We’ve dubbed this year The Waiting Year.
We’ve had many years or groups of years in the past. Of course, some we haven’t dubbed until we’ve been out of the thick of them because it’s too hard to see when you’re in it. There’ve been The Tired Years, The They-Never-Stop-Moving Years, The Sweet Spot Year (singular), The Chaos Years (plural), The I-Need-Help Years and The Driving Years.
And now, The Waiting Year (s?!)
This title was given on the first day of the second week of school for the most obvious of reasons. Everyone was always waiting. For someone. For something. Just…..waiting.
The first week of school I was naive and thought it would die down but by the second week I knew it wasn’t going anywhere so we might as well call it what it is, get out the proverbial label maker and slap it on.
3 kids at 3 schools with 3 very uncoordinating start and finish times make for waiting. Waiting for Mom to pick up, waiting for brother to get his butt out of school, waiting for that sibling that signs up for everything to get out of film club/drum line/seasonal sporting event/youth group.
We’re just always waiting.
But there’s more to it than pick up times.
There’s also a family of 5 with two parents working. So we’re waiting for dinner to be ready with tummies rumbling and we’re waiting for daddy to get home from work, and we’re waiting for our gym strip to be finished in the dryer, and we’re waiting for mom to have a second to help with this math question, and we’re waiting for an answer on whether we can have a friend sleep over this weekend, and we’re waiting for that moment when we can just flake on the couch. We could be waiting a long time for that one…
We’re waiting for bigger things too and I just know that God has planned that this happen in our waiting year so that we don’t feel restless or anxious about it. We’re already always waiting, why not add one more wait to our list.
A few mornings ago I dropped off our official application to The Ministry of Children and Families to start the process of becoming foster parents. This might sound like the first step of the process but I assure you it’s been in the works for a long time and well over 2 months of waiting just to get this initial paperwork in.
Waiting for phone calls back and waiting for packages to arrive in the mail and waiting for dates to be set and waiting for more phone calls back and waiting for the meeting to start and waiting for time to talk through all of the logistics with every member of our family and waiting to have a moment to just sit and fill out the pages and pages of questions.
Now we’ve done what we can and we wait.
The boys asked last night what we’re waiting for exactly at this stage of the game. Oh, just a phone call. Simply a phone call that says we may carry on to the next leg of the process. Then they wanted to know when that phone call should be expected. I reminded them of our title for this year and I had to admit that I had no idea.
How long does an application sit in an envelope on someone’s desk? How long does it take to research us enough to know we’re safe? How many other applications are in the stack on top of ours? How many social workers are dedicating time to simply reading what we submitted?
No idea. And so we wait.
I have no doubt that God orchestrated this all to happen during The Waiting Years. It wasn’t to be in The Busy Years and it would have been too much in The Tired Years but seeings we’re already waiting this year it just feels right. Like a good fit.
We’re talking a lot about patience in our everyday routines and it’s going to work itself out practically in this as well. Our conversations are revolving around selflessness and peace and being okay with just being for a time and I have no doubt these conversations are applicable to so much more than just sitting on the sidewalk outside of the school. We’re going to have to practice them at bigger, mightier levels.
Because we all know it’s hard to wait.
Scripture is filled with people waiting though, isn’t it? Noah waited another 7 days before sending out another dove, Moses told the people to wait while he heard from the Lord, Ruth waited patiently for Boaz to take notice of her, and the people were waiting for Zechariah to come out of the temple and were wondering what was taking so long. Of course there are so many more.
It’s people putting into practice each day what we’re told to do before our Lord and that is simply to wait.
Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him… (Psalm 37:7)
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield… (Psalm 33:20
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord… (Psalm 31:24)
But for you, O Lord, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer… (Psalm 38:15)
And so we wait. We wait for each other and we wait for things and we wait for answers all in the Lord’s good timing. We’ve learned there is little gained from pressing forth with our own agenda or trying to accelerate things to fit our own timeline. There is only frustration and impatience gained from those.
I wonder what else we’ll be waiting for this year. As we wait for so many things already I can only imagine our eyes will be opened to more things we’re waiting for. Most of all we’re going to wait before the Lord, for his ways and his will, hopefully with peace and perseverance.
What are you waiting for in this season of life? Or are you in a different set of years?