▪️WAITING

Time’s up.

Silence is the sound that floods a space when time is up. Nothing more to do, nothing more to say, nothing more than discovering what’s on the other side of waiting. Many weeks have passed since those doves were nestled in their little mess above my garage. (see last week’s POST to fill you in) Yet, I haven’t brought myself to remove that mess. I’m still waiting. I’ve yet to discover what’s on the other side of my waiting.

In late October of last year, hubby and I bought our 6th house, technically we’ve had 8 houses to call home these last 2 decades, but 6 of them we’ve owned (or at least the banks did.) You can do the math, we don’t stay long in one place. The most recent purchase we’ve loving dubbed as a “fixer upper.” I suppose that means we might actually have to do some reno at some point. However, when to the eye everything needs an overhaul, you do what you can, which in my case was hit it with some lipstick and dry shampoo (aka…new fixtures and paint.)

There is one old fixture, that was kept, which I’ve come to appreciate. An old ceiling fan that moves the air near my writing desk in our kitchen. The ceiling fan has its own heartbeat, a constant ticking similar to the hands slowly inching their way over the face of a clock. It’s calm consistency gives the surrounding atmosphere a pulse. But more importantly, it keeps time with me. The end of waiting can only be signaled by one thing – knowing. Knowing the answers to your questions. Asking the hard questions takes courage.

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Why? Because we won’t always like the answers. But having the courage to pursue the questions we won’t always like the answers to is courageous. Avoiding asking the hard questions of life, might help you make your little mess more comfortable, but it will never let you leave.

You have the power to release the outcomes in your life before times up, and you know what the outcome will be – this is strength we gain in the waiting. Our waiting doesn’t always lead to rainbows – but I sure hope yours does.

*The original post included a FREE resource. I will repost this in another offering early fall.

Next week I’ll be done WAITING, and will be moving onto the other Attributes of Courage. Thanks for hanging with me friend.

 

 

▪️WAITING

How long must I wait?

Last week I shared that after having thoroughly embraced that courage is hard to describe, seems to be subjective, and is a force unto its own, I’m confident in this…a waiting heart conceives courage. When I embarked on this journey to explore courage and all its attributes, early this year, I found myself unsettled by one thing. I had settled in and settled down on a list of attributes I had sourced from an article in Psychology Today. The author sites six different attributes that make courage what it is, and helps us define it with examples. Sure, this is not an exhaustive list, it is however the one that addresses my deep belief that courage is indeed a virtue. This is the courage I was chasing. The virtue.

Yet, with all my pondering and reflection these six attributes continued to fall short. There was something missing. Yet, I couldn’t put my finger on it until several weeks ago.

Late this spring as I leashed my terriers for their afternoon stroll down our street I spotted a little mess that had moved in and settled down in the crux of the flood lights that hang above my garage. Something about that little mess called my attention. I wasn’t aware of its meaning at first, it needed unfolding. The days turned to weeks and as I kept my eye on the little mess it began to teach me.

The first lesson was the significance of a number. I’m not proposing that I adopt numerology as a religion or science, but six attributes of courage, SIX, that’s just not a number worthy of courage. Now seven, that’s a good number if ever there was one.

Now, if there was a missing attribute from the list, what would that be?

Then one day, as I walked toward the little mess, gently rolling onto the tip of my toes just hoping to get a closer peak, it occurred to me.

Waiting. Waiting is the seventh attribute of courage.

Waiting, is what I saw in that little mess above my garage. In 5th grade I had the opportunity to select a short elective class to take as a reward for my good grades. I remember it fondly, my selection, a short course entitled “Bird Watching.” That’s how I knew it was a couple of Mourning Doves who occupied the little mess above my garage. They are accustomed to waiting. Mourning Doves are some of the most reproductive birds in North America which means, they wait a lot.

