Where are you friend?
Is a loved one sick? Is your marriage turbulent? Annoyed with your neighbors or in-laws or both? Are you ready for change but there are no opportunities in sight? Are you exhausted from trying to keep up with the Jones’? Are you longing for the past…wishing things were where they were before? Are you experiencing mommy myths saying you have to be super mom? Are your expectations too high or too low? Are you tired of waiting for prince charming to enter the scene? Is work boring, is your boss riding you, or are you working a dead end job? Are you tired of the same ole same ole? Are you exhausted from one bump in the road after another? Are you living in a foreign country with no clear plan or opportunity to go home? (No? Oh yeah–just me!)
I am realizing that life is full of unexpected circumstances–dead ends and detours. Life is never quite where we thought it would be…and so our choice in response to the current circumstances shows and even defines our character. Is it really the “end goal” that matters? Or is it how we live in the current day to day that truly defines our lives?
Our waiting places have had significant highs and significant lows but I have found deep power in the wait…so many lessons…so much of Him in those places. The pain and position appear to have purpose.
I am blessed to have a small handful of life long friends that I have known since childhood. We grew up in a small town and amazingly stayed close, sister close, even. I mean we literally grew up side by side with pigtails and matching outfits and then big bangs and baggie clothes. Two of my longest friends, one that I have known since I was 3 and another that I have known since I was in 3rd grade recently wrote me. These two women have literally walked side by side through this life with me. We together have endured battles with boys, break-ups, death of loved ones, divorce. We have endured miscarriages, marriage issues, and many other painful parts of life. These two woman have a loud voice in my world and have been brought healing balm to many of my life wounds. While here in our “waiting place” after having shared a painful betrayal that recently occurred; these two women shared with compassion their aching hearts and a few quotes in hope to bring comfort.
“A waiting person is a patient person. The word patient means the willingness to stay where you are and live the situation out to the full in the belief that something hidden will manifest itself to us.” Henri Nouwen
Sometimes the result of waiting is clear…sometimes obvious even. Sometimes we may never see (this side of heaven) what was so powerful about our wait or our painful circumstances. But Nouwen’s truth brings hope. It makes the wait not about the wait but about the redeeming power of God. He also highlights the character development that I mentioned earlier…patience…a fantastic character trait to cultivate. (A trait Uganda seems to value and demand even: pause here for a moment while all of my friends who have lived in UG take a moment to get their giggles out.)
The other friend shared:
“We need to occupy the territory that God has given to us this day. For Him.” Beth Moore
Yes. We can complain. We can live negative. We can be burdened or battle and rage against our current circumstances. We sometimes are even entitled to a pity party. Life is filled with hard painful hits. So we can certainly chose to pout. Or we can “occupy the territory” we have for this day. We can choice an active role or passive role. We can complain that we have been re-routed…or re-write the story with joy and contentment as our underlying themes.
I don’t think my girlfriends knew the power of their compassion or the quotes they shared. In this life we need others. We need others to come alongside and say, “you got this girl.” We need our friends to say, “I am so sorry…there is purpose. And you are stronger than you think you are.” We need our friends to say, “yep it sucks…but don’t stay stuck in the pity party place…there is no real life in it.” The handful of friends who have been intimately journeying with me through this crazy tour I am taking through life in Uganda, have literally held me up when I have wanted to stay down or stay stuck. And this makes me realize that alone in this life we lose. But with my precious friends by my side…to borrow the words of DJ Khaled: All I Do Is Win.
No matter where you are in this life right now…humble yourself. Share your circumstances. Don’t try to pull it off on your own. Be gut honest. Share your need for them to come alongside and carry you if necessary. Together…you will win.
May You Be a Blessing and May You Be Blessed!