It’s a tough subject for me, so many decades in. I have no skills for this job. Yes. I look at it as work. Waiting sucks.
My whole belief system revolves around the subject. Wait upon the Lord, for His mercy endures forever. Hold on a sec! Waiting will take forever? Mercy is what’s promised to get me through? There must be something wrong with my faith logic. I know. You think I have the faith of a child. Well, while my intellect can be far reaching, when it comes right down to it, my waiting skills really are the measure of my faith, as if I’m missing a vital piece of necessary skillsets for life.
Some of you will say, don’t be so hard on yourself. It’s natural to respond to that demanding inner child: “I want that! I want it NOW!” Maturity, that fraud, requires that I put aside self-gratification, postpone satisfaction, on the assumption that waiting will make it sweeter, whatever “that” is.
I waited five years for Mama to come get me and take me home from the orphanage. Every day, nose pressed to the window, looking for her to come. Well. I can claim endurance. But not patience. Trust that she’ll appear and the miracle will happen. It didn’t. And then, without notice, it did.
I waited for a badly injured foot to heal so I could walk again. That waiting was full of lessons. Injuries heal. They take a long time. Nothing will hurry it. Learn to wait with or without patience. Patience can make waiting easier. Waiting through four months is strong discipline for a youngster.
I waited through lots of life lessons not much different than those of others. Life seems to be school, where learning to wait is a major, not a minor subject, graded minute buy minute, with lots of repetition.
I waited through a protracted nine months of gestation, waited too many hours through a difficult labor, waited for my girl to appear, walk through her babyhood, school, college, marriage, her own motherhood. You’d think I’d be good at waiting by now. Wrong. Instant gratification kept rearing its ugly head.
My husband said that while I was waiting I wasn’t living. That I was always waiting for the next thing. He was right. I was missing all the stages of my life while I waited for the next one.
I waited through cancer. I came face to face with what waiting really requires. Stamina and faith were the barest of essentials. Trust, hope, belief were my study chapters while I waited for my body to respond to chemotherapy and radiation. Understanding was a major requirement. Time and waiting through it was elixir. The better I got at it, the more I learned. Waiting is an acquired skill. I wasn’t deficient after all. I was just impatient.
I filled my waiting with the needs of others. Strangers, who asked about my baldness. Hey. Everyone knows why you’re bald as a billiard. They were really asking about my cancer. My treatment. My future. I talked, answered, babbled sometimes, with the need to get it out to a willing audience. It was a way to tame the monster, or at least corner it. I waited for every next opportunity to show cancer that I could walk right up to it, smack it around a little, and be free of it. I waited to be free. Free, I am. Now, to learn to trust it.