Have you ever felt stuck in life, wishing that things were different? Have those times of waiting for something to change felt like they lasted forever?
Waiting on the Lord's timing for things can be pretty difficult, especially when we feel desperate to get out of our current situation.
Today on the blog, guest poster Kira Bridges from Joy Pursued shares five things she learned from her current time of waiting. I'm so thankful for her willingness to share her thoughts with us!
5 Truths for Times of Waiting - by Kira Bridges
Moving for my husband's job left me unemployed. Even though the small town offered few job opportunities, I confidently applied for openings, believing that someone with my education and experience would have no trouble finding a job. I was wrong.
I applied and interviewed for job after job, only to receive a "we regret to inform you..." email, or, more often, never hearing back at all. "Why doesn't anyone want me?" and "I am useless," became regular thoughts.
Finally, after six months, I secured a job...but I hated it. Truthfully, I knew before accepting the position that the organization was a bad fit for me, but desperation took over. I thought a job would solve my problems and restore my purpose. Again, I was wrong.
Unable to keep ignoring the knot in my stomach every time I drove to work, I quit six short months later.
Two years and four months later, I am still unemployed. During this time I earned a Master's degree, volunteered for an organization in my field, and applied for jobs all over the western part of the United States. Yet, despite my best efforts, here I remain.
This past summer, my frustration reached a peak. I felt stuck, trapped even, and I let God hear it. "Why have You brought me here to waste my life!? Was all my hard work for nothing? Haven't I suffered enough?"
In His grace, God answered me, "Stop trying to do things your way." Suddenly I understood; God placed me here and then shut all the doors I tried to escape through. I was indeed stuck...just the way God wanted me.
I would like to tell you I immediately submitted to God's will, giving up the job search and my quest for a "better life," but I didn't. Even though I understood God planned for me to stay put, I didn't understand why (plus, my way seemed so much better!). Still struggling with my desire to move, work, and be in control, I started taking baby steps towards God.
- I invested time in studying the Bible (desperately looking for answers).
- My prayers became more frequent and more fervent.
- I adopted Proverbs 3:5-6 as my life verses, asking God for the courage to let go of my way and trust Him.
- God called me to write about my journey, so I started a blog.
With every step, my desires slowly melted away, replaced by God's desires for me. And as I inch into the life God intended for me, God restores my joy and refreshes my soul.
I don't know where you are today, but I believe five things are true for you during times of waiting:
- God plans times of waiting in order to draw you close. In her book Wait and See, Wendy Pope says, "The wait is more about experiencing God than enduring the delay." God longs to spend time with us, and periods of waiting often bring us right to Him.
- God wants to work within you. God desires to shape us into the image of Jesus. In fact, Paul tells us, we can be confident that God is constantly at work in us. "For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6, NASB).
- God desires to do amazing things in your life, if only you will work with Him and not against Him. "God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, His Spirit deeply and gently within us (Ephesians 3:20, MSG).
- God works with a willing heart and small steps of obedience. Isaiah 1:19 tells us, "If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land" (ESV). Even as you wait, show God your willingness and obedience, and He will bless you for it.
- God will not fail you. Remember Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope" (ESV). Your wait may feel like it will never end, but God promises a future, and a good one, too.
So are you ready to let go of what you want and turn instead to what God wants? I can't promise your situation will change, but I am confident that your heart will!
Kira Bridges is pursuing joy by seeking the life God intended for us. She blogs at Joy Pursued, sharing lessons learned and resources to help women move fully into the joyful life God has waiting for them. Living in the sunny part of Oregon with her husband, daughter, and two dogs, Kira believes living with joy is a lifelong journey and would love for you to join her. You can hang out with her on Facebook and Instagram or follow along on Pinterest.