Dr. Seuss’s book Oh, The Places You’ll Go warns me not to get stuck in The Waiting Place, and yet here I am. In The Waiting Place. It seems like I’ve been here quite a while, and I’m not really a fan.
Currently, there are several aspects of my life that seem to be placed on hold. I am waiting for things to happen that are outside my control.
Even though I find myself here unwillingly, I am not one to let an opportunity for growth slip by. It has certainly been a season of learning for me, and maybe some of my discoveries during this time in The Waiting Place can be helpful to others who find themselves right here with me.
Even though The Waiting Place might look different to each one of us, or come at different stages of our lives, my challenge for all of us stuck here is to use our time to gain some insights that we might have missed out on otherwise.
Here are some things I have learned from my time in The Waiting Place:
Some things are just out of my control.
So many aspects of life are not within my power to control. This has been a hard lesson to learn. Since I can’t control a lot of the things that happen to me, it’s important to make a conscious effort to control my reaction to them. How I handle the things thrown my way could make things terribly worse, or much, much better. I do have that power.
People can be hurtful.
It’s true. There are people in my life who actually have it on their agenda to make things harder for me. Whether they know it consciously or not, they may be actively keeping me there in The Waiting Place because of their own insecurities, jealousy, or vindictive spirit.
This is tough, but I’ve learned that forgiveness is key. One great piece of advice is to cut ties. This doesn’t make you a bad person. Since I can’t cut ties altogether with some of these people, I have to set up strict boundaries and work hard toward peace so I can distance myself from the negativity.
Not everything turns out the way I want. And that’s okay.
The hardest part of being in The Waiting Place is knowing that I might leave here with a result I do not desire. The reality is, I can do what I can within my own power, and nothing else. I have to trust God to take care of the rest. And even if something turns out differently than I’d like, there is a bigger plan in the works. I have to be patient and ready for what is to come…no matter what.
I can find joy if I look for it.
Sometimes I have to look really, really hard, but it’s there. Even in the darkest hour, good things are happening to me, and all around me. Keeping a gratitude journal makes the job of finding joy a lot easier, and it really comes in handy when I want to look back and see all the things I am blessed with.
Another great joy-finding strategy is to surround yourself with positive people. Strong people lift each other up, and trust me, when you are in The Waiting Place, you need all the help seeing the joy you can get.
This too shall pass.
As, I’ve said before, this is not the only time I’ve been in The Waiting Place. I’ve gone through a season of infertility, and I have to admit, I could have handled myself better during that time.
My key mistake was that I placed too much of my happiness (or lack thereof) on something that was out of my control. The weight of the world seemed to be pressing down on my shoulders, and I wasted so much time feeling sorry for myself.
I’m trying hard not to do that this time around. What I have learned, is that no matter what we are waiting for, no matter what is keeping us here, we will leave The Waiting Place, sooner or later. Sometimes a lot later.
If you find yourself in The Waiting Place, know you are not alone. Don’t get discouraged, try your best to be positive while you’re here, and always look for the lessons to be learned!