I am a sucker for Christmas decorations. I like to leave them up as long as is reasonably possible. A couple of years I stretched that to the limit. Once, I left a garland on top of our china cabinet all year long, just to see if anybody would notice. Another year, the tree remained in place well into February, because that’s when my husband came home on R&R. I claimed I wanted him to see it.
But if I’m honest, I needed his support to take it down, both emotionally and physically.
There’s just something about those sparkly lights and the glittery ornaments that remind me not only of the real reason for the season, but also bring to mind so many treasured family memories.
But in the first week of January, I began the process of boxing up my mini trees and gathering the garland surrounding our burned down advent candles. And as I did so, I had a sobering realization.
I have no idea where I’ll be putting these cherished decorations up next.
We are in that place of waiting between submitting our requests for our next assignment and receiving orders. Knowing we are likely moving, but completely unaware of the destination. We’ve made our preferences known, but have no idea if the powers that be will grant us our wishes.
It’s a little unnerving. The waiting and not knowing. The hoping that bumps uncomfortably up against the worrying. It can be all consuming and completely overwhelming.
Perhaps you’ve been there before. Maybe you’re standing beside me there today. Almost certainly you’ll find yourself in that place in the future.
I don’t know about you, but I spend a lot of time in this fragile position. Every time I make a request of God. When I wait and wonder if He will grant my heart’s desire. Or if He has another plan for me.
Can I share with you the strategies I’ve discovered to manage times when waiting becomes overwhelming?
1. First, I try to remember that I’m waiting on God to move. I’m not waiting on orders or housing or healing or the end of a deployment. I’m waiting on God to move on my behalf and in my best interest. That small shift has made a world of difference in the way I approach waiting seasons. Remembering that He is working things out for me, helps me to keep up my strength during long seasons of waiting. Knowing that He is working behind the scenes in ways I cannot even imagine gives me courage to stay the course.
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen you heart;
Wait, I say on the Lord.”
Psalm 27:14 NKJV
2. Then, I remind myself that He always works things out for good, according to His purposes, no matter what the orders say or others do. We’ve been sent to a duty assignment we ranked 141st out of 144 options on our wish list. It is one of the three places I never wanted to go. And it was amazing. So, I can assure you that however God answers your prayer, He is able to make it a blessing. Sometimes you have to peel off the layers it’s disguised in or see it in the rear-view mirror, but there will be a blessing.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.”
Romans 8:28 NKJV
3. Finally, I imagine Him going before me, standing beside me, and watching behind me. Because that’s exactly what He promises to do. Wherever we go. Whatever challenges or triumphs we face. Whatever situations await us. He is already there. Just extending a hand for us to hold, a shoulder to cry on, an ear to bend, strong arms to carry us through, and watchful eyes to protect us from the prowling lion who wants to devour us. He is there.
“And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you,
He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV
So, the next time you find the waiting becoming overwhelming remember that you are waiting on God who works all things out for His good purposes and He not only goes before you, but stands beside you in every circumstance.
When waiting is overwhelming, we find peace knowing we can trust Him with whatever the outcome is.
Liz Giertz is a Veteran turned Army wife and mom to two boisterous boys and one shelter dog who provide endless writing material. Until the next set of orders arrive, they call FT Hood, Texas home. She is passionate about encouraging women to overcome MESSES, embrace MEMORIES, and become the MASTERPIECES God created them to be. You can connect with her on her blog, My Messy Desk, as well as on Facebook, and Twitter.