appreciate them!

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    • Nannette, I’m so blessed that you stopped by. Thank you! The waiting place is a difficult place to be. It is truly a place where we get to walk out what we say about trusting God and “all that.” 😉 Thank you so much for spending a little time at my place.

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  10. Sometimes the waiting trusting is hard for me. I trust for a minute, but then I waiver, questioning if God really heard me or if He’ll do what He promised He’ll do. Of course, I know the answers to those questions, but still I waiver. Thank you for sharing this hope-filled post. I pray your answer comes soon! Bless you as you wait, friend!

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    • Waiting trusting is hard for me too, Julie. I tend to overthink and second-guess decisions in that place. I guess that’s why God gives us practice in this, isn’t it? Thanks so much for stopping and sharing a bit of your heart.

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