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3 Steps To Wait Well And Build A Promising Future

Photo courtesy of Susan van Gelder via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Susan van Gelder via Flickr

We all wait. We wait for the phone to ring, We wait for an email reply. We wait for the test results. We wait for seasons to change. We wait for babies to be born. And we wait for the perfect mate.

These three keys to waiting well can build a promising future.

The first key — Acceptance. It takes lots of energy to resist the waiting. Most of us struggle with circumstances we don’t like. We may do everything we can to change things or hurry things up, when accepting them would bring us peace. Sarai tried to hurry God’s promise to Abram of a son, when she told him to have a baby with her handmaid, Hagar (Genesis 16:1). Sarai refused to wait. And oh, the troubles that came as a result of her interfering. We can pound our fists against the wall or we can make our way over it. Mary gives us an example of acceptance when she said to the angel, “I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say” (Luke 1:38 paraphrased).  Acceptance comes when you can say, “Let it be.”

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune. — William James

The second key — Use your waiting time to build character. I was a single mother of three for 16 years. I used those years to earn further education, which opened unexpected doors. It wasn’t easy, but was an exhilarating challenge. Setting a goal helps create focus and gives you direction. Independent study, taking an online course, getting acquainted with new friends, participating in community groups — are all ways to develop your character. While you have more solitude, you have time to establish the habit of a regular spiritual practice. Maybe spend more time in silence and prayer than on Facebook.

The discipline you learn and character you build from setting and achieving a goal can be more valuable than the achievement of the goal itself. — Bo Bennett

Finally, while waiting — Celebrate! Having a good wholesome time is a good thing. Scripture tells us of celebrations: “We’re going to have a wonderful time!” (Proverbs 31:23 MSG). Life is hard and mostly serious. It is up to us to make the most of every moment. Use your imagination. Make the most of each opportunity: For single parents it may be a child’s birthday or good report card …  a job promotion, a beautiful Saturday, every holiday. Celebrations can be simple. “Seize life! Eat bread with gusto, Drink wine with a robust heart. Oh yes. God takes pleasure in your pleasure!” (Ecclesiastes 9:7 MSG).

The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate. — Oprah Winfrey

If you are in a waiting season, think of it as a time for renewal. Make the most of every single day. Life is precious and fleeting.

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! — Psalm 27:14 (ESV)

About Gail Showalter

Gail raised three children as a single mother for sixteen years before she married Sam. She was an educator in regular and special education for eighteen years, finishing her professional career as a Braille teacher. In 2007 She founded SMORE for Women - a nonprofit association whose goal is Single Moms, Overjoyed, Rejuvenated, & Empowered. She is a certified Women’s Transition Coach and her stories have been published in several Christian books and magazines. She released her first book Living Learning Loving in 2015.
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