BY TASHA BURGOYNE, GRACE ATTENDER
Most of my life I have struggled to let silent space be. However, I am learning that the silence of waiting leads me to Jesus and transforms me. While we don’t have waiting figured out, here are five ways that have helped us wait well:
1. Share – You need people to surround you as you wait. These are friends who will listen to your broken record responses. They are the ones you allow to see your most difficult days of waiting. They offer hope, courage, and godly perspective. Since the beginning of our adoption journey, a wise tribe of friends have walked with us. They continue to wait with us. We have needed them more than we knew we would. On the flip side, they have needed to walk with us. While you may be one of the main characters in your waiting story, there are more characters than you. Don’t hoard your story.
2. Count – After we were matched with our little girl, a dear friend gave us a vase filled with rocks. Every day, we were to take one out, a big one on the harder days and a smaller one on the easier days. It has been a tangible way to see progress despite silence. Find a way to mark and count the days. It doesn’t have to be rocks. It can be elaborate or as simple as tally marks on a piece of paper.
3. Pray –This is where transformation happens. When you feel hopeless, angry, or impatient, pray those feelings. Let the Holy Spirit move you into a new place of surrender. Pray when you don’t have words and pray when you have a million. Speak them, write them, or just feel them. Risk dreaming about what’s ahead in prayer. Give your longings to God and let them go in his hands. Ask people to pray for you when you don’t know how or what else to pray. Your friends will have fresh prayers you haven’t thought of.
4. Be present – Be fully in the space God has given you for today. Choose to lean into it. Being present asks us to relinquish the future spaces we desperately want to control or clutch tight. Open your hands. Take the pressure off of the object of your wait so you have room to receive God’s gifts for today.
5. Become – Waiting is an invisible becoming where hope, desire and purpose are stitched together in the most essential ways. Waiting is amazing soil for growth and transformation. It always leads to an inevitable change. We can either grit our teeth through it impatiently, or we can posture ourselves in a place of humility and invite God to transform us into the person we were meant to become.
We can either grit our teeth through it impatiently, or we can posture ourselves in a place of humility and invite God to transform us into the person we were meant to become.
“Change just happens, but transformation is always a process of letting go, living in the confusing dark space for a while, and eventually being spit up on a new and unexpected shore.” -Richard Rohr