Ready. Set. Wait.

imageWaiting. It stinks.

I’ve read various things on waiting; be it blogs, articles, books, etc. We all go through seasons in life where we have to wait. Maybe it’s a career move, a geographic move, or waiting for God to provide an open door to whatever it is you are waiting for. Seasons of waiting stink.

I’ve noticed that a lot of the things on waiting that I’ve read are written by people who endured (sometimes a very long time) a time of waiting before their time of waiting finally ended. And that makes their story powerful and encouraging. It shows us that many things, even very God honoring things, that we desire rarely come when we want or expect them. But sometimes hearing that God is Sovereign, which he is, isn’t what we need to hear.

It is kind of like when we are growing through a stage of grief. We don’t always need to hear “that everything will be ok,” sometimes we just need to be sympathized with. So if you are in a time of waiting, I am here to sympathize with you.

This post is written by someone who is in a period of waiting, and it stinks (sometimes it even kind of sucks, but that seemed too harsh to title a blog post). This post is about me.

I want to be clear, this isn’t me complaining about my life. God has been more gracious to me than I could ever deserve, and I understand that some people’s current time of waiting is much more difficult than mine. This is not about comparison, it simply an encouragement to all of us who are “waiting.”

I graduated in May of 2012 from UNC-Wilmington with a Bachelors degree in Religion. After my freshmen year of college, I knew what I wanted to do with my life; I wanted to do full-time ministry in a preaching/pastoral capacity. So during my time in college I spent a lot of time volunteering at the church I was involved in. I played in the band, I spoke in the youth ministries, and I involved myself in a college ministry on campus.

Towards the end of my senior year for a span of two years we helped plant a church in Wilmington. I took a part time job, volunteered as a part time intern for the first year of the church plant, and was a full time seminary student. I then took a part time job at the church, all the while Christina was working two jobs (one of them with the church) in order for us to make ends met and for me to gain this invaluable experience.

And then I began looking for more of a full time ministry role to transition into and to continue to learn and grow in ministerial development. I applied to various churches and networked with numerous people seeking an opportunity that would allow me to continue to learn and grow in my pastoral pursuits. But unfortunately…

Nothing was working out.

Possible job opportunities in ministry didn’t materialize and the only one that did ended up not being a good fit for Christina and I. We were confused, upset, and angry that things were not working out. After all, I thought we had “did our time” by sacrificing for the sake of the church we were planting and going to seminary. I was ready to move up the “ministry ladder” (if that even exists) as I had spent the last two years starting from the bottom.

So I went through a short season of not having a job, and then took a non-ministry job (that I am very grateful for). We have also moved from Wilmington to Raleigh.

And I am still in a time of waiting.

I don’t own any gaming system because I’ve wanted to spend more of my free time reading books, writing, studying the Bible, meeting with mentors and trying to mentor guys younger than me. I don’t always want to do this stuff, but I know it is necessary and will pay off in the long run.

And sometimes I get frustrated, and even bitter. But thankfully there have also been times, even though I don’t want to admit this, that I have seen that maybe I need this season of waiting more than I realize. Which I am sure, I will learn in the future looking back on this time.

But for now it kind of stinks. I’m certainly not doing most the things I wish to be doing right now. And to be honest, I’m not sure when exactly I will be able to do them. And so like many of you I am in a time of waiting.

So if you are in a season of waiting, my hope is that you and I will remain steadfast in following Christ even in this not so fun season. It is also my prayer that you and I would be open to all that the Lord may be teaching us in this time.

Waiting sucks (there I said it). What have you learned during your present or past times of waiting? What is it that you are waiting for right now? I’d love to know in the comments below.

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