In the Waiting

It’s a habit of many people to choose a word to define their year.  Sort of a mantra or theme for the year.  I’ve done it in the past and never really stuck to it except for once or twice (like the year I had my gastric bypass surgery my word/theme was “Healthy”) because I usually am distracted by allthethings life throws at me and a theme doesn’t usually emerge until I’m looking backwards at the end of the year.

This past year, I had a few things change in my personal life that came from some hard choices I had to make – choices about continuing to walk down a path I was on or stop, regroup, and find a new path; choices about health (again) and about where to invest my time and energy. Nothing necessarily negative, but things that may seem small at first glance but can shape your future whether you realize it or not.

And in making some of those choices I kept hearing one word in my head – or one theme at least.  And that was this:


Now, if you know me at all, you know that I am not generally a “waiting” kind of gal. I am a “get things done,” “take charge,” “make it happen” kind of gal.  I don’t generally sit around waiting for things to happen. I make things happen. Both in my personal and in my professional life.  It is very much tied to my identity – who I believe I am, who others believe me to be. It’s what I’m paid to do as well! I’m good at it. Very good.

And so, this idea of waiting has been a hard one for me.

Very hard.

desertGod has moved some things out of my life that I thought were the things I was supposed to be doing – things I was very passionate about and very invested in. And he has moved other things into my life that have caused me to slow down (full stop, actually) and to say no to a lot of things I would really like to be doing or to say “not right now” to other things I had been doing.

And that’s just not who I am.  I’m the girl you can count on when you need help. I am the one who will help you organize all the things, get the events done — set up, clean up, show up.  That’s me.

So, now what do I do with this waiting?

It’s so foreign to me.

And yet it feels like it is exactly what I am supposed to be doing right now.

I feel like God is moving chess pieces, lining things up, working on my heart and in my life to prepare me for something – what I do not yet know – and my job is to rest in this quiet period and prepare myself for what is to come.

But when you are a do-er and a maker-of-things-happening, waiting, especially when you don’t know what you are waiting for, is very hard.

If I knew, I could be preparing, right? If I knew, I could study, or research, exercise, whatever.  But since I don’t know, I can’t.

And maybe that is part of what I need to learn.

That sometimes (most of the time, if we’re honest) we don’t know what is coming around the bend.  And we are certainly not in charge of our future, however much we want to delude ourselves into thinking that we are.

This year (so far) is an exercise in trust. In faith. In really reaching deep and in saying “Ok, God, I don’t know where this is heading or what it is you want me to do, but I’m going to put one foot in front of the other every day and trust that you will lay the path before me each day.”  And isn’t that really what we are called to do?

Matthew says (in chapter six of his gospel) “So don’t worry about tomorrow. Tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I am really trying to live this out this year – taking one day at a time – one minute at a time – and letting God direct my path.

Some days I am better at this than others, my family can surely attest to that!  Some days I am so frustrated at not knowing what is coming next, where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing.

And when I find myself spiraling into this miasma of trying to fill the void with something, anything I stop and wait.  I stop and pray “Ok, God, I know you have plans for me. I am here for what you set before me. Lead me. I will wait.”

But, I think, in the waiting I am learning. I am growing. I am finding out things about myself that I might not have found otherwise. And I’m trying to learn patience and trust. To let go of my need to control my future and let God handle that.

And isn’t that what faith is about?

I mean, if we really believe God is sovereign, all knowing, omnipresent, and Lord of All, why don’t we let Him rule our lives as He designed us to do anyway?

Is it that we feel as if He might get it wrong? Or put us in a situation we can’t handle or don’t want?

I think, maybe, He does just that.  (and sometimes we do it to ourselves, if we’re honest. We do have free will. We are not slaves to God) But maybe, just maybe, it’s in those times when we are out of our comfort zone, out of our happy place, that God is there beside us ready to carry us through – to show us a part of ourselves we may never have seen otherwise. To lead us to a new plane of reality we’d have never reached if we’d stayed in our comfy place.

I’m still not content here in this period of waiting. I’ll be honest.  I am ready for things to happen and for me to know what is next so I can just go do it.

But I’m also learning to lean in to God. And to slow down and listen to what the Holy Spirit is teaching me in this fallow time.  And hopefully, on the other side of this, I’ll be better prepared for what is to come.  And once the brakes have been taken off, I’m ready to race forward into whatever that is, fully charged and ready to invest all.


What I’ve been up to…

I guess you figured out by my lack of posts last week that I actually DID get called to serve on a jury.  So much for wishful thinking that I’d be deemed unacceptable and cast aside.  It was a small consolation that, on Thursday afternoon, I saw a number of the folks who had been rejected on Monday standing in line at the security checkpoint – with juror badges on. It seemed they had been recalled and selected for other juries later in the week.  So, they didn’t escape, either.  There was some weird satisfaction in that.  I was almost done and they had just begun.

I think it was inevitable that I was selected for a jury. Not that I particularly wanted to serve on the jury, but that it was my time.  I’ve lived here almost 20 years, been a registered voter for longer than that, and NEVER have served on a jury.  I think it was about time my number came up.  Now, if I can only escape the responsibility for another 20 years… that would be awesome, but probably not very likely.image

Actually, my case was pretty interesting and involved “Imminent Domain” – where a public organization (the government or a utility) seizes land in order to provide some service or upgrades for the “greater good” of the community.  In our state, they are required to pay “just and adequate compensation.”  The dispute arose around what that “just and adequate compensation” was going to be. 

There was lots of testimony from appraisers and the like telling us what the value of the property was “before the taking” and “after the taking” (I just loved all the legal jargon – it was like learning to speak a foreign language in 30 seconds or less)  While that part was pretty mind-numbing, the actual deliberation was not. THAT was where it got interesting.

Our justice system is based on a person’s ability to find justice based on decisions of their “peers.”  That’s why the jury selection process is supposed to be random and without prejudice (notice I said “supposed to” – I’m still reconciling the fact that then they let the attorneys “strike” people from the jury pool that they think are not suitable to their case – seems like we then undo the randomness, but anyway…)

What was interesting was that I thought the case was very cut and dried. Easy decision. We’ll be done quickly and on our way home. 


We were not allowed to discuss the case at all during the trial. Only once we got to deliberation. I was shocked to find (ha ha ha) that not everyone felt the same way I did.  Really? Uh, why not?

So, there we were, reading through all this evidence, arguing minutiae and discussing whether or not this person “deserved” the money we were going to award to him.


At one point, I was convinced that I would not, under any circumstances, change my position.  I had the right answer and the rest of those goofballs were wrong…

But, sitting in a tiny, freezing cold conference room for hours on end, discussing (and I use that word loosely – the bailiff said we were the noisiest jury she had had in a long time) the case, I began to think I’d be willing to agree to anything if they would JUST LET ME OUT OF HERE.

In the end, we came to a compromise.  I wasn’t thrilled with what we decided but I WAS thrilled with the fact that we were done.

Now? I’m just happy to get back to my life and my routines. (and regular blog postings)

Let’s just hope my number doesn’t come up again for a good long time.