If you’ve been following my blog for a bit, you’ll notice that I’ve started a series that I add to at random—the Dreams and Callings series. I wrote the first part last July about how the best is yet to come, then I talked about surrender in September (yay, alliteration!). It seems I’ve begun a habit of writing a Dreams and Callings post every few months, because I here I am again, ready to write part three of who-knows-how-many.
I want to talk about patience.
Yes, the lovely word that we’ve all heard from our parents—be patient!!! Unfortunately for me, I’m a get-it-done sort of person. Waiting isn’t my forte; if I am waiting, I’m working on something else.
After setting aside my manuscript of Found back in July, I’ve felt like I’ve been running in place. I spent three months outlining and writing a manuscript—then I scrapped it because I didn’t like it. I spent the next two months with a new manuscript—and now I’m in for a major rewrite. And though I’m very excited about it, I peer down the road wondering when I’ll be able to publish, and it could be a year and a half, two years. No shortcuts. Just one step at a time, each step seeming to go very, very slowly.
I want to go go go, but I’m moving through Jello, wading through thick water, and the island seems no closer now than it ever was.
Often, when we’re working toward a goal that seems impossibly far away—finishing school, publishing, etc—discouragement comes so hard that we quit moving and let our passion die out, convinced that nothing matters until we’re There.
Yet we forget we are somewhere already—here. And the path to There is made up of Here’s. Here is just as good as There if we’re looking at it the right way.
As this new year starts off and I plunge into two rewrites—one for Found and the other for Prison Zero—I’m trying to take time to really be Here. Pondering and praying about it, I asked God why I can’t be There yet. Is There not ready for me? Is the Thing I want to do not in place, not finished for me yet? Why can’t it just snap into place for me right now?
I love how God answers our prayers, because for this prayer, He seemed to open my eyes to see things I hadn’t before. He showed me where I was this year in relation to where I was last year. He made me ask “could I really have done what I’m doing now as ‘last year me?’”
No, I realized. I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this as younger-me. The One who truly knows me knew that I wasn’t ready then. And now? Could I handle publishing a book right now? Well, maybe my writing would be good enough. But my platform may be too small. I might not be able to physically/emotionally/spiritually handle what may come with publishing a book. My knowledge might be lacking in something I don’t know that I don’t know.
In short, there is some reason—even if we don’t see it—that we are not There.
Does wrapping our minds around that take away the impatience? No. I still want to cut corners to get There faster. I still wish I was There. But just because we aren’t There doesn’t mean we can’t still be fruitful Here.
Here is a beautiful place too. Here is the training grounds, like an internship before a full job, or a courtship before a marriage. Here is where we learn the skills we will need for There. If we were suddenly thrown into There, we would be ill equipped to handle anything.
God’s making us wait because He loves us. He wants us to be as ready as possible for whatever life is going to throw our way. He’s training us like soldiers training for battle; though the training might be tedious, once the battle starts, we’ll be glad we spent the time training.
Your waiting is for a reason. No matter what it is you’re waiting for, it’s because you still have skills to acquire. Perhaps that skill is simply the realization of how important patience is. We’ve all heard the joke that you shouldn’t ask God for patience, because He’s going to force you to wait a long time, right? Better to learn patience now than later.
My prayer for you is that you see the beauty in waiting. Oak trees don’t grow overnight. They push up through the ground and battle through drought and fire until one day, they’re There—full grown, flourishing. Our dreams are like that—we are like that. God’s conditioning us for our future. Let’s be patient and thrive in whatever season of waiting we’re in.
There’s the little ramblings of an impatient dreamer 😛 What do you think about patience? How do you combat the urge to cut corners? What have you learned through waiting?