By Stacy Dickman
This month holds great anticipation for me. I have patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) waited for a dream to come true. It’s quite the story of waiting on God during a five-year journey of hills and valleys. All the waiting is about to have its reward.
Let’s back up to November 2012. It was Thanksgiving Day and I was in the kitchen early, starting to cook up a feast as my husband and our three young children watched a parade on television. I was smiling in true delight and anticipation as I puttered about in the kitchen.
That’s when I heard it—the “blurb, blurb.” It was a familiar sound, one we had heard a little more than a year before, requiring us to dig up our front yard and cut into our son’s bedroom floor to replace the sewer line.
The panic induced by the blurbing of the pipe was intense. We had a problem. We needed a plumber—again. Yet it was Thanksgiving Day, and we had no choice but to wait.
Waiting is difficult.
When the plumber arrived, he had trouble finding the problem. He suggested a pipe cleaning. With a high-powered water jet and attached camera, he could enter through our vent in the roof and wash all the way to the sewer. This type of equipment had to be scheduled, so we had to wait.
Waiting can bring worry.
The day came when we hoped this stressful week would end. The plumber confidently began his work, cleaning and monitoring the high-pressure water jets. Not long into the job, he suddenly halted. “You’ve got a problem.” His look of confidence had been replaced with concern. He explained that the underside of our sewer pipe, the one buried under the concrete slab of our one-story house, had rotted out completely. Rocks and dirt had been flooding into the pipe as quickly as he could wash them away. Since we had a slab house with one sewer line, we needed to fix it quickly. He would work on some options and get back to us in a few days.
Waiting can lead to tears.
“There is nothing we can do,” the bank responded when we asked for the large amount of money required to fix our problem. A single-income family of five couldn’t stay in a home without working plumbing. We had no option but to abandon our house. I couldn’t breathe.
We held out hope that somehow we could deal with this, but we couldn’t. The waiting and unknowns led to a physical breakdown of my mind and body. A stay-at-home mom who had no home and could not be alone with her kids was a woman who lost all parts of her identity. I begged God to be with me, but somewhere in the waiting I lost hope in him.
Waiting is sometimes lonely.
With the help of family and friends, we began to put our life back together, piece by piece. We moved again and again, renting homes and giving thanks for a roof above us every night. Finances grew tight as foreclosure pressed in, and we learned to rely on God to provide for our every need.
Counseling and therapy helped me regain my health physically and spiritually. Through the waiting I had to rediscover who I am apart from my identity as a mom. God has taught me to wait, to be courageous, and to trust in him.
Waiting leads to a life of courage.
For five years we have walked in waiting. The beginning was difficult, but as we continued to wait obediently, it felt less burdensome. I’m convinced this path had more to do with me learning to trust in him than in the circumstances I walked. And as I continue to trust in him, to walk obediently waiting on him, I am sure he is working to give me the desires of my heart.
Just two short months ago, my husband and I got the approval to buy our own house. What seemed like the longest wait instantly turned into a moment of rejoicing. We carefully looked and patiently waited for the house of our dreams. And God delivered. This month we will be homeowners.
Waiting leads to rejoicing.
This month we rejoice in the lessons of waiting as much as the end result.
Have you had a season of waiting? Maybe you find yourself in that season right now. Ask God to walk with you and to give you the courage to wait. The path of waiting may have more to do with your growth than the end result.
“They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:31 ESV).
Stacy Dickman loves all things creative. Living in Southwest Ohio with her husband and three children provides plenty of inspiration! Using her love of story, Stacy turns everyday ordinary into an encouraging adventure. With coffee and Jesus, she hopes to shine light into life by finding beauty in the everyday. You can find her at stacydickman.com.
Photograph © Bethany Beams, used with permission