I thought long and hard about waiting in a mess and how that takes courage. The more I thought, the more I knew that this was a good lesson to learn. When we’re tethered to a mess, we must allow courage to be conceived, to come alive, to give way to hope. That’s what I spotted as I peaked into that little mess and stared those doves in the eyes, hope. When we are forced to wait and we watch a life we want to engage pass us by, knowing we cannot leave our little mess until the waiting is over, we must have the courage to hope. I knew that look, that look of waiting, and I reflected on some lessons I’ve learned during seasons of waiting.

Waiting, the seventh attribute of courage, not only makes the list complete, it also completes the cycle. It is the attribute that conceives all others, the origin. It is the beginning of courage and it lives deep in our hearts.

Next week I hope to share my first resource on waiting with you. Until, then my friend, be strong and courageous.

▪️WAITING

Waiting.

After thoroughly embracing that courage is hard to describe, seems to be subjective, and is a force unto its own, I’m confident in this one thing, this one thing alone, a waiting heart conceives courage.

This is timely for me as a long season of waiting will finally reach its gestation by the time this post is shared. I’ll be adding WAITING to our list of attributes as a result. If courage is the virtue that supports all other virtues, then WAITING is the attribute that supports all the other attributes.

I’ll be sharing some scripture with you, personal reflections, and resources to examine your waiting, but until then I leave you with the lyrics to a song, an anthem of sorts, that have carried me through my current season of waiting. I hope they bless you.

I’m with you friend, cultivating courage, holding onto hope.

▪️PAIN HAS A PURPOSE

I was flat out done waiting for Him to move

The outcome could not have been more the opposite of my prayer, of ALL the prayers. There was a lingering temptation to be confused. Person after person inquired if what I had been praying for had come to pass. Which each “no” I passed out, I felt more and more, like I was a disappointment. I told myself as a reminder, “I am not the miracle worker, He is.” He is also, the great Physician, the I Am, my Provider, my Shepherd, and the lover of my soul. As He is ALL those things, He is also the all knowing, wise, King of the Universe; who was I to be calling the shots?

That’s what my prayer was really about any way, calling the shots. I had released the outcome to Him, but not the waiting. Not the timing. I was flat out done waiting for Him to move, for the outcome I wanted, and for the pain to pass. That’s what my prayer was all about – being done with the pain.

It takes courage to feel your pain.

While the words may have seemed courageous on paper, they were actually cowardice. Week after week I enlisted others to petition with me, to join my cry for help. I didn’t know this was cowardice at the time, it wasn’t premeditated. Once the fog of confusion had dissipated, enlightenment breezed in. What I really wanted was the pain of waiting to be over. I was done with the pain.

More than having the desire for the outcome I had carefully crafted in my own handwriting, I wanted out of the pain. God knew, way before I did. How do I know you ask? He responded to my petitions. Instead of numbing my current pain, He soothed me with a healing elixir for my aching heart. If my request would have been answered my entire life would have been turned upside down, and while the current pain would have subsided who knows what other ailments I would have contracted. He didn’t answer my prayer. Instead, He blessed me with what I really needed.

The visit we enjoyed with the people we loved was nothing short of perfection for those few days, that’s how I knew it was from Him.

God knows what will heal our hearts. We can’t write our own prescriptions even though often times that’s what we try to do. We must wait and let pain serve it’s purpose. The next time you’re in pain ask Him for healing, but don’t try to anesthetize the feeling. This will take some courage my friend. For you and me both.

We need the work He will do in us as we wait. This is one of my least favorite lessons in cultivating courage, waiting. It seems to play on repeat for me. I’ve actually developed a name for it, I call it “the stretch zone.” Just at the moment where I think I cannot bear the waiting any longer – He stretches me just a little more.

Are you waiting for something friend? Are you begging to get out of the pain you’re feeling? In order for pain to serve a purpose, we need to allow it to change us for the better, whatever that better might be. I can only think of one thing worse than living in the pain for one more day. It would be worse to live a lifetime without knowing its purpose.

What is your pain teaching you today friend? I hope it’s to be strong and courageous.