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When Life Becomes A Big Pause Button

Photo courtesy of Annie Roi via Flickr
Photo courtesy of Annie Roi via Flickr

Have you ever wanted an answer to prayer so badly that you were actually wearing yourself out praying so much?

In those times, you crave that new season of a relationship in your life, a career opportunity or the next best thing … only to find no answers. In fact, you are still single for yet another year, stuck in the same job, and there are no opportunities on the horizon.

As a result, you can feel like life is stuck on a big “pause button.” Your plans are on hold, life is on pause and you are waiting to quite simply get on with things. The problem is that life happens while we are waiting for our larger prayers to be answered.

Another challenge is not to get discouraged while we are stuck in a season of waiting for love, success or the fulfillment of our dreams.

If you are anything like me, you hate waiting. I am a planner, and so as a result I spend a lot of time thinking about the future. Therefore, I have this emotional arm wrestling match with God on a frequent basis, where I try to plan my future only to have no movement at all toward the fulfillment of these goals.

Then I feel stuck, like I am in suspended animation, wanting to get somewhere but not having the ability to make all the details fall in line. The reality is that I am trying to do life in my strength and not letting God carry me in His strength toward the greatest fulfillment of His plans and my destiny.

When our prayers are not answered right away, we have entered into a “season of waiting.” These seasons are actually critical reflection times and periods of growth before God moves our circumstances to answer our prayers.

I want to share some tips I have learned so that I don’t completely lose my mind in frustration during different seasons of waiting in life.

Tip #1: Remember that just because your prayers are not answered in your time does not mean that they won’t be answered.

Don’t give up! Keep seeking God and trusting that your prayers will be answered the Lord’s way. Your deliverance has already been planned, and it is unfolding before your eyes even if you don’t see the end results now. God takes us from one glory to the next and He is faithful. Just because you don’t have the answers to your prayers now does not mean that something even better isn’t coming along.

Tip #2: Remember that God’s timing is perfection.

God has us covered. The creator of all things knows our hearts, our thoughts and the essence of our beings. The Lord’s plans are perfection, and His timing is spectacular. All things happen for a reason, and the delay in the fulfillment of His deliverance is there for a reason. Often we have the opportunity to grow deeper in our relationship with the Lord while we are in a season of waiting.

Tip #3: What you think you want may not be what you actually need.

When we are forced to wait for what we want most in life, we get to reflect on our prayer requests. Perhaps what we think we need is really not what we need at all in that moment. Also when we are looking for our ideal mate in life, we get to refine our thoughts about who we really want to attract into our lives during those prolonged seasons of waiting, rather than being in a relationship with the first person who comes along after an extended dry spell of singleness.

Tip #4: Remember that the unfolding of a destiny takes time.

Another important point is that if we want that new relationship, then our lives have to merge together with someone else’s emotional world. The blending of two destinies can take some time. Perhaps your new love doesn’t even live in the same town. If you want that new career, a person who is currently in that position may have to move on, or a new job posting has to open up. As a result, details may take time to fall into place.

#5: Remember that waiting helps us develop gratitude.

When our prayers are answered, we can feel infinite joy because we are grateful. Seasons of waiting or living life on a pause button can make us appreciate the fulfillment of prayers that much more.

Therefore, when life is on a pause button or in a season of waiting, this is never wasted time because we are being prepared with the lessons that will help us enjoy those greater blessings as our destinies unfold.

About Cathy Patterson-Sterling

Cathy Patterson-Sterling is a Christian counselor with a counseling ministry called Real Life Tool Box. She is an author, speaker, wife, mother and friend. Through her counseling ministry, she offers more than 50 e-learning audio play courses to help people grow in faith and have their healthiest relationships. She is passionate about helping people find freedom from fear or other emotional strongholds that are holding them back from living out their greatest potential in God's plans for their lives.
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