Who enjoys the waiting? Anyone? I am the WORST. So impatient. Not so much cantankerous and crabby, more anxious and antsy. As a human being, this is unbecoming and as a writer, this is downright disastrous. However, now that I find myself on the other side of one major writerly waiting game, I can look back and see why it’s vital to find joy in the journey and wonder in the waiting…
Whether we are waiting on a medical diagnosis, a job interview, or for the two-year-old to grow out the “terrible twos” already, we all seem to be in a perpetual existence of waiting. Straining our necks to see the next chapter, always wanting to be further along, counting the days down until the next vacation, having the kids all home (empty nesters), having the kids all leave (mommies of terrible twos or angsty teens), counting the shopping days until Christmas (it’s a thing.)
What if we started counting our blessings rather than counting the days?
It changes everything, doesn’t it? Always, when our hearts are filled with gratitude, the grappling for more or sooner or when or why subsides. Faith replaces fear and adoration replaces anxiety. The gift of a new day is suddenly precious and next week, next month, next year pales in significance when we have the blessings of NOW.
So why specifically “wonder” in the waiting? Other than the fact that it starts with a “w” and I’m all about alliteration(!) I think there’s something exciting and expectant in the word “wonder”. I think of a child, wide-eyed, in awe, amazed. How often we bury that sense of wonder in our stressful, busy, responsible adulthood and miss out on delighting in the daily!
Can I share my latest “waiting victory” in my writing world? I just signed a contract for a THREE-BOOK DEAL! The Glass Bottom Boat will be my first Christian romantic suspense novel with Anaiah Press and I am thrilled to bits. But this adventure has stretched my paper-thin patience to the limit. The book publishing world is notoriously slow as molasses, but I originally wrote the novel manuscript in 2013.
Five. Long, Years. Since then, it’s been sent to numerous publishers, rejected, revised, signed by an agent, revised again, sent to even more publishers, and then “released” from said agent. (Insert pity party for a whole 10 minutes before I got back up on that literary horse.) Two weeks later, I pitched my battered little manuscript on Twitter (#FaithPitch) where it was picked up by an editor, and her publishing house offered me a 3-book deal. It all happened in a matter of days.
“I don’t think the way you think. The way you work isn’t the way I work.” God’s Decree.
“For as the sky soars high above earth, so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.” Isaiah 55:8-9 (MSG)
All this to say, quite frankly, it wasn’t the journey I would have chosen, but it was God’s journey for me and my book. His timing is always perfect. Sometimes we see that in hindsight and sometimes we just have to trust. I, for one, tend to forget how big and powerful and sovereign God is. I pray about stuff (usually with some “helpful” suggestions to the Almighty) and expect to hear back ASAP. Anxiety abounds when I dare to take things into my own hands:
“There is peace for the one who knows there is no bargaining with the God of the universe.” Lore Wilbert
As a writer, I learned early on that when you submit your precious book-baby, magazine manuscript, or online article into the big, wide world you LET IT GO. Leave it with the Lord. You move on to the next writing project and you put your heart and soul into that. You take courses, attend conferences, live your life to the fullest whilst finding joy and wonder in the craft.
Likewise, in other areas of life, we get to give our worries or requests or whatever our thing is to the Lord, and then we have the opportunity to make the most of every single day in the meantime—growing, learning, listening, loving, even marveling in the mundane moments.
If you are in a season of waiting, friend, know that you are not waiting alone. There is One who never leaves or forsakes us, never slumbers nor sleeps. He will answer in His perfect timing and he will walk through that answer with you. And in the meantime, would you seek out ways to find wonder in the waiting? Count your blessings, dig into the Word, revel in the beauty of creation, find sweet fellowship with others, adore God deeply.
Fill the waiting time with Him. Not a minute will be wasted.
Always a work in progress,
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