Have you ever noticed how we can’t wait for Saturday? Can’t wait for vacation or summer. Find it hard to wait for a loved one to return home or to visit. We’re tired of waiting for that new opportunity to come our way. We anxiously wait for the doctor to call with results. We wait for broken relationships to be restored and for difficult situations to resolve.

I’m guessing I’m not alone nor going out on a limb by saying waiting is hard!

It’s really, really hard.

We live in a drive through, instant, ready-while-you-wait world. Yet when life throws big things our way, the heartbreaking things, the challenging things, we often have to wait for answers or wait before it gets better.

Recently I got together with a new friend. She filled me in that she’s currently in a season waiting for a dream opportunity. Despite the position all but being handed to her, one piece hasn’t fallen into place – the time. The new company is going through changes that require them to wait several months before she can start in her role. As she described her situation I found myself recognized that place – “the wait”. It’s all too familiar.

She’s ready to move on now. Lingering in a place she feels done is exhausting. And, while she looks forward to her new chapter with anticipation, she would prefer not to wait.

As she spoke, an analogy came to mind that helped us both shift our perspective.

In her scenario, she knows the position is already hers. She has “made the team.” But, it’s not time yet.

I explained how Olympic athletes make the Olympic team long before the games begin. Long before their big match or game, they know they’ve made the team but still, they need to wait. During that wait, they do not pull the covers over their head or curl up in the fetal position on the couch. Instead, they wait by eating right, training hard, and pursing the lifestyle and habits of an Olympic athlete.

I challenged my friend, “What can you be using this time for?”

How could she train, learn, grow, and be more prepared so that when it is her time she is “Olympic- athlete” ready. She’s already “made the team” what does she need to do now to make sure when it is her time she is equipped and ready – the best she can be.

As I spoke, I realized the very words I was sharing with her apply to our faith walk. If you’re a believer, you’ve already made the team. If you’re still working to identify your purpose or waiting for a door of opportunity to open, you may thought you were in a season of wait, but likely you’re in a season of training. It’s your season to prepare, to grow, so that you will be ready, the best you can be when it’s your time.

Five Things you can do in “the wait”:

  1. Shift your attitude – We often feel powerless in the wait. It’s so easy to focus on the one thing we can’t change – time. But, what if you looked at this time as a gift? Time to train, develop, and grow into a better stronger you. And perhaps this time could be cherished gift that allows you to connect with someone you need to connect with, or time to read the book you’ve been waiting to read. Look at your wait and ask how the time could be a gift and use it to your advantage.
  2. Don’t wait alone – Find a friend, coach, mentor, or support group who will help you stay on track during the “wait.” Is there someone who has successfully navigated the road you hope to travel? What can you learn from them? Or perhaps you have a friend who can share the gift of transparency with you. Together you can encourage each other during your season of wait.
  3. Develop your skill – What skill will help you when the wait is over? If for example you’re waiting for a publisher to sign your book idea, use the wait to hone your writing skills or edit your writing. If your wait is for a new job, what might help you when you start? Maybe you would benefit from studying emotional intelligence or advancing your Excel skills. Use the wait time as a valuable gift to improve your skills.
  4. Identify your positive habits or your strengths –What do you do well? What are your areas of strength? Perhaps your strength is in your character qualities or in skills you’ve learned. List them out and pray for ways to use them. If you need more good habits than you currently have, use the time to develop and solidify them. They will become a great part of our foundation when your season of wait passes.
  5. Plan your next step – What’s next? What can you do right now where you are while you wait? In the time you’ve read this, the door you’re waiting to open likely hasn’t swung wide open just yet. What is your very next step. What one thing can you do today or this week so that you are stronger, and further along than yesterday despite still being in the wait. Write it down and take that step!

Are you in a season of waiting now? Or, have you been there and remember the challenge? I hope you’ve gained a new perspective on wait. How have you found the silver lining in the cloud of wait? I’d love to hear from you.

Blessings until next week!