Real talk. There have been many things God has put on my heart over the years…dreams/desires if you will and along the way it was easy to get frustrated or discouraged. Things I prayed for years about and sometimes even got frustrated about because it seemed like God wasn’t answering! But one thing I know now that I didn’t then is…if it was truly something GOD PUT ON MY HEART…then He would be the one to bring it about without a lot of striving on my end (but a ton of worry/anxiety/sleepless nights that I know now we’re not needed and wasted so much time and energy). The desires that weren’t from Him, He was faithful to change as I stayed submitted to His will for my life, trusting that His plans are better.
So let’s chat about the waiting period. The waiting period is where you either press in and trust God or you give up. God uses the seasons of waiting to prepare us for what’s ahead and every lesson He brings, no matter how hard it is in the moment…is always the perfect preparation for the future. You can either let it grow you and change you or you can make it harder and run away and delay the process even further! So you want to know how long some of my own promises took to be fulfilled?!
Here are God’s wait times in my life:
Missions: Called to it in 1998 (He was breaking my heart for it and someone prayed for my parents and then shared that they felt like God was calling their oldest daughters to the mission field. When they told me I KNEW that that was what God had been doing in my heart. Lightbulb moment). I received training in 2001 and didn’t get released to go until 2004 (when I thought I would live in Africa my whole life and yet returned in 2006 because God had different plans for my life). It took until 2018 to set foot on African soil again and this time I finally made it to Kenya which has been a dream since 1991 or so! I’m still waiting to get back to my first Country in Africa and am praying about it for next year. It’s been 13 years of praying and waiting but I know God is faithful.
Adoption: Since I was a little girl and before Max and I got married. But in 2012….it was very specifically laid on my heart and something I couldn’t shake. God told us to have our son N first and little did we know his brother Z would be born 11 days later….and that we would meet his mother when he was 3 months old…take him in at 14 months and adopt him in 2017. We never even made it to foster care training nor did we go searching for him!
Husband: Years!!! But God started giving me specific dreams in 2005 and speaking to me about who to date/not date and even HOW to date and along came Max in 2008 and we married a year later. I prayed for him for at least 11 years and my mother even longer! He was my mail ordered groom from Ukraine that God protected and preserved and he was definitely worth the wait and listening to God about!
There are other desires/dreams that have been on my heart that are still a work in process…things God is preparing me for and I don’t know how long the waiting process will be but I know it’s absolutely not worth giving up on and instead trusting Him to bring it about in His timing. And if Max or I aren’t on the same page…God has always been faithful to get us both there at just the right time. So my best advice…pray…and don’t give up! God is faithful and the dreams/desires that aren’t from Him, He is able to change and redirect. He will always bring about HIS desires and they are soooo beautiful and worth it when you see Him fulfill them! I cry every time I see God answer a prayer/desire even if it took years to see!
So don’t give up…keep learning all He has for you to learn and trust HIS plans and timing for your life even if you think it looks a lot different than you thought it would! It’ll be worth it but you have to listen and obey along the way. Let go of what He tells you to stop holding onto…those are weights and you don’t need them (they’ll only slow you down)! Will it be worth its?! Absolutely!! Will it be easy…probably not…but it’s just part of the journey and it makes you stronger!
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and he will act.” Psalms 37:4-5 ESV
(Want to read other stories of faith in the Bible of others who had to wait a long time…Abraham, Joseph, and Joshua are a couple that come to mind but there are many more!)