How To Wait Patiently For the Unknown
Are you struggling to wait for something (a partner, a proposal, a house…)? Do you find yourself growing impatient? Waiting patiently is what I’m struggling with now. My impatience is leading to discontent, discouragement, and darkening my heart.
I wrote this post when I knew my perspective had to change. I needed to learn how to wait patiently in order to be less bitter and depressed. There are times in life that we have to wait, not everything comes when we want it or how we want it to, but it’s how we sit in that waiting that makes a difference.
What we’re waiting patiently for
Currently, Hayden and I are living in a garage-turned “studio apartment” with no kitchen or bathroom while we save money and look for a house. We moved home during July of 2020 so that we could save money on rent, hoping we’d find a house within a few months. Those months turned to years, and that’s when it became harder to wait patiently.
I know that it can take time to find a house that meets most must-haves. And for us it’s having a shorter commute to work, living in an area with a good school system, having sufficient storage space, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms…and all in an affordable budget, of course. I know that I must be, and I am grateful for what I have now – a space to live, no rent, limited monthly payments, and a single burner so that we can still live somewhat independently. Yet, not knowing when we’ll find what we’re looking for continues to make waiting patiently more difficult.
Why waiting patiently is hard
In the past, I’ve known what was coming, it was just a matter of waiting for it – a proposal, a wedding, a package in the mail, etc. I wasn’t perfectly patient with these things, but I think I struggled less internally than I am now. At least I could DO something in the meantime. Right now, I’m excited to get started creating, fixing, and decorating our new home so that we can gather with company and build community. But, I have no idea what it will be like yet, which makes it more difficult to plan ahead. I find myself spending hours on Pinterest as my biggest coping mechanism. At least I’m gaining an idea of what I hope to achieve in our future home, right? But it can only get me so far…
I’m also ready to be able to prepare food and clean dishes in a kitchen with a sink, to not walk all the way through the garage and through the house to use the bathroom at 2 am, and to have our own privacy again. Did I mention it was my parents’ garage? Who just moved in with my grandmother? And my sister is home for the summer?
The situation, however, is humbling. I’m forced to realize the things that I’ve begun to take for granted – my own kitchen, a bathroom 3 ft away, running water – things some people have never had. I’ve always been grateful for a roof over my head, but I don’t think I ever considered giving thanks for all that I had under that roof. What’s that saying? You don’t know what you have until it’s gone? I find this to be true all the time. And although I’m looking forward to more privacy, I’m grateful to have this time with my family and be physically closer to them than we have been in almost a year – again, not something everyone has the luxury of.
How to wait patiently
I do know that God will provide, but it still does not diminish the struggle to wait patiently now. We don’t know God’s plan for us. We’ll find the house that’s right for us at the right time, but when will that be? That’s the hard part. It’s not wondering if good things will come, but being able to wait patiently for them.
“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”Romans 8:25, NIV
Being grateful and knowing what I have that is good doesn’t discount the reality I feel in struggling to wait patiently. However, I can choose and have the power to be content in the present and to really settle into my faith that God has a good plan for us. To thank Him for what we have now, and to pray for what is to come.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”Philippians 4:6, NLT
Are you struggling to wait patiently?
I hope that if you’re struggling with waiting patiently, whether in a similar situation, or in something completely different, that you can learn and take some comfort from these words as I have. It’s okay to struggle, but allow God to walk with you through those struggles. Give thanks for what you have now and pray to Him for what you need.
Waiting patiently for the best outcome means having patience and trusting that God will provide at the right time (even if it’s not the time or the way we think or want it to be).
Update: we are still waiting, but now we are living in an in-law apartment at my parent’s house and we are waiting to build a house instead of buy one. We are a few steps closer, but still practicing patience. I’ve absolutely come to terms with this place in our lives though.
I’m also realizing that God’s plan was so much better than ours. I had hoped to be in our own home before having a baby, but I am incredibly grateful to have my parents so close (literally upstairs). When the days are long and I’m exhausted, they’re able to offer a helping hand. If I need to step out to the grocery store, or take a shower, someone is usually around to watch Shepherd. Motherhood is hard (especially while trying to grow a business) and I can imagine it would be much harder if we were living on our own.