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  • Writer's picture Bethany McMillon

And so, I wait





I sit crisscross, snuggled into my corner of the couch with my laptop open and stare at the blinking curser.  It’s a quiet Saturday morning at our house.  The sun shines through the window and for several minutes I try my best to extract a few words from my heart and brain onto the paper, but nothing comes.  Our beagle puppy, Penny, is curled up next to me, so I pet her head and rub her velvety ears for a minute.  Her eyes droop and she’s asleep again.  I finally close my laptop and push myself off the couch.  The dryer has just completed its cycle and waits for me to fold the towels. 


I pull out the first towel – first a horizontal fold, then another and another.  I repeat the process several times: with our bath towels, with our son’s towels and finally the hand towels and washcloths I’d thrown into the load.  I walk the stack of towels back to our bathroom, then move the next load of clothes from washing machine to the dryer.  After several minutes I’m back on the couch, I’ve reopened my laptop, and that curser is blinking… again.  But the page remains blank. I give it a few minutes, but still no words on the page quite yet. 

Through the day, this scene repeats itself.  I do laundry.  I rearrange a closet.  I run an errand.  I watch a show.  I text with friends, but each time I return to the task, the page remains empty, the curser blinks, and words for the writing assignment just won’t come.  So, I wait. 


At the moment that I write this, we are exactly 80 days from our next family vacation.  The date has been on our calendars for weeks. After booking our trip, we had to wait until a certain day for the next step in the booking process, and I’ve been counting down the days.  

Tonight, my eyes itch from staring at my screen and I have a ranked list of possible excursions at my ready.  I refresh the feed at exactly 11:00PM.  It’s time, and I am in.  I go through each day of our trip and book the activities that our family thinks we will enjoy the most.  Now, we have flights and hotels reserved; we have excursions booked.  We (I) have packing lists bookmarked for additional research.  We are ready to make memories.  Now, we wait.


My Bible is open on my desk in our home office.  Outside the window, the day is starting to wake up.  The birds chirp loudly, and the morning sky turns an inky blue before the oranges and pinks of the sunrise peek over the housetops.  My blue ink pen quickly scribbles a prayer as the words pour from my heart.  Words of thanksgiving, of praise and the cries of hard situations that weigh heavy on my heart.  In entry after entry, day upon day, through the words written in this journal I’ve prayed for them, for him, for her, and for her.  There are many who I’ve prayed for through a season.  There are some I’ve whispered prayers for a day, but there are a handful that I pray for almost as often as I wake.  I see their faces in my mind’s eye and feel their heartaches tug my soul. 

In January I reread my journal from the year before.  I sift through prayers I’ve seen God answer and ways I’ve seen God’s hand and I make a list of the not yet answered, too.  These are the prayers on that last list.  God’s answer so far has been “not yet.” And so, I wait.


Our lives are often full of waiting.  We wait at stoplights.  We wait on our children.  We wait on coworkers to respond so we can move forward on a project.  We wait on those we love to respond to a text or to finish getting ready or to grow out of a particularly annoying phase.  We wait for test results and doctor visits. 

I appreciate the Cambridge definition of wait: to allow time to go by, especially while staying in one place without doing very much, until someone comes, until something that you are expecting happens or until you can do something. That’s how it is when I am waiting on the Lord.  I can do very little, and I hope that I am expecting Him to work. 

Recently, I reread Hannah’s story in 1 Samuel.  Hannah endured a long, hard period of waiting.  She was dearly loved but had no children.  Each year, she would pray for a child. Then, she would wait.  Year after year the answer to her prayer fell into the not yet.  But then, in verse 19 we read, “the Lord remembered her.” My heart skipped a beat as I read this phrase.  She waited; He remembered. 

I think about those prayers that I pray.  I recommit to praying for each one faithfully and I pray: Oh, Lord, may I be like Hannah.  May my prayers be so intense that others question me and then join me. May You hear my prayers and remember us. 

 

 


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