In North American culture waiting is avoided at all costs. We don't want to wait. We shouldn't have to wait. We complain if our plans are altered because one of the myriad things we've planned takes a bit longer to get done. We run red lights so we don't have to wait for the next green, we pick up our coffee order from a drive-through or (better yet) order it delivered through an app. All this busyness makes us feel important and productive and keeps us from having to wait.
Waiting often feels like a burden, when it should feel like a gift. When I have to wait for something or someone, I am no longer in control. My quick-paced frenzy suddenly slows and there's nothing I can do about it. Depending on my attitude it can feel like a life sentence or a reprieve. In my better moments of waiting, I pull out a book or turn on some music and use the time to exhale. Other times I pace and fidget like a caged animal.
This period of waiting to move to Belize has stirred up both appreciation and angst. There are days where I revel in the fact that I don't have to commute to an 8 to 5, and days where I wonder how many daytime hours I can sleep without triggering insomnia. More frustrating than just the passage of time is waiting to feel useful again. My heart and head are full of plans, ideas and dreams for our new life in Belize. Some days it feels like those days will never come.
Proverbs 13: 12 says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life."
Soon enough I will leave behind this season of waiting and embark on a dream I've waited 15 years to fulfill. In the meantime, my challenge is to focus on the gift that waiting can be and allow myself to cede control of the outcome.