Just like we have to wait all winter for the newness of spring colors show of life peaking through, our lives have seasons of winter too. These seasons of waiting take on many forms and create various levels of emotions in our lives.
Maybe you are waiting for God to show you the career he intends you to follow.
Maybe you are waiting for the man God intends you to spend you life with.
Maybe you are waiting for a wayward child to find their way back to the Lord.
Maybe you are waiting for an illness to cure, a friend to forgive, a freedom from addiction… You wait. Sometimes patiently, sometimes not. You wait.
For me – a significant waiting seasons was spent praying for my husband’s salvation. I’d like to tell you I was completely submitted to God’s will for my life when I met my man, but I was not. I knew early on we were not equally yoked. (“Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness?” 2 Corinthians 6:14)
I was blinded by his adorable smile (he’s still a cutie!!) and the pure goodness he was as a person. He is that one-in-a-million type of good guy. There is not a person he wouldn’t help, giving anything he had for someone else. He has a heart of gold and deeply desires to care for his family and has always put a priority on making me happy. However, good people do not guarantee salvation, ok? And knowing good doesn’t equal Godly, I stayed. (Who wouldn’t – he was a great catch!) In retrospect, I know this was biblically disobedient. I would warn my daughters and friends against the path of a non-Christian partner today. Yet, this is our story and it is our history. I do not think God was surprised.
All the lessons learned, the joys and the pains along the way could fill this blog for years, but this specific season of waiting example came when my prayers became so focused on my husband’s salvation. I knew he would not be in eternity with me. There were early years, I did not let this weigh daily on my soul. Then, about ten years ago, the heart-break for his soul seemingly became unbearable. My yearning for him to know Jesus became a constant desire of my heart.
Believing this was a pure prayer, a God honoring prayer, surely God would draw my sweet husband to him, right? I mean, saved souls is God’s plan too right? I finally decided to fight the fight WITH God, no doubt He would quickly comply?? (insert sarcasm) God’s plans are infinitely better than mine and He surely did not need me to align for Him to work.
My prayers did not cease and my husband drew further from the Lord. (Do what? Right?) Months became years. Years became nearly a decade. I won’t lie telling you I faithfully never doubted. My heart became exasperated, but I kept praying. I wonder if days I prayed with the right heart attitude. In fact, I know I didn’t. I gave up sometimes too. Not giving up on God, but giving up on my dreams. Complacent even some days. So thankful for a Lord who knew me so well, He knew my struggle and was so completely full of grace in those moments. Grace upon grace upon grace, y’all.
Early 2015, brokenhearted, my prayers seeking a shared faith with my husband became submissive to the will of God. “Give me peace in this Lord.” When you don’t know what to do anymore, do what you know to do. WISE WORDS! I stopped trying to force my agenda (however holy I thought it was) and released complete control to God. “Do what you will God, I am yours. As is he.”
Soon, also in 2015, the Lord saw fit to get my husband’s attention. Drastically.
I wouldn’t change a thing about the journey. The dark season brought forth God’s bright flowers. My husband has given his life to the Lord and lives daily walking with Jesus. Praise God. “When the time is right, I, the Lord, will make it happen.” [Isaiah 60:22] AMEN!
Nearly a decade, the Lord had me wait. The truth is, what God does IN us while we wait is as important as what we are waiting for. I am better for the time God had me wait, the years He was molding me. Oh, the testimony now to share.
Whatever you are praying for and however the Lord has you waiting, please don’t give up. Then when you are frustrated, tell God. There is nothing His shoulders can’t hold and I promise you will not surprise Him. He knows our thoughts before we do. And He loves us anyway – hallelujah!
Pray with me: Heavenly Father, thank you for the seasons that you would have us wait. Your plan for our lives is so much better than we would ever know of our paths. Thank you for taking whatever mess we have in our lives and making it a message in whatever time you see fit. Give courage and strength to keep going for those in the middle of the waiting season. Renew their faith in the glorious spring flowers of your plan. We love you Lord and desire deeply to walk in accordance with your will always. In your son’s name we pray. Amen.
In his grip, Ashlee.