We all come to a time in life where we are waiting; waiting for a season to end, waiting for a season to begin, waiting for a new job, waiting for a house loan to be approved. Whatever it is for you, one day you’ll find yourself in a waiting station.
Like a train with multiple destinations, you can stand on that waiting platform beside a hundred others, all waiting to go different places.
How you deal with the waiting is what makes you stand apart.
Especially when you see people getting on and off trains, both arriving and departing, moving seasons.
How you cope with staying in the same season, when many others are changing theirs, can be a defining moment in your life.
It can also be incredibly frustrating.
In fact, it can make you downright angry – at others, at the world, at God – watching others change season without you. You wonder what special ingredient they have that you don’t, you wonder what their price of admission was, you wonder who they bribed, you wonder if God loves them more than you. You may think dozens of things about those in other seasons, but remember this – they have all waited too.
Waiting is not a unique season, we all wait for something or other. Sometimes the wait is long, sometimes the waiting is short. But we all still wait.
How do you cope with being in that waiting season?
1. Acknowledging that your season is different from those around you.
Sometimes we get so caught up in comparing our seasons, wondering why he managed to get the promotion, wondering why she is pregnant (again!). Whatever it is, we all get caught up in comparing our seasons with those of others. Perhaps you are stuck in grief, and you find yourself comparing your season of pain to others who seem to be in a season where they are thriving. Perhaps you have been given an unexpected diagnosis, and you find yourself comparing your season to those who have a clean bill of health.
These comparisons will not make your season any easier. In fact, they might just make it all that much harder.
It is healthier to instead acknowledge that you are in a different season to that of your friends, your family, your work colleagues. Different does not equate worse, in fact according to the Oxford Dictionary, different is defined as:
1 Not the same as another or each other; unlike in nature, form, or quality;
2 Distinct; separate.
Your season is not the same as another’s season,
it is unlike in nature, form, and quality.
This inherently means that no comparison can be made between your current season, to those of others, or even to seasons you have experienced in the past. Every season is unique. Acknowledging this is your first step.
2. Acknowledging that your season will come to an end.
Your second step is to acknowledge that your season will end.
This can be a really difficult process, because when you stand in the middle of your season you are often too blinded or too burdened
or too overwhelmed to think that it will end.
In fact, sometimes those seasons feel like they are going to be your very last, because you cannot see past the pain, or the heartache, or the loss, or the struggle.
These experiences are all too real, and can be all-consuming.
It can be nearly impossible to objectively say, “this will end”.
Because what you really want to be doing is screaming from the rooftop, or curling up in a ball and crying for days, or packing a bag and running away. Maybe you want to do all three, and you are torn between which to do first. Such is the pain of many a season.
It is in these moments that I ask of you to Be Brave. Where instead of quitting, instead of giving up, instead of running away, I ask that you whisper to your hurting heart, “This season of mine might not be easy, BUT IT WILL END.”
As for those hurting emotions of yours, if you want to scream, scream; if you want to cry, cry. Because those emotions of yours have a purpose and place within this season you are in, they are telling you something that no one else can tell you because they have insider knowledge in to how your heart beats. Those emotions want to be heard, so hear them, acknowledge them, befriend them. But at the end of the day remind them that you are still in control, and you might need to tell them too that this season you are in will end.
3. Acknowledging that sometimes you need to reach out for help.
Here in this third step I recommend simply this, ask for help. If you are struggling in your season, and you are doing it alone, it will be so much harder than if you have someone on your side helping you fight through it. If you could have a whole team of people helping you out, even better! There is a lot to be said about having the support of friends, family, or even professional help. Your season which looks so daunting when tackling it alone, can become so much easier to bear its weight when you know that there are others helping you carry it.
We will all visit the waiting station at some point in our lives,
but we do not have to become stuck there.
Every season will come and go, and for many of them, we will not understand why they came in the first place. What is important is the attitude with which we wait; wait with the knowledge that every season you see is different to your own, and that comparisons will not help you move past your own season; wait with the knowledge and peace of mind that this season you are in will end; and wait knowing that you have others around you supporting you during your season.
Wait well dear friends.
Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.
By Danielle Myers