Waiting. None of us like to do it. Particularly in this American culture, we are not forced to wait on much and we are all prone to get impatient at a rapid pace if we have to do so. We live in a world of fast food, quick marts, express and go’s, and the idea of waiting on anything tends to produce anxiety and frustration in us all. So much of it falls back on the lack of control that ensues during the wait; much of it is associated with our own selfish desires and time tables. Think about it. What is the first thing we do when we find ourselves in a traffic jam on the interstate? After huffing and puffing about the fact we are going to be late to the place we are intending to go, we then frantically try and figure out what is going on and how long it is going to be until the traffic dissipates and life continues on as planned. Our schedule. Our timeline. Seemingly little incidences like this happen to us often and serve as great reminders that life does not revolve around us, but what happens when it isn’t just a detour on the highway? What happens when we are the one in the head on collision? When the cancer comes back? When death comes suddenly? When the baby prayed for isn’t? When your job is no more? When we are stopped in our tracks by the life that God chose for us that is drastically different than the life we foresaw? It is then that we can sometimes find ourselves paralyzed in the waiting. Frozen in the unknown.
I have always craved knowledge; and not just in a scholastic sense. As a child I became fixated on the connection between God and dinosaurs, and read book after book about the topic. I watched the weather channel hour after hour, and read the encyclopedias that collected dust on our bookshelves. Why? I just wanted to know. When I would try out for a sports team or play, I would spend all hours between finding out if I made it obsessing over and analyzing whether I thought that I did or not. It wasn’t necessarily about “making it” or not; it was more about just knowing.
We found out this week that the last known diagnosis we were waiting to get results from was negative. No more known options. We sent off more blood work and now will wait six months to see what rarer, rare diagnose they might discover our girls carry. The chances that they will figure something out are pretty high, but the likelihood that we will be two of a handful of people with this diagnosis, without a strong prognosis, is equally probable. Six months wait to find out blurry information? Sounds like this knowledge girl’s nightmare. But God.
As I have been praying through this new chapter in our family’s journey, the Lord has spoken to the depths of my soul concerning the unknowns. In all authenticity, I have the tendency to look at others’ life stories and question. Why do they have a diagnosis? Why did they find out so quickly? I’m not asking for you to take it all away, Lord, (although that might be nice as well!) I’m just asking for an explanation of some kind. If only I could have a support group of mom’s that are walking this same road….if only we could have a slight idea of what the future will look like for our family…if only….
Patient and merciful as He is, God brought me to the pages of His word and I have been nourished and refreshed by the truth that I am in good company. After all, the Bible is full of people that have walked moments, hours, even years of waiting for the unknown. Noah built an ark while the sun was still shining. Abraham went to a country that he didn’t know; then offered up his son without awareness that God would not make him follow through with the sacrifice. The Israelites crossed over the Red Sea without the assurance that it wouldn’t swallow them up. David and Goliath, Daniel and the lion’s den, the list goes on and on. Story after story of those that trusted without borders. How? They were comfortable with an unknown circumstance in light of a known God. The best part is this: The Lord says that, “…all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect”. (Hebrews 11:39). Apart from us. Apart from your story, my story. All things are being tied together in light of what we are truly waiting for: our Savior. The moment when, as He sees fit, He unites His children with Himself and the trials are finished for good. No more waiting; no more wandering in the desert of the unknown. One with Him forever. Because the truth is, we are all waiting on that which we cannot see. How light and momentary these seasons of waiting will seem in light of the One who is more than worth our wait. What you wait for, what I wait for, is not a diagnosis. It isn’t a husband. It isn’t more money or another job. It is not five more pounds lost. It isn’t a baby. It isn’t physical healing on this side of heaven for ourselves or our loved ones. It’s Him.
No matter what these next six months bring, my hope and expectation is that He brings me freedom from idolizing an answer. Independence of the knowledge that comes from that which fades. Whatever that looks like for you, that is my prayer for you as well. He is our Ultimate Answer. I am watching and waiting for Him and Him alone (Psalm 59:9). Let it be known that He holds us all in the palm of His hands and knowledge of that trumps any false security a diagnosis might bring. On this Mother’s Day, those of you that have been hit head on with infertility, or the loss of a child or mother, or motherhood that looks different than you anticipated, I pray He empresses this truth firmly in your heart: Your hope is not found in that which fades and changes; your hope is found in the Love that holds the keys to every chapter of the book of the life He’s given you. And with Him, the last sentence is always happily ever after. For eternity.
“But I will sing of Your strength; I will sing aloud of Your steadfast love in the morning. For You have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress. O my Strength, I will sing praises to You, for You, O God, are my fortress, the God who shows me steadfast love.”- Psalm 59:1-